How to Enable Private Browsing Mode in Safari on Your Mac

Posted in How To, Mac on 21/04/2017 by Chris Hauk


When you’re browsing the web in Safari on your Mac the browser tracks quite a bit about your browsing habits. Such as which websites you visit, what you searched for, and more.

Luckily, Safari includes a feature called Private Browsing that fixes all of that. When in Private Browsing mode, Safari won’t remember your search or browsing history, no pages are cached, and AutoFill is forgotten.

How to Enable Private Browsing Mode in Safari on Your Mac

Here’s how to turn on Private Browsing for your browsing session. These instructions work on macOS Sierra, but they are similar for earlier versions.

How to Enable Private Browsing Mode in Safari on Your Mac

  1. Launch Safari on your Mac.
  2. Click on the “File” menu and then click “New Private Window.” (Keyboard combo fans can simultaneously press “command + shift + N” on the keyboard.
  3. A new window appears with a search field with a darker background, in place of the usual white one. This indicates you’re using a private browsing window.

How to Enable Private Browsing Mode in Safari on Your Mac

Note: Only the new Private window, and any of the windows you spawn form that Private window will have Private Browsing enabled. Your original browsing window (the one with the light background in the search field) will still be tracked as per your privacy settings.

Also, please take note that while Safari doesn’t track your moves online, and forgets everything as soon as the Private browsing window is closed, you shouldn’t feel like you’re invisible. Your ISP, and any government boys looking over your shoulder, can still see what you’re doing, and track your activities. Use a VPN to browse totally incognito.

For more tips and tricks on how to make better use of your Mac, iOS device, Apple Watch, or Apple TV, be sure to visit the “How To” section of our website.


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.