How to Always Start Microsoft Edge in InPrivate Browsing Mode on Windows 10

Microsoft Edge logo

If you are using Microsoft Edge on a shared Windows 10 computer and want to keep your private browsing history by default, you can have Edge always launch in InPrivate mode. Here’s how.

What is InPrivate mode?

InPrivate is the name of Microsoft Edge private browsing mode. When using InPrivate, Edge deletes your local browsing history when you close all browser windows. Your downloaded bookmarks and files will be retained unless you delete them manually. It also prevents Bing searches to be associated with your Microsoft account.

However, InPrivate does not prevent you from tracking your activity on the Internet. Websites, your ISP, or organizations hosting your network (such as your school or office) can still see your web activity by track your IP address or by other methods.

RELATED: How private browsing works and why it doesn’t offer complete privacy

How to always start Microsoft Edge in InPrivate mode on Windows 10

To launch Edge already in InPrivate mode, we need to change a command line option in a shortcut that launches Edge. While it may sound intimidating, it’s not as difficult as it seems.

First, find the shortcut you use to launch Edge. It can be on the Start menu, on the desktop, or on your taskbar. We need to modify its properties. For example, if you pinned the Edge icon to your taskbar, right-click it. When a menu appears, right-click the words “Microsoft Edge”, then select “Properties”.

Right-click the Edge shortcut and select Properties in Windows 10

A Properties window will appear. In the “Shortcut” tab, find the text box next to the word “Target”. It contains the path to the Edge application that you run each time you click the shortcut.

Find target path for Microsoft Edge on Windows 10

We will add something at the end of the path in the Target area. Click on it and position your cursor on the far right. Press space and type “-inprivate” after the path listed in the Target box.

The box should now include the path to the Edge application, then a space, then a dash and the word “private” at the end.

Add InPrivate to the shortcut path to Microsoft Edge on Windows 10

Click “OK” to close the Properties window. (If you receive a warning when you click “Apply”, ignore it and click “OK” instead.)

The next time you open Edge from the shortcut, the application will start in InPrivate mode.

InPrivate mode on Microsoft Edge on Windows 10

Note that Edge will only start in InPrivate mode if you launch it from a shortcut that you modified.

If you are having trouble launching Edge from the modified shortcut, make sure you haven’t entered a typo in the “Target” area. If you still have problems after that, delete the shortcut, create a new one, and try the change again.

How to remove InPrivate mode

If you want Edge to always launch in normal mode, you can open the shortcut and delete the “-inprivate” option in the “Target” path, or simply delete the shortcut and create a new one.

Once everything is settled, think about setting up a Windows 10 user account for each person on your machine. You’ll have less to worry about keeping your browsing history private, and you’ll also be able to customize your Windows 10 experience as much as you want.

RELATED: How to create a new local user account in Windows 10

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