Private Browsing: Internet Explorer 10 How-To Guide

Updated on October 11, 2013
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Private browsing is an enhanced security feature supported by most major browsers, including Mozilla Firefox and Chrome. If you're an Internet Explorer user, you may be wondering whether IE also has a private browsing option.

The good news is it does, and it's very easy to use. InPrivate Browsing can be easily activated in Internet Explorer 10 using only a few simple steps. If you're looking for a way to stop websites or other users from collecting sensitive information about you, including passwords and search history, then InPrivate view may be the perfect solution.

What is InPrivate browsing?

InPrivate browsing is a feature built into Internet Explorer that allows you to browse the web privately. This feature is designed to keep sensitive information, such as login information and browser settings, hidden from other people using the same computer.

InPrivate browsing stores temporary information, such as cookies and cache files, during the Internet session. However, once the InPrivate browsing window is terminated, all of these files are eliminated, ensuring that no one else has access to them.

When should you use InPrivate browsing?

InPrivate browsing is an excellent choice when you are using a public computer and want sensitive information, like the websites you visited, to remain hidden. You may also choose to use InPrivate browsing on your family computer if you want to make sure no Internet files are saved permanently to the computer's hard drive.

InPrivate browsing functions just like normal browsing and is easy to set up for different versions of Internet Explorer, making it a reliable choice for enhanced web security.

Figure 2. You will find the InPrivate Browsing option under Tools in the main toolbar.
Figure 2. You will find the InPrivate Browsing option under Tools in the main toolbar.

How to activate InPrivate browsing

Step One: Open Internet Explorer by clicking on the program icon.
Step Two: Click Tools in the top toolbar, then click InPrivate Browsing (Figure 2).

Optional: Hold CTRL-SHIFT-P to open a new InPrivate Browsing window.

Figure 3. Once you've activated InPrivate browsing in the toolbar, this webpage will confirm that the feature is turned on.
Figure 3. Once you've activated InPrivate browsing in the toolbar, this webpage will confirm that the feature is turned on.

The new window will have an "InPrivate" label in the address bar, signifying that you are now using a private browser. You may also see a special page on the screen indicating that InPrivate Browsing is now turned on (see Figure 3).

You can now begin browsing the Internet like you normally would by typing a URL in the address bar. Clicking the links on the InPrivate welcome page will take you to the Windows website, where you can learn more about the browser's security features.

Figure 4. Click the red X in the top right corner of the screen to close the window and end the InPrivate browsing session.
Figure 4. Click the red X in the top right corner of the screen to close the window and end the InPrivate browsing session.

How to turn off InPrivate browsing

Turning on InPrivate browsing only affects the window for which you have specifically activated it. Therefore, the InPrivate browsing feature is immediately deactivated after the window is closed.

To close the InPrivate browsing window, simply click the red X in the top right corner of the screen and the session will immediately end (see Figure 3). Remember that if you want to begin another InPrivate browsing session, you'll need to open a new window and follow steps one and two again to start browsing privately.

Does InPrivate browsing block spam?

InPrivate browsing makes sure that temporary Internet files are never stored on your hard drive. This means that you don't have to worry about other users accessing your passwords or search history.

However, InPrivate browsing cannot protect your computer from being accessed by other users over a network. It's also important not to confuse InPrivate browsing with anti-virus software. To safeguard your computer against viruses or pop-ups, you'll need to rely on another type of program.

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