How To Turn Off Private Browsing: A Complete User Guide

How To Turn Off Private Browsing

Private browsing, a feature available in most modern web browsers, allows users to browse the internet without storing browsing history, cookies, or temporary internet files on their devices. While this mode provides an added layer of privacy for sensitive online activities, there are instances when users might want to turn off private browsing. Whether it’s to enable personalized web experiences, save login credentials, or keep track of browsing history for future reference, understanding how to deactivate this feature is crucial. This article aims to guide you through the steps to turn off private browsing across various popular web browsers, ensuring you can navigate the web in a way that aligns with your personal preferences and needs.

How To Turn Off Private Browsing?

Turning off private browsing varies by the web browser you’re using, as each has its unique method of enabling and disabling this feature. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it across the most popular web browsers:

Google Chrome (Incognito Mode): To exit the Incognito Mode in Chrome, close the Incognito window. You can do this by clicking the “X” at the top-right corner of the window on Windows or Linux or the red circle in the top-left corner on macOS. Chrome does not offer a setting to disable Incognito Mode by default, but users can manually close any Incognito windows each time they are opened.

Mozilla Firefox (Private Browsing): Turning off Private Browsing in Firefox involves closing the Private Window. Like Chrome, you can close the window using the “X” or red circle button. Firefox will return to normal browsing mode once all Private Windows are closed. To prevent Firefox from automatically starting in Private Browsing mode, check the privacy settings and ensure “Always use private browsing mode” is not selected.

Apple Safari: To disable Private Browsing in Safari on an iPhone or iPad, tap the tabs button (it looks like two overlapping squares), then tap “Private” to turn off private browsing. On a Mac, you can close a private browsing window like any other or choose File > New Window to open a non-private window. The default setting can be adjusted to prevent Safari from opening in private mode automatically through general browsing settings.

Microsoft Edge (InPrivate Browsing): In Edge, InPrivate browsing is turned off by closing the InPrivate window. This can be done by clicking the “X” in the corner of the window. Edge will revert to normal browsing mode afterward. There’s no direct setting to disable InPrivate browsing entirely; users must close InPrivate windows manually.

Other Browsers: The process is similar for browsers like Opera or Brave: exit the private or incognito mode by closing the respective windows. Since each browser may have slightly different settings, it’s recommended to consult the browser’s help or settings menu for specific instructions.

Considerations When Turning Off Private Browsing

Turning off private browsing has implications beyond the immediate browsing session. Here are several considerations to keep in mind when deciding to disable this feature:

Browsing History and Data Tracking:

Without private browsing, your web activities, including the sites you visit, search queries, and downloads, are recorded in your browser’s history. This can be convenient for recalling previously visited sites but also means anyone accessing your device can see this information.

Cookie Storage and Management:

Disabling private browsing allows websites to store cookies on your device. Cookies can save login information and preferences, facilitating a more personalized and convenient browsing experience. However, they also enable websites and third-party advertisers to track your browsing activities across different sites, which can raise privacy concerns.

Autofill and Passwords:

Turning off private browsing enables the browser’s autofill feature to save and suggest personal information, such as addresses and passwords. This can streamline the login process and form completion but poses a security risk if unauthorized users lose, steal, or access your device.

Security Considerations:

While private browsing provides privacy from other users on the same device, it doesn’t offer complete anonymity or protect against external threats such as network surveillance or websites tracking your behavior across the internet. It’s important to use additional security measures, such as VPNs or secure browsers, for enhanced privacy.

Access to Personalized Content:

Without private browsing, websites can tailor content and advertisements based on your browsing habits and preferences. This can lead to a more customized web experience but may also result in targeted advertising that some users find intrusive.

Parental Controls and Monitoring:

For families sharing devices, turning off private browsing can allow parents to monitor their children’s Internet usage and ensure they access appropriate content. However, balancing supervision with teaching responsible online behavior and respecting privacy is crucial.

Device Performance:

Private browsing can slightly improve device performance, as it typically doesn’t store as much cache or cookies. However, turning it off and allowing these files to accumulate can lead to increased storage use and potentially slow down your device over time, depending on how the browser manages this data.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When attempting to turn off private browsing or encountering issues with your browser’s private mode, you might face a few common problems. Here are solutions to some typical issues:

Some browsers or extensions can be configured to launch in private mode by default. To troubleshoot this, check your browser’s settings and any installed extensions to ensure none are set to enable private browsing automatically. In browsers like Firefox, this can also be influenced by the “Always use private browsing mode” setting within the privacy options.

Suppose you cannot disable private browsing because the option is greyed out or inaccessible. In that case, it might be due to restrictions set within your operating system (especially on iOS or managed corporate devices) or by installed security software. In such cases, check the device’s parental controls or administrative policies, or consult your IT department if it’s a work device.

If your browser still doesn’t remember your history or store cookies after you’ve exited private mode, ensure that the settings related to history and cookies are correctly configured. For example, in Chrome, ensure the settings under “Privacy and security” are not set to clear cookies and site data when you quit the browser.

This problem could arise from having settings that still enforce high privacy levels, even outside of private browsing. Check your browser’s password and autofill settings to ensure they’re enabled. Additionally, verify that no extensions are interfering with these functions.

Exiting private browsing doesn’t protect against all forms of online tracking. Advertisers and websites may use more sophisticated methods than cookies, such as fingerprinting, to track users. Consider using privacy-focused browser extensions, such as those that block trackers or ads, to enhance your privacy.

If your browser is slow or unresponsive after frequently using and disabling private browsing, clear your browser’s cache and cookies. Accumulated data from regular browsing sessions can impact performance. Access your browser’s settings to find options for clearing browsing data.

Sometimes, the interface for closing private browsing windows on mobile devices can be less intuitive. Look for the tabs or windows icon, often indicated by a number or an overlaid icon, to switch between private and regular browsing. Ensure all private tabs are closed, or use the browser’s “Close All Tabs” feature if available.


How to turn off private browsing is crucial for users who wish to navigate between private and standard browsing modes depending on their needs. While private browsing offers enhanced privacy by not saving your browsing history, cookies, and site data, there are valid reasons to disable this feature, including the desire for personalized browsing experiences, the convenience of saved passwords and autofill information, and the ability to track browsing history for future reference. However, it’s essential to consider the implications of disabling private browsing, such as the potential for reduced privacy and the increased likelihood of being tracked across the internet. Users should weigh the benefits of convenience and personalization against the need for privacy and security. Moreover, troubleshooting common issues related to private browsing, such as problems with disabling the mode or browser performance issues, ensures a smoother internet experience.

Erik McKenzie
Erik is an expert in technology trends and writes tech tips on blogs. He has a passion for helping people understand new technologies and how they can be used to improve their lives.