Private browsing

Private browsing – or using a private browser – is the same as surfing the internet anonymously. In order to browse privately, you need to use the browsers’ respective features. In most recent versions of all major browsers, there are shortcut keys for private browsers. In addition, you can set the browsers to consistently start in private mode.


Shortcut keys for private browsers

Below you will find an overview of the shortcut keys for private browsing in the 5 major browsers. For each browser there is also a link to a more in-depth article on private browsing for that browser (this link is where you can read about how to set the browser to always start in private mode).



The shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + N open a new Incognito window, which is Google’s private browser. Read more about incognito mode in Chrome here



The shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + P open a new Private browser, which is Mozilla’s answer to private browsing. Read more about Private Browsers in Firefox here



The shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + N open a new Private page, which is Opera’s private browser. Read more about how private browsing works in Opera here


Unfortunately, there are no predefined shortcut keys for the Private browser in Safari, but you can create your own shortcut key if you wish. In addition, you can read more about how to open Private Browsers in Safari here


Why use a private browser?

Some of the best arguments for using private browsing are:

  • History: If several people use the same computer (e.g. in families, at work or among friends) and you don’t want others to see which websites you have visited, you should use a private browser
  • Advertisements: Private browsing ensures that no ads specifically targeted at you are displayed when you browse the internet
  • Search engines: Search engine results (especially Google’s) are personalized; this means that your search history influences your future search results. The personalization is also active even if you are not logged in to your Google account. Read more about how to turn off personalization here

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