Private Browsing is NOT PRIVATE..!! Here’s how to COMPLETELY REMOVE all your browsing data…

By | June 26, 2015
  All of us have seen various browsers claiming that they have a PRIVATE browsing mode which does not store any browsing data, like addresses of websites visited, cookies and other data. For example, Internet Explorer’s “InPrivate Browsing”, Mozilla Firefox’s “Private Window” and Google Chrome’s “Incognito Browsing”.

Private Browsing is NOT PRIVATE

InPrivate Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session.”

“Firefox won’t remember any history for this window.”

“Pages you view in incognito tabs won’t stick around in your browser’s history, cookie store, or search history after you’ve closed all of your incognito tabs.”

However, these claims are misleading!!! Yes, these browsers and their various forms of Private browsing DO NOT completely remove your browsing history from your computer. The truth is that Private Browsing is NOT PRIVATE!!! Therefore, they are unable to eliminate your privacy issues completely. You can clearly see the evidence for this in the images below: –

(i) In the image below, we can see a newly started Private Browsing Window in Mozilla Firefox.

Mozilla Firefox - Private Browsing

(ii) In the images below, we see various websites being accessed in the same window.

Yahoo Mail

(iii) Now, we close the Private Browsing window. One would expect that the browsing history would have been cleared after the browser was closed. Alas, they would be WRONG !!! You’ll soon find out WHY…

(iv) Now, we open the command prompt to check if the browsing history has really been removed.

Type ipconfig /displaydns and press ENTER.

ipconfig /displaydns in Command Prompt

Can you believe what you see? All your recent browsing history is right before your eyes (even after the browser told you it had been deleted!!!). You can see for yourself the records mentioned the urls of Google, Yahoo Mail, Wikipedia and Twitter.

Google's records
Yahoo Mail's records
Wikipedia's records

The browsing data that was supposed to have been deleted automatically by the browser is still stored on your computer. When you open your browser again, you won’t see this data in the browser’s records, but the data is still stored on your computer, and won’t be deleted UNLESS… you delete it manually.

(v) To completely (and permanently) remove this data from your computer, open Command Prompt and enter the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

and press ENTER.

ipconfig /flushdns in Command Prompt

The records of your browsing history are deleted and you get a message telling you that the data has been cleared.

Browsing data cleared !!!

(vi) Now, you can check again to see whether your browsing data has been deleted or not.

Type ipconfig /displaydns and press ENTER.

Hurrah !!! Browsing Data Cleared

Hurrah!!! As you can see, the browsing history has been cleared and what remains is the data concerning the internal functionality of your computer, which has nothing to do with your web browsing history.

The following video shows how to perform the steps displayed above :

To speed up the task of clearing your browsing data, you can paste the following command

ipconfig /flushdns
in a text file and save the file with the extension “.bat”. For example, “Cleanup.bat”. You can also download this file here.

Save the command "ipconfig /flushdns" in a batch file for faster access.

You can simply double-click this file to clear your browsing history as and when you need. 

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