Microsoft Edge found to be recording browser habits in private mode

Windows 10 - Surface Pro 3-13

Microsoft Edge, the new browser that ships with Windows 10, has its very own private mode designed for incognito browsing — just like all of its rivals. But researchers have found that Edge continues to record you’re browsing habits even if you activate “InPrivate” mode.

InPrivate is Edge’s answer to Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode, Safari’s Private Browsing, and Firefox’s Private Browsing. They’re all designed to let you browse the web without leaving a trace of your browsing habits locally. But Edge is letting users down.

“The forensic examination of most web browsers has proven that they don’t have a provision for storing the details of privately browsed web sessions,” explains Ashish Singh of Forensic Focus. “However, in the case of Microsoft Edge even the private browsing isn’t as private as it seems.”

Singh found that even when InPrivate mode is active, Edge continues to store a record of the websites you visit in its WebCache file. It’s thought it does this to retrieve InPrivate windows that crash, but it also makes your history available to those who know where to find it.

“Plenty of artifacts are maintained by the browser, which makes examination quite easy,” adds Singh. “However, there are stages where evidence is not so easy to find. The not-so-private browsing featured by Edge makes its very purpose seem to fail.”

Microsoft insists InPrivate tabs are not designed to work this way, and promises it is “committed to resolving this as quickly as possible.” There’s no indication when a fix will be available, however.

In the meantime, you should probably do your private browsing in another browser.



Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...