Despite potential privacy issues, saving cookies and history from your browsing sessions makes using the internet easier and more tailored to your browsing habits. So it’s essential to know how to turn off private browsing.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to access private browsing and how to close it when you’re finished in the most popular browsers for desktop and mobile. Read on to learn more.
How Do Private Browsing Modes Work?
A new private browsing session starts when you open a new private browsing mode window. After that, any private windows you open are included in the same session. You can simply close all active private browsing windows to end that session.
No information you enter into forms or browsing history, site data, or cookies is saved on the device when using private browsing modes. This implies that other users of your device won’t be able to view your activity because it won’t appear in your browser’s history. As long as you don’t sign in, websites will treat the browser as a new account and won’t know your real identity.
Why Use Private Browsing Mode in Your Browser
There are several benefits to using private browsing on your browser. Depending on your requirements, some may be advantageous to you while others won’t be as useful.
Let’s take a look at some things that happen when you turn on private browsing on your browser:
- The browsing activity is only kept locally on the window being used to browse. When the window or tab is closed, your browser will discard cookies and any site data associated with the browsing session.
- Website functionality remains the same whether you use normal or private browsing mode.
- The browsing data will not be saved to any online accounts such as Google, meaning they won’t sync across devices.
- The privacy mode will not stop websites from getting your data and knowing who you are. If you log into a website, that site will know that you are the person browsing, so they can tie your browsing data to your identity.
- This won’t stop your employer, school, or service provider from viewing your location or activity.
- Private browsing won’t prevent the sites you visit from serving ads depending on your browsing activity during a session. However, when you turn off privacy mode, the websites won’t serve your ads based on your actions during the private session.
Using Incognito Mode in Google Chrome
Before we look at how you can get out of private browsing mode in Chrome, let’s first look at how to open the incognito mode. Just like other browsers, opening an incognito tab in Google Chrome is simple and can be done in a few simple steps. To do so, click on the three vertical dots icon towards the top-right side of the window. This will open a dropdown menu. There, click on New Incognito window.
When the incognito window is opened, you will see the usual Chrome icon change to the incognito browsing icon, representing the browsing mode’s change.
A new window will open, which allows you to browse privately. Google won’t track or save browsing history, site data, or cookies when browsing here. Also, any information you enter in text boxes of forms won’t be saved.
However, any files you download or bookmarks created will be kept, and incognito mode won’t hide the browsing activity from the internet provider, employer, or school.
How to Get out of Private Browsing Mode on the Chrome Desktop App
Here’s how to turn off private browsing mode in Chrome: Click the Cross (x) button.
You can also use the Ctrl+ W shortcut to do this. If you wish to open a normal browsing window but keep your private window open, click on the three dots and then click on the New window or use Ctrl+ N.
How to Turn off Private Browsing For Chrome Mobile
Click on the square box containing the number of tabs towards the top right side of the screen. There, click on the incognito icon toward the top of the screen. Here you can see all the open tabs in incognito mode. Press on the Cross (x) symbol to close the tabs
InPrivate Mode on Microsoft Edge
Edge follows the same rules as Chrome, as most of the underlying technology for both browsers is based on Chromium. The private browsing mode on Edge is “InPrivate” and can be activated by clicking on the three dots towards the top right side of the screen. There click on New InPrivate Window.
This will open a new window with an InPrivate label where your profile is, indicating that the private browsing mode is on. You can also use the Ctrl+ Shift+ N shortcut to open an InPrivate window.
How to Take Off Private Browsing Mode on Edge for Desktop
When an InPrivate window is open, all you have to do to turn off private browsing mode is to close the window. While in InPrivate browsing, you can simultaneously have standard windows open to browse the web.
How to Get Rid of Private Browsing Mode on the Edge Mobile App
Click on the square box containing the number of tabs towards the bottom right side of the screen.
There, click on InPrivate toward the top of the screen. Here you will see all the open tabs in InPrivate browsing. Press on the Cross (x) symbol to close the tabs or click on the blue Close all button to close all of the opened tabs.
Private Windows in Firefox
Firefox used to follow a different way of turning on private browsing, but with recent updates, the methods have been similar across all major browsers.
To turn on private browsing on Firefox, press the three bars towards the top right side of the screen.
In the dropdown menu, click on New private window.
You can also use the Ctrl+ Shift+ P shortcut to do this.
This will be indicated using a mask icon and a different color scheme.
How to Turn off Private Mode on the Firefox Desktop App
To close the private window, either close the window by clicking on the Cross (x) button or click on the three bars to the top right and click on Exit.
Remove Private Browsing Tabs for Firefox Mobile
Press the tab icon in the bottom bar and select the option towards the left corner of the screen containing a square with the number of tabs. Click on the Plus (+) icon to open a new tab.
Private Browsing Mode on Safari
When you turn on the private browsing mode on Safari through the menu, the search bar will start to appear dark gray or black, depending on your theme setting, instead of the usual light gray or white.
How to Close Private Browsing Mode on Safari For Desktop
Learning how to exit private browsing mode on the desktop is very simple. Just click on the Cross (x) button to close the window and open a new one.
How to Turn Off Private Browsing on iPhone or iPad
- Click on the browser tab icon
- Click on the Private button, and the tabs will slide up.
- Close any open tabs with the x on the top left of each tab.
Note: You can also tap the Private button again to turn off private browsing on Safari for iPad.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Check My Private Browsing History on iPad?
History only displays your visited pages in the regular browsing mode. Only the websites you visited in the standard browsing mode appear while viewing your History in Private Mode.
How to Delete Browsing History on iPad?
Here’s how to turn off private browsing on iPad by removing open private tabs:
- Tap the icon that looks like a book in the top left of the browsing window.
- Tap the Clock icon to open the history.
- Tap Clear towards the bottom to remove it.
Note: Make sure the browser window you want to delete is already closed.
If you have been using private browsing, you don’t need to delete the history. To end a window, choose Tabs and press the Cross (x) in its top left corner.
So, to close private tabs on desktop apps, you basically just have to click the X and close the windows as you normally would for a normal window. In mobile apps, tap the private, incognito, etc., tab and close them. Easy as pie!
- How to Mute a Tab in Chrome, Edge, Safari and Firefox in 2 Seconds
- Safari vs Chrome: Which One Should You Use in 2022?
- Top 7 Best Safari Extensions to Get
- How to Group Tabs in Chrome [Desktop & Mobile]
- How to Reopen Closed Tabs in Chrome, Safari, and Other Browsers
- How to Make Chrome the Default Browser [Mac, Windows, iOS, Android]
- How to Export Chrome Bookmarks in 6 Simple Steps
Jake is a spreadsheet expert and content writer from New Zealand. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.