Activate InPrivate Browsing Mode in Internet Explorer 10

Sign with a checkbox selected on private and left open on public, representing private browsing

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Internet Explorer 10 will reach end of support on January 31, 2020.

As more of our daily activities — such as socializing with friends or paying bills — gravitate towards the online space, so does the need for added privacy and security. Sensitive data, such as banking information and email account passwords, can cause havoc when it ends up in the wrong hands. Even seemingly harmless personal tidbits could be exploited by an unscrupulous web surfer.

Instructions in this article apply to the Internet Explorer 10 web browser on Windows operating systems.

Private Browsing in Internet Explorer

While enabled, InPrivate Browsing ensures that no cookies or Temporary Internet Files (also known as cache) are left behind on your hard drive. In addition to your browsing history, form data and saved passwords are also not stored at the end of your browsing session.

  1. Open your IE10 browser.

  2. Select the Gear icon, also known as the Action or Tools menu, located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window.

    Screenshot of Tools menu in IE 10
  3. Select the option labeled InPrivate Browsing. You can also utilize the following keyboard shortcut in lieu of selecting this menu item: CTRL+SHIFT+P.

InPrivate Browsing mode is now activated, and a new browser tab or window should be open. The InPrivate indicator, located in IE10's address bar, confirms that you are indeed surfing the web privately. The following conditions will apply to any actions taken within the confines of this InPrivate Browsing window.

Windows 8 Mode (Formerly Known as Metro Mode)

If you are running IE10 in Windows 8 Mode, as opposed to Desktop Mode, first select the Tab Tools button (signified by three horizontal dots and displayed by right-clicking anywhere within your main browser window). When the drop-down menu appears, select New InPrivate Tab.


Many websites will place a small text file on your hard drive used to store user-specific settings and other information unique to you. This file, or cookie, is then utilized by that site to provide a customized experience or to retrieve data such as your login credentials. With InPrivate Browsing enabled, these cookies are deleted from your hard drive as soon as the current window or tab is closed. This includes Document Object Model storage, or DOM, which is sometimes referred to as a supercookie and is also removed.

Temporary Internet Files

Also known as cache, these are images, multimedia files, and even full web pages that are stored locally with the purpose of speeding up load times. These files are immediately deleted when the InPrivate Browsing tab or window is closed.

Browsing History

IE10 typically stores a record of URLs, or addresses, which you have visited. While in InPrivate Browsing Mode, this browsing history is never recorded.

Form Data

Information that you enter into a web form, such as your name and address, is normally stored by IE10 for future use. With InPrivate Browsing enabled, however, no form data whatsoever is recorded locally.


IE10 will use both your previous browsing and search history for its AutoComplete feature, taking an educated guess each time you begin to type a URL or search keywords. This data is not stored while surfing in the InPrivate Browsing mode.

Crash Restoration

IE10 stores session data in the event of a crash, so that automatic recovery is possible upon relaunch. This is also true if multiple InPrivate tabs are open concurrently and one of them happens to crash. However, if the entire InPrivate Browsing window crashes, all session data is automatically wiped out and restoration is not a possibility.

RSS Feeds

RSS Feeds added to IE10 while InPrivate Browsing Mode is enabled are not deleted when the current tab or window is closed. Each individual feed must be manually removed if you so desire.


Any Favorites, also known as Bookmarks, created during an InPrivate Browsing session are not removed once the session is complete. Therefore, they can be viewed in standard browsing mode and must be deleted manually if you wish to remove them.

IE10 Settings

Any modifications made to IE10's settings during an InPrivate Browsing session will remain intact at the close of that session.

To turn off InPrivate Browsing at any time, simply close the existing tab(s) or window and return to your standard browsing session.