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How To Disable Private Browsing In Firefox

All browsers have a private browsing mode. You can find it on both desktop and mobile browsers. The private mode doesn’t mask your browsing activity from your ISP but it does ensure that, as far as your device is concerned, there’s no trace of it left there. For browsers that do not support multiple profiles, the private mode is pretty useful. If you don’t like private browsing, you can disable it in some browsers. We have a brief tutorial on how to disable incognito mode in Chrome and here, we’re going to explain how you can disable private browsing in Firefox.

Disable Private Browsing

In order to disable private browsing in Firefox, you need to edit the Windows registry and to do that, you must have administrative rights.

Open the Windows registry and go to the following location.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox

It is possible that you may not have the Mozilla key under the Policies key. If that’s the case, right-click the Policies key and select New>Key. Name it Mozilla. Next, right-click the Mozilla key you just created and again select New>Key from the context menu. Name this key Firefox.

Now that you have the registry structured the way you need it, right-click the Firefox key, and select New>DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value DisablePrivateBrowsing and set its value to 1.

If you have Firefox running, close it and open it again. Click the hamburger icon and the private window option will not be listed with the new window option.

If you want to undo this i.e., get private browsing mode back in Firefox, you change the value of¬†DisablePrivateBrowsing to 0 in the Windows registry. Alternatively, you can just delete the¬†DisablePrivateBrowsing value. You don’t have to delete the Mozilla and Firefox keys (if you created them). Leaving the keys empty won’t have any sort of negative impact on your system, or on how Firefox works.

If you use this trick to disable private browsing for a user, make sure they do not have administrator access or that they know the credentials for the admin account. If they do, they will eventually be able to figure out what the problem is and enable private mode again.

The setting might also be reset if a user uninstalls and reinstalls Firefox. Again, to do that they will need administrative rights. A Firefox reinstall may or may not reset the registry key however if a user uses an uninstaller that also scrubs the registry for related files, it will definitely undo the edit you’ve made.

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