Permanent private browsing with Firefox

Permanent private browsing with Firefox
This image: CC0 by darmeth

Most browsers now offer a so-called "privacy" mode. However, this usually involves manually choosing to browse a particular website in privacy mode or having to open a new private tab every time you want to go incognito. Let’s look at one option that’s available if you want total privacy at all times, without having to remember to use privacy mode in your browser.

Use Firefox

Chrome is the best browser out there, no doubt. But Chrome and the open source Chromium are from Google. Google’s business is based on advertising and tracking, and it is not in their best interest to allow what I am about to demonstrate with Firefox. I have tried to do something similar in both Chrome and Chromium but have failed miserably. If anyone knows a way to do this, please share.

Firefox is my personal pick due to the fact that it is open source. There are alternatives out there, but for me, Firefox is a mature browser that has been tried, tested and trusted.

Always open Firefox in private mode

This guide will show how to set Firefox to remove history, cookies and the data cache every time the browser is closed. In other words, you can only be tracked in your current browsing session and once you close your browser, all that private data vanishes. No more creepy adverts munching on your cookies and following you around the Internet.

This guide uses Firefox 67.0.4. Depending on your Firefox version, the navigation and layout of the settings may be different to what is described.

  • Open a new tab and type in: about:preferences#privacy and hit enter.
  • Locate the Cookies and Site Data section.
  • Tick the box next to Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed.
  • Locate the History section on the page.
  • From the "History" drop-down menu, select Use custom settings for history.
  • Clear all options except for Clear history when Firefox closes.
  • Your preferences should now look like this:


  • Next, still in the History section, click on the Settings… button.
  • In the pop-up window, tick all options, as shown.


  • Click OK once done.
  • Close the Preferences tab.

Congratulations! You have just enabled permanent private browsing privacy in Firefox. Go ahead and test it by browsing to some websites, then close and reopen Firefox. Check your history, cookies and cache...nothing there.

WARNING: This guide sets your browser to delete your browsing data only. You will, at a minimum, prevent advertiser tracking and personal browsing data tracking. Your ISP still logs your movements, so consider using the TOR browser or a VPN for even more privacy and security.

Tags: privacy

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