Open Links in Private Browsing Mode In Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 29, 2011
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Private Browsing, also know as the porn surfing mode, is a special mode of the Firefox web browser that prevents the recording of history while the mode is active. You sometimes may want to visit websites without leaving traces on the computer system. This can be useful on public computers, e.g. in an Internet Cafe, on a friend's or colleague's system, or at home if other members of the family are also using the computer.

You could use it to hide that you are shopping for Christmas presents, looking for medical issues or to avoid embarrassment when your better half discovers that you are interested in watching Spring Break parties on your computer.

The private browsing mode can be started from the Tools > Start Private Browsing menu, or with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-P. Firefox will save all tabs in a session, exit, and open anew in the private browsing mode. You can also autostart Firefox in private browsing mode if you want your browsing sessions to be cleared automatically all the time.

Open in Private Browsing Mode is an extension for the Firefox web browser that adds functionality to open links in private browsing mode to the web browser. The add-on does not change the fact that the current browsing session will be saved before the private browsing window is opened. It merely makes the whole process more comfortable.

When you encounter a link that you want to open in private browsing mode, you'd otherwise have to copy it manually, start the private browsing mode, and paste it into the address bar to load it in that mode.

With the add-on installed, you simply right-click the link and select the Open Link in Private Browsing Mode option from the context menu to do so.

open link private browsing

You can also start a private browsing session without opening a link. Just right-click anywhere on the page and select the open private browsing mode option to do so. Even better; you can switch back to normal mode with a right-click on a page in private browsing mode.

Open in Private Browsing Mode is a useful extension for Firefox users who make use of the browser's private browsing mode. The extension can be installed from the official Mozilla add-on repository. Chrome users can use Ghost Incognito for similar functionality.


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  1. Sam X said on April 5, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Is there a way to open links *from other applications* like e-mail, in “Private” Browsing automatically, on a mobile device.

    This just needs to be a UI setting or at worst, an about:config setting.

  2. Matias said on December 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Martin, the first 10 words are hilarious :)

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