If you want to surf the web and not record your search or browsing history locally on your computer, then Private Browsing (called InPrivate) in IE 11 and Microsoft Edge is a good option.
Please note that enabling browser private browsing prevents the browser from saving your history and prevents websites from saving cookies. This does not make you anonymous online and does not prevent websites from tracking you or recognizing who you are online.
If you are interested in other steps you can take to truly secure your browsing, check out my previous post on clearing your search and browsing history
Also, read on until the end, because there is a pretty big difference between IE 11 and Edge in how to improve your private browsing productivity.
InPrivate Browsing in IE 11
In Internet Explorer 11, which is also included with Windows 10, it’s really easy to enable Private Mode if you didn’t know. Just click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the window.
Then tap Security, and then tap InPrivate Browsing. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can also just press CTRL + SHIFT + P on your keyboard, which is much faster.
Either way, a new IE window will pop up and you’ll see an InPrivate indicator to the left of the address bar.
You will also get a small message that IE 11 will not save in private browsing sessions. This includes cookies, temporary files, search history, etc. Additionally, toolbars and extensions are also disabled as they can sometimes track or record your history as well.
InPrivate Browsing in Microsoft Edge
One click less for Edge users to switch to InPrivate Browsing. In the upper right corner, click on the new settings icon with three dots. It seems that this button changes to a new icon in every version of Windows!
Then just click on New InPrivate Window and you’re done. As of IE 11, you can also use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + P.
In Edge, the InPrivate indicator sits at the very top of the browser window, rather than next to the address bar like in IE 11.
If you often browse in private mode, you might want to read my post on enabling private mode by default when you open your browser.
Edge vs IE 11 Pin to Taskbar
Aside from enabling Private Mode by default, as I mentioned above, you can also take your IE 11 InPrivate session and pin it to the taskbar.
For illustration, open IE 11 and then open a new window in InPrivate mode. Now visit any page you want to load every time you open that InPrivate window. Instead of creating your own shortcut to open an InPrivate session, just grab a tab and drag it to the taskbar.
The nice thing is that it will even use the site’s favorites icon on the taskbar. In my example, I logged into Facebook in private mode and then dragged its tab to the taskbar.
Now when I click on that item in the taskbar, I instantly go into private mode and it loads that particular site. Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available in Microsoft Edge. If you try to drag a tab down to the taskbar, nothing happens.
InPrivate mode works exactly the same in IE 11 and Edge, but Edge is the default browser on Windows 10. If pinning to the taskbar is more your thing, you can use IE 11 for this purpose. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave comments. Enjoy!