Protect your privacy using Internet Explorer 9

You can help prevent other people from accessing your browsing information by using two privacy features in Windows Internet Explorer: Tracking Protection and InPrivate Browsing. Here's how they work:

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Tracking Protection

When you visit a website, some content might be provided by a different website. That content could be used to gather information about which pages you visit on the Internet.

Tracking Protection blocks this content from websites that appear on Tracking Protection Lists. There's a Personalized Tracking Protection List included with Internet Explorer that's generated automatically based on sites you visit. You can also download Tracking Protection Lists, and then Internet Explorer will periodically check for updates to the lists.

For more information about Tracking Protection, see How to use Tracking Protection and ActiveX Filtering.

InPrivate Browsing

InPrivate Browsing prevents Windows Internet Explorer 9 from storing data from your browsing session, and helps prevent anyone else who uses your computer from seeing webpages that you've visited and the content that you've viewed.

To turn on InPrivate Browsing

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button Picture of the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click InPrivate Browsing.

What InPrivate Browsing does

When you start InPrivate Browsing, Internet Explorer opens a new browser window. The protection that InPrivate Browsing provides is only in effect during the time that you use that window. You can open as many tabs as you want in that window, and they will all be protected by InPrivate Browsing. However, if you open a second browser window, that window won't be protected by InPrivate Browsing. To end your InPrivate Browsing session, close the browser window.

While you're surfing using InPrivate Browsing, Internet Explorer stores some information—such as cookies and temporary Internet files—so that the webpages you visit will work correctly. However, at the end of your InPrivate Browsing session, this information is discarded. The following table describes which information InPrivate Browsing discards when you close the browser, and how it's affected during your browsing session:

Information How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing
Information

Cookies

How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing

Kept in memory so pages work correctly, but cleared when you close the browser.

Information

Temporary Internet Files

How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing

Stored on your computer so pages work correctly, but deleted when you close the browser.

Information

Webpage history

How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing

This information isn't stored.

Information

Form data and passwords

How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing

This information isn't stored.

Information

Anti-phishing cache

How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing

Temporary information is encrypted and stored so pages work correctly.

Information

Address bar and search AutoComplete

How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing

This information isn't stored.

Information

Automatic Crash Restore (ACR)

How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing

ACR can restore when a tab crashes in a session, but if the whole window crashes, data is deleted and the window can't be restored.

Information

Document Object Model (DOM) storage

How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing

The DOM storage is a kind of "super cookie" web developers can use to retain information. Like regular cookies, they aren't kept after the window is closed.

What InPrivate Browsing doesn't do

  • It doesn't prevent someone on your network—such as a network administrator or hacker—from seeing where you went.

  • It doesn't necessarily provide you with anonymity on the Internet. Websites might be able to identify you through your web address, and anything you do or enter on a website can be recorded by that website.

  • It doesn't remove any favorites or feeds that you add when you close your InPrivate Browsing session. Changes to Internet Explorer settings, such as adding a new home page, are also retained after you close your InPrivate Browsing session.