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How to Use Private Browsing in Safari
Have you ever wondered how to hide your online activity? Sure, you can manually clear the browsing history anytime. Still, there is a way to tell your computer not to save the traces of your searches and website visits.
What is Private Browsing in Safari?
Safari features a special Private Browsing mode, which does not store your web browsing history. Here we need to specify which data it saves and which it does not. While browsing the Internet, the data you send and receive is stored locally on your computer. This includes the pages you visit, the autofill forms or the search history. Besides, it is your Internet provider and the website you browse that knows you are visiting this page by seeing your public IP.
Private browsing is only about not storing the data locally on your computer. It does not hide your IP address nor makes you invisible. Still, this is a quite handy feature if you share your computer with other users. Private browsing is good for checking your financial info, watching adult content or simply looking for a gift for your family member.
How to use Private Browsing in Safari?
When you launch Safari, your website data is set to be stored on your computer by default. This is how usually your Safari window looks like:
To start browsing privately, go to File next to Safari in the menu bar and select New Private Window.
This is how your Safari will look like in a private window:
As you can see, the only visual difference is a darker address bar. Safari will also show you a brief explanation of what private browsing is: “Private Browsing Enabled. Safari will keep your browsing history private for all tabs in this window. After you close this window, Safari won’t remember the pages you visited, your search history, or your AutoFill information.” This notification will disappear after reloading the page.
From now on, you can use Safari as you usually do. Your activity is not recorded as long as you stay in this private window. After you close it, there will be no trace left in your Mac. Note that the bookmarks you make and files you download will be saved.You can use the regular Safari window side-by-side with a private one. Or open an additional private window using Shift-Command-N shortcut. Do not worry if you often browse the same website in a private mode. It won’t be recorded in the browsing history until you switch to the regular Safari window.
Private mode by default
As long as you open a private window in Safari, be sure you leave no footprints on your Mac. You also don’t need to keep in mind clearing the browsing history every time. However, you still need to remember to enter a private mode. There is a solution to always browse privately. To set up private window by default, go to Safari Preferences from the menu bar. Then, select General (the first tab) and in Safari opens with select A new private window and close the preferences.
After this, every time you open Safari you will see a private window. To open a regular Safari window with this set of preferences, you can head to File - New Window or, in a more common way, press a shortcut ⌘(Command) + N.
If you use your Mac on your own, you probably won’t need to hide your browsing history at home. Though if you are sharing your computer with other family members, or using a borrowed Mac, these tips will save you some time on deleting your traces and keeping private information more secure.
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