I noticed that in the latest versions of Firefox when I open a private browsing session, it is always started in a new window, rather than in the current one.

I don't use this feature extensively (mainly when I'm not on my computer) but I'm fairly sure that I used to have the private session in the current opened window, rather than in a new one.

Is it possible to revert to the old behaviour? If possible, without having to use an extension because, like I said, I usually use this feature on computers that don't belong to me.

  • I think this has always been the way private browsing has been implemented in Firefox? Though they did get better and not require closing the active session . . – ernie May 9 '13 at 18:58
  • No, I'm sure that I used to start a private session inside the currently opened window. Anyway, I'm not sure on which version I was using at the moment. – Sekhemty May 9 '13 at 19:02
  • Looks like they changed from closing the old session (meaning you lost all your windows, though they did try to save all the tabs and things so they'd come back after you closed the private window) and opening a private session, to a new private window, similar to Chrome in FF20. Either way, there was a new window . . . now the old windows stay open. – ernie May 9 '13 at 19:05

I believe the old behavior was to close the old session and open a new session. New behavior is just to open a new Private Window as you note.

There is a post about this on the mozilla support forum. The 'accepted' answer there was:

You can drag the links to the Private Browsing Window (hover the icon on the task bar to give that Firefox window focus). If you drop the link on empty space on the tab bar then the link should open in a new tab.

And another post here which links to an add-on called Private Tab that enables new Private tabs rather than full windows.

  • 1
    Thanks for your help, so it seems that this behaviour is working as intended and that there is is no way of having private browsing like it used to. – Sekhemty May 9 '13 at 20:09

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