How to Disable InPrivate Mode in IE8

InPrivate mode in Internet Explorer 8 is the new feature that allows a web user to surf anonymously, leaving no traces of their activity behind. Designed for privacy conscious users, surfing in InPrivate leaves no record of sites visited in your Internet History and it erases any cookies, URLs visited, usernames and passwords, and temporary internet files that would normally accumulate during a browsing session.

However, there are some people who would probably like to shut of InPrivate mode for good. Parents, for example, may not want their children to have access to this feature. Also, in an enterprise setting, I.T. administrators may want to restrict their users from going “InPrivate,” especially in companies where all internet communication has to be recorded for legal purposes.

To disable the setting, it’s as simple as making a change to the registry key located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Privacy\EnableInPrivateMode.

When enabled (the default), the dword value is set to 00000001. To disable InPrivate mode, just change that last “1” to a “0” as in 00000000.

On some systems that key may not exist, so you’ll need to first create it. To do so, follow these instructions (courtesy of Grand Stream Dreams):

  1. Logon to your machine with an account that has administrative rights.
  2. Right-click on your desktop and select "New"..."Text Document".
  3. Rename it to something like "IE8SafeMode.reg"  (Note: change the file extension from .txt to .reg)
  4. Save the change and tell Windows you know you changed the file extension name.
  5. Right-click on the file you just made and select "Edit". It should open in notepad.
  6. Copy the following text (all three lines) and paste it into that Notepad file:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Privacy]
    "EnableInPrivateBrowsing"=dword:00000000

  7. Save the file and then close it.
  8. When you double-click the file it will ask you if you want to add those changes into the Registry. Select Yes.
  9. Then reopen IE8 and you should now have InPrivate mode disabled.

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