Many users do not know that you can use the Microsoft Edge browser in different mode. You can use in guest mode, InPrivate mode, compatibility mode for Internet Explorer and normal mode. Every mode has its own purpose and InPrivate mode is useful for browsing anonymously. If you are frequently using Edge in InPrivate browsing mode, then here is how you can always open Microsoft Edge in InPrivate mode.
InPrivate or Incognito Mode
When using the browser in InPrivate browsing, Edge will delete all your browsing history, cookies and other data when closing the browser. In this way you can use shared computers in private mode without other users knowing your browsing activities. Browsers like Google Chrome use similar feature as incognito mode while Edge calls it as InPrivate browsing. When you open the browser in InPrivate mode, it will look like below. You can easily find the browser is in InPrivate mode with the profile icon showing “InPrivate”.
Note: InPrivate mode will not affect your browsing history of regular mode. Therefore, those data will be still available and can be seen by any user.
Open InPrivate Browsing in Edge
There are multiple ways to open Edge in InPrivate browsing mode:
- When you are in the browser, press “Control + Shift + N” in Windows and “Command + Shift + N” in macOS to launch a new InPrivate browsing window.
- Alternatively, click on the settings icon (or press “Alt + F” in Windows) to open a new InPrivate window. Note that your current window will still open when you work on InPrivate mode.
- Edge app is pinned to taskbar by default in Windows 11. You can simply right click on the Edge icon in taskbar and select “New InPrivate window” option.
Always Open Microsoft Edge in InPrivate Mode
Though there are multiple ways to open InPrivate mode, by default Edge will open in normal window when you launch the browser. Follow the below instructions, if you always want to open Microsoft in InPrivate mode by default.
- Windows will have a desktop shortcut for Edge browser by default. If you have deleted the shortcut, first you need to create a desktop shortcut for Edge app. If you already have a desktop shortcut then you can skip the next step.
- For creating desktop shortcut, launch File Explorer by pressing “Win + E” keys and go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application folder. Right click on msedge executable (.exe) application file and select “Show more options”. Now you will see legacy context menu and click “Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)” option. This will add a desktop shortcut of Microsoft Edge browser.
- Go to your desktop and right click on the newly created “msedge – Shortcut” icon and select “Properties” option. Alternatively, you can select the shortcut and press “Alt + Enter” keys.
- It will open “Edge Shortcut Properties” dialog box. Go to “Shortcut” tab and click on the text box against “Target”.
- The default target location of Edge will show like below:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe"
- What you need is to add -inprivate at the end of the target location. The complete path should be as below:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe" -inprivate
- And, it should look like below in the properties dialog box.
- Click “Apply” button, you will be prompted to provide administrator credentials for doing this change. If you are already logged in as an administrator, confirm the prompt to proceed further.
- Now, close the properties dialog box and double click on the desktop shortcut to launch the Edge browser.
- You will see the browser by default will open in InPrivate browsing mode.
Change Shortcut Name and Pin to Taskbar
Now that you can use the desktop shortcut to always open Microsoft Edge in InPrivate mode. However, it can confuse you with the Edge pinned icon in taskbar and Start menu that will open it in normal browsing mode. To keep things clean, you can replace the taskbar / Start menu icons with your shortcut so that they will also launch Edge in InPrivate mode.
- First, right click on the default taskbar icon and select “Unpin from taskbar” option. This will remove the default Edge icon pinned in the taskbar.
- Select the desktop shortcut and press F2 button or right click and select “Show more options” and then click “Rename” option. Change the desktop shortcut to Edge so that it will look like a regular Edge browser shortcut.
- After renaming, right click on the shortcut and select “Show more options” and choose “Pin to taskbar” option. This will add Edge icon in the taskbar that will always open in InPrivate browsing mode.
- After finishing taskbar icon, click on the Start menu icon or press Win key. Here you will see Edge under “Pinned” apps section.
- Right click on the icon and select “Unpin from Start” to remove it.
- Now, go back to desktop and right click on Edge shortcut icon.
- Select “Pin to Start” option to add the new Edge icon in the Start menu.
As you can see, it is easy to always open Microsoft Edge in InPrivate mode by default. However, make sure to replace all existing occurrences in Start menu and taskbar with the new shortcut icon so that it works in sync.