How to launch Edge -inprivate by default

Update 2020/01/17: Edge Chromium inprivate

IE, FireFox, Chrome, Opera and almost every other browser lets you start in a private mode by default without having to remember to right-click or navigate a menu. Why not Edge? Well here are simple steps to create a desktop or taskbar shortcut that will launch Edge inprivate every time.

Technique #1

Download Autohotkey and save the below script as Edge-InPrivate.ahk:

; Run MSEdge, sleep 1s, press ctrl+shift+p to open inprivate window, sleep 1s, close original window 
Menu, Tray, Icon, %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge.exe
Run, %windir%\explorer.exe shell:Appsfolder\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge
Sleep, 1000
Send, ^+p
Sleep, 1000
WinClose, New tab

Now you can just double-click the .ahk file to start Edge with inprivate mode. Or right-click the .ahk file and in the menu choose “compile script”. Then drag the resulting .exe to the taskbar to pin it. If an extra Edge Windows stays open when running the .exe., change your Edge settings as follows:

  • click the ellipsis icon (…) in top-right corner
  • click Settings
  • click the “Open Microsoft Edge with” drop-down box and select “New tab page”

If you find the delay until the inprivate window is active too long, try changing the “1000” milliseconds in the script to “500”. Slower systems need a longer delay; so if you find the Edge window disappearing, try setting it to “1500”.

I wasn’t able to get the ahk2exe compiler to include the proper Edge icon by default and found the default big green H icon a little ugly. So I created a pretty Edge icon on the taskbar as follows:

  • right-click the newly created .exe file and choose “create shortcut”
  • edit the shortcut to have an Edge icon instead of an ugly green H
    • right-click the new shortcut and goto “Properties”
    • Click “Change Icon…”
    • In the dialog box, paste: %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge.exe
    • Click OK
    • Click OK again
  • drag the new shortcut onto the taskbar
  • right-click the old edge taskbar icon and select “Unpin from taskbar”

Technique #2 (broken on Windows 10 1809 and later)

  1. Right-click on the desktop – then click New – then click Shortcut
  2. type the following into the box: %windir%\System32\cmd.exe /c start shell:AppsFolder\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge -private
  3. Click Next
  4. Type the following into the box: Edge inprivate
  5. Click Finish
  6. Right-click on the new shortcut you created – the click Properties
  7. Click Change Icon…
  8. Type the following into the box: %SystemRoot%\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge.exe
  9. Select the icon – then Click OK
  10. If you have pinned Edge to your taskbar, remove it and replace it with the inprivate link as follows:
    • Close all Edge windows
    • Right-click on the Edge button on the taskbar and select Unpin from taskbar
    • Drag the new icon from the desktop to the taskbar

  • Thanks to Gemwag for the original idea behind this article.
  • Thanks to TomC for the simplified steps for Technique #2

9 thoughts on “How to launch Edge -inprivate by default

  1. Brilliant !!!

    I’ve been looking for an easy way to do this since moving to Windows 10 & Edge.

    Many thanks.


  2. Example of Edge shortcut that launches it in InPrivate mode and opens the default New Tab page used by IE. The -private switch can be ommited for regular browsing or the URL can be ommited to go to the blank page with the InPrivate about. If both options are ommited the Starting page selected in settings (currently Edge Start page) will be accessed:

    Target: %windir%\System32\cmd.exe /c start shell:AppsFolder\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge -private
    Start in: Default (%windir%\System32)
    Icon: %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge.exe


    • Wow this is a much more elegant solution. Thank you! I’ll update the article with these instructions.

      I swear I tried this on earlier versions of Windows 10 and it didn’t work but its more likely I just messed something up.

      On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 2:45 PM, Dan S. Charlton wrote:



  3. Now you can add -inprivate to target in properties of the shortcut:
    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe” -inprivate


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