Flash Player 10.1 To Support Private Browsing

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 22, 2010
Updated • May 30, 2016

Private browsing is a relative new mode that has been added to several popular web browsers recently.

It allows a user to interact with the web browser like in normal mode but will prevent some data records on the local system.

Data that is accumulated during the private browsing sessions is only temporarily available which is the core difference to the normal browsing mode.

This means that the web browser's history or the temporary Internet files will not contain clues about the websites that the user visited while in private browsing mode.

This does not take care of remote traces and some local traces such as the DNS cache remain untouched as well.

Another exception to that rule is Flash content, so called flash cookies or local shared objects, are still stored on the system and an analyst could use those to uncover the websites that placed them on the computer even while using private browsing modes.

This is going to change with the release of Flash 10.1 which will automatically recognize when a browser is in private browsing mode and abide to its rules. This essentially means that Flash Player 10.1 will automatically clear any data that has been created during the private browsing session so that this data cannot give clues about the websites the user visited during that time.

Private Browsing mode is currently supported in Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and Google Chrome 1 or higher. Safari 2 is also offering private browsing mode which is currently not supported by Flash 10.1 (but will be in the future).

Flash content that has been stored on the computer system before starting the private browsing mode will remain on the computer. They will however be inaccessible during private browsing mode.

Starting with Flash Player 10.1, Flash Player actively supports the browser's private browsing mode, managing data in local storage so that it is consistent with private browsing. So when a private browsing session ends, Flash Player will automatically clear any corresponding data in local storage.

Additionally, Flash Player separates the local storage used in normal browsing from the local storage used during private browsing. So when you enter private browsing mode, sites that you previously visited will not be able to see information they saved on your computer during normal browsing. For example, if you saved your login and password in a web application powered by Flash during normal browsing, the site won't remember that information when you visit the site under private browsing, keeping your identity private.

Flash Player will not store any changes made to the Global Settings Manager which does have the consequence if a web site or application requests additional storage space. The request will simply be denied which is why Adobe developers have increased the default local storage limit in private browsing to 1 MB (opposed to the 100 KB default in normal mode).

Flash Player does not save any information—including settings—in private browsing mode, since this information might reveal sites that you visited while using private browsing. Accordingly, settings options will be hidden. Tabs that modify domain-specific settings such as privacy (camera and microphone access) and local storage will not be displayed. Since you cannot set domain-specific settings in private browsing mode, Flash Player will use default settings from the global Settings Manager.

Additional information about Flash Player 10.1's new private browsing support are accessible at the Adobe Devnet.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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