Using InPrivate Browsing in Microsoft Edge for Windows

Control how much data is saved when you surf the web

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The InPrivate Browsing feature in the Microsoft Edge browser allows you to limit and manage what data is collected and stored when you visit a website. Learn how to activate it.

Instructions in this article apply to Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

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Web Browsing and Data Collection

Screenshot of New InPrivate Window option in Edge settings

When browsing the web on Windows 10 with Microsoft Edge, several data components are stored on your device's local hard drive. These include a history of the websites that you've visited, cached files and cookies associated with those sites, passwords and other personal data which you enter into web forms, and much more. Edge allows you to manage this data, and also allows you to delete some or all of it with just a few mouse clicks.

To proactively control these potentially sensitive data components, Edge InPrivate Browsing Mode lets you freely surf websites without leaving any of this information behind. InPrivate Browsing is particularly useful when using Edge on a shared device (such as a public computer). 

Activating InPrivate Mode

Follow these steps to enable InPrivate browsing:

  1. Open your Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. Click the More actions menu icon, represented by three horizontally-placed dots.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select the New InPrivate window.

The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+P will open a new InPrivate window, as well.

A new browser window will open. A blue and white image in the upper left-hand corner indicates that InPrivate Browsing Mode is active in the current window.

The rules for InPrivate browsing automatically apply to all tabs opened within this window or any window with InPrivate Browsing Mode indicator visible. However, it is possible to have other Edge windows open simultaneously that do not adhere to these rules, so always make sure that InPrivate Browsing Mode is active before taking any action.


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What Data Is Saved and What Is Not

Screenshot of InPrivate window

While using InPrivate Browsing Mode, some data components such as the cache and cookies are stored temporarily on your hard drive but are immediately deleted once the active window is closed. Browsing history, passwords, and other pieces of information are not saved at all while InPrivate Browsing is active.

With that said, some information does remain on the hard drive at the end of an InPrivate Browsing session, including any changes you've made to Edge's settings or Favorites that you may have saved.

Also, websites themselves may still have the ability to obtain certain information about you through your IP address and other mechanisms, such as data collection their websites perform.

Although InPrivate Browsing prevents remnants of your browsing session from being stored on your hard drive, it is not a vehicle for complete anonymity. For example, the administrator in charge of your network or the internet service provider could still monitor your activity on the web, including the sites that you have visited.