How-To Geek

Switch to Private Browsing Mode Easily with Toggle Private Browsing

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Looking for an easy way to start and stop Private Browsing Mode in Firefox?  With Toggle Private Browsing, you can switch back and forth with a single toolbar button.

Get the Button Set up

First install the Toggle Private Browsing extension (link is at the bottom of page) and after it is installed, right click on one of your toolbars and select “Customize”. Once the Customize Toolbar Window has opened, grab the Toggle PB Mask button and move it to the toolbar location that best suits your needs.


Once you have the button set where you want it, it is just a matter of clicking on it to start and stop Private Browsing Mode. Notice that the “Mask Button Color” is lighter black at the moment.



There are two options available for the extension. To “Auto-start in Private Browsing Mode” and “To disable the Private Browsing Mode prompt message”.


Private Browsing Mode

For those who may have not tried this new Firefox feature yet, here is what you can expect to see the first time you start Private Browsing. First you will see the following message  giving you the choice to proceed with or to cancel entering Private Browsing Mode.


Once you have started Private Browsing Mode, you will see the little Mask Icon on the left side of the Address Bar and the following message in the tab window. Notice that the “Mask Button Color” is now a darker black.



Toggle Private Browsing is a very useful extension for those who need a simple and quick way to toggle Private Browsing Mode in Firefox without a lot of fuss.

Note: Other ways to toggle Private Browsing Mode in Firefox are

  • “Ctrl + Shift + P” keyboard combination (for our keyboard ninjas)
  • Going to the Tools Menu and then selecting “Start Private Browsing” or “Stop Private Browsing”


Download Toggle Private Browsing Extension (Mozilla Add-ons)

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 07/17/09

Comments (4)

  1. Gideon

    Very nice Thank you

  2. whiplash55

    This is one aspect of IE8 that is superior to FF. Running an In Private session on IE allows you to keep your other non private session open at the same time.

  3. 1fastbullet

    Hello again, Asian Angel.

    I’ve been using this for about a month now and I’m having to uninstall. The problem is not with the extension, itself, but with the way anything goolfe (google)-related reacts to it. If Goofle cannot set it’s mandatory coocies, you don’t get in, and that includes Email accounts.

    I’m afraid I’m reluctantly in agreement with whiplash55.

  4. Mitch

    I have the problems with Google and other sites as well. This is expected as you usually need to share a lot of information with services such as email that Private mode will not allow.

    Using this mode detracts from overall Internet experience, but it’s there just for certain occasions where you may need to use it. I don’t believe it’s meant to be used consistently.

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