How to Use Private Browsing in Safari for OS X

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Getty Images/Phil Marden

Anonymity when browsing the Web can be important for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you are concerned that your sensitive data may be left behind in temporary files such as cookies, or maybe you just do not want anyone to know where you have been. No matter what your motive for privacy might be, Safari's Private Browsing mode may be just what you are looking for. While utilizing Private Browsing, cookies and other files are not saved on your hard drive. Even better, your entire browsing and search history is not saved. Private Browsing can be activated in just a few easy steps.

How to Activate Private Browsing

  1. Click on File in the Safari menu, located at the top of your screen.
  2. When the drop-down menu appears, select the New Private Window option. You can also use the following keyboard shortcut in place of selecting this menu item: SHIFT+COMMAND+N.
  3. A new browser window should now be opened with Private Browsing mode enabled. You can confirm that you are browsing privately if the background of Safari's address bar is a dark shade. A descriptive message should also be displayed directly under the browser's main toolbar.
  4. To disable this mode at any time, simply close all windows in which Private Browsing has been activated.

​​This article is only intended for users running the Safari Web browser on Mac OS X or ​macOS Sierra operating systems.