This tutorial explains how to always open Chrome and Firefox browsers in Incognito mode or Private window mode on a Windows 11/10 computer. All the modern browsers (Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) come with the feature to start Private browsing using a shortcut (like Ctrl+Shift+N or Ctrl+Shift+P), application menu, or customize menu, etc. But, if use Chrome and/or Firefox as your main browsers and you want to open your browser with the private window mode always, then the tricks covered in this post will come in handy.
We have already seen how we can make Microsoft Edge always start in the InPrivate window. Now let’s see how this can be done for Chrome and Firefox browsers one by one.
How to always open Chrome browser in Incognito mode
To make Chrome browser always open in the Incognito mode, you can use the two native features of
Windows 11/10. After that, the normal window mode is disabled completely. Neither the hotkeys nor the available options will work to open a regular window or tabs. Thus, you will be able to open only Incognito windows and tabs. You can also undo the changes to start using the normal mode when needed. These two options are:
- Using Group Policy Editor
- Using Registry Editor.
You should create a system restore point before using these options as you might need it later.
1] Using Group Policy Editor
The steps to open Google Chrome always in Incognito mode using Group Policy Editor in Windows 11/10 are covered below. But, before using this option, you must integrate Chrome browser with Group Policy so that you can have all the settings. Once it is done, follow these steps:
- Type gpedit in the Search box
- Hit the Enter key to open the Group Policy Editor window
- Access the Google Chrome folder in that window. The path is:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Classic Administrative Templates (ADM) > Google > Google Chrome
- Now you will see various settings. Scroll down and double-click on the Incognito mode availability setting to edit it. This opens a new window
- Use the Enabled option in that window
- Open the drop-down menu for the Incognito mode availability option present on the left-middle section
- Select the Incognito mode forced option. As the name indicates, it forces the users to launch Chrome only with Incognito mode and not normal window mode
- Press the Apply button
- Press the OK button
- Relaunch the Chrome browser if it is opened.
Now the New window option in Chrome browser will be greyed out. Also, the hotkeys to open a new window and new tab won’t work.
In case you want to undo the changes you made, follow the steps covered above, and access the Incognito mode availability setting. Select the Not Configured option for that setting, and use the Apply button and OK button.
2] Using Registry Editor
Follow these steps to force Chrome browser always open in Incognito mode using Windows 11/10 Registry Editor:
- Close the Chrome browser if opened
- Type regedit in the Search box
- Press Enter to open the Registry Editor window
- Select the Policies Registry key using the given path:
- Right-click on the Policies Registry key, access the New menu, and select the Key option. This will create a new Registry key. Rename that key to Google key
- Create another Registry key under the Google key. Rename that key to Chrome. You have to create these two Registry keys so that you can add the required value or setting needed for force enabling the incognito mode
- Now create a DWORD (32-bit) Value under the Chrome key and name it IncognitoModeAvailability. This is the value needed to set the availability for Incognito mode
- Double-click on that DWORD value to edit it. A small box will pop-up
- Add 2 in the Value data box to force the incognito mode and disable the normal mode completely
- Press the OK button.
Later, when you want to use the normal window mode again in Chrome browser, use the steps mentioned above, and access the Google Registry key that you created. Right-click on that key and use the Delete option. In the Confirm Key Delete box, press the Yes button.
The tricks covered above work pretty well but are available for Windows 11/10 only. If you want to always start Google Chrome in Incognito mode on your Android phone, then use this simple trick. Press and hold the Google Chrome app icon on your phone. A menu will pop up. Press and hold on to the New incognito tab option in that menu, drag it to the Home screen, and drop it there. An Incognito Tab shortcut will be placed there. Use that shortcut to open Google Chrome with incognito/private mode by default. This trick works for Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and other browser apps also.
How to Always use Private browsing mode in Firefox browser
The Private browsing mode in Firefox is exactly the same as the Incognito mode in Chrome. You are able to use the browser without saving any browsing history, download history, cookies, etc. The only difference is we call it Incognito mode in Google Chrome and Private mode in Firefox browser. You can make Firefox browser always use private browsing mode using two different options. These options don’t disable the normal window mode, but your Firefox browser starts and works in the private mode only and you can also use the normal window and tabs if needed. The options are:
- Using the Firefox settings
- Using the Advanced Preferences.
Let’s check these two options.
1] Using the Firefox Settings
Follow these steps to always start the Firefox browser in private mode using its Settings:
- Open the Firefox browser
- Open the application menu using the hamburger icon (three horizontal bars) available in the top right corner of the browser
- Click on the Settings option
- In Firefox Settings, access the Privacy & Security section
- Use the drop-down menu available for the History section and select Use custom settings for history option
- Select the Always use private browsing mode option. This will disable the Remember search and form history, Remember browsing and download history, and other options
- A Restart Firefox box will pop-up
- Press the Restart Firefox now button in that box.
Now when you will launch the Firefox browser, that purple mask (for indicating the incognito mode) won’t visible to you even if you are browsing in private mode, but this won’t save any browsing history, forms, etc.
To restore or restart the normal browsing mode in the Firefox browser again, follow the above steps and uncheck the Always use private browsing mode option. Restart the browser and it will be done.
2] Using the Advanced Preferences
Advanced Preferences of Firefox can also be used to enable the Always use private browsing mode feature. Here are the steps:
- Launch the Firefox browser
about:configin the address bar
- Hit the Enter key
- Click on Accept the Risk and Continue button to access the Advanced Preferences
- Search for
- Double-click on that setting to set it to true. This will enable the Always use private browsing mode option present in Firefox Settings
- Restart the Firefox browser.
In case you want to use the normal browsing mode in Firefox once again, just double-click the same
browser.privatebrowsing.autostart setting to set it to false and then restart the browser.
Other than these two hidden tricks, you can also create a desktop shortcut to open the Firefox browser in private browsing mode.
That’s all! Hope this helps.