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Search results for this question contain nothing but arguments for and against. Please take those up in another forum. I want to know is there an option, extension or hack to disable private browsing mode in each of the following browsers?

  • Apple Safari v?+ (Private Browsing)
  • Google Chrome v1+ (Incognito Mode)
  • Internet Explorer v8+ (InPrivate Browsing)
  • Mozilla Firefox v3.5+ (Private Browsing)

OS-agnostic solutions preferred.

Depending on the use-case, alternate tools like traffic monitoring, OpenDNS or NetNanny might be valid, but they are not relevant to this question.

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Which operating system are you using? – Joe Taylor Sep 16 '10 at 14:07
Thanks for pointing that out! This is meant to be a broadly applicable question, so OS-agnostic solutions preferred but not required. I've updated the question accordingly. – d3vid Sep 17 '10 at 11:04
up vote 9 down vote accepted

OK I'm presuming you;re using Windows...

In Internet Explorer:

Click Start, Run. (or in the search bar for Vista or W7) Type GPEDIT.MSC and hit ENTER Go to:

User Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Internet Explorer / Privacy

Turn off InPrivate Browsing:

In Firefox:

Open up your hard drive (c://)(or in the search bar for Vista or W7) through the 'start; run' route. go into program files, go to mozilla firefox, then components.

NOW, make sure you are searching for all files under 'files of type'.

Then, you will be able to see "nsPrivateBrowsingService.js"

Right click and DELETE!!!

That won't remove the controls, but they won't work any more. If you want to hide those Menu items: Add this code to userChrome.css below the @namespace line. See

#sanitizeSeparator, #privateBrowsingItem, #sanitizeItem {display:none!important;}
#privateBrowsingAutoStart {display:none!important;}


I'm unable to help you on the Safari one as I have never really used it for any length of time and I'm unable to find any references to turning it off in Chrome.

Edit - Creating a DWord reigstry key called IncognitoEnabled with a value of 0 in the registry folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome seems to disable incognito browsing. Thanks to Imomata for that one.

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At this time you cannot remove Incognito from Chrome. – steve.lippert Sep 16 '10 at 15:01
Seems you can, per my below answer which i have tested. Though anyone with half a brain who can alter the registry could change it back. – imoatama Feb 27 '12 at 14:18

You can disable Incognito Mode in Chrome with a simple registry tweak. In regedit.exe, create the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome, with a single dword value, called IncognitoEnabled and with value 0.

When you next start Chrome the New Incognito Window option will be greyed out.

Or you can create .reg file by opening up notepad, pasting the below in and saving it as eg incognito.reg. Once saved just double click the reg file to inport it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

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verified, still works for Chrome version 23.0.1271.64, you will need to create the Google and Chrome keys, then create the dword. Merging Reg file is best option. – Moab Nov 20 '12 at 17:08
This has been deprecated, the correct dword to use is now IncognitoModeAvailability, wiht Value 1 for Disabled. – imoatama Oct 17 '14 at 3:07

On Chrome for Mac: (Edit: this should work for Linux, too)

Create a plist file in /Library/Preferences/ called with the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

(If the plist file already exists you need to add the dict entry (the thing that says IncognitoModeAvailability followed by the value 1.)

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protected by Community Mar 1 '12 at 4:34

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