How to activate extensions, all or just some, when opening an incognito window in Google Chrome, Edge, and Firefox
When we activate incognito mode on modern web browsers all the extensions installed up to that moment stop working, so they cannot collect data and compromise the anonymity that is sought when using this special mode. This is a good thing if we’re looking for maximum privacy, but if we have some useful extension for browsing (for example LastPass for passwords or other web element control apps) they won’t work until we exit incognito mode; the extensions are not uninstalled but only deactivated and will come back working with the browser in normal mode.
In this guide we will show you in detail how to force the launch of the desired extensions even in incognito mode, acting on the configuration parameters that the same extensions offer within the most downloaded browsers and used by Windows 10 and Mac users
Table of Contents
Enable Incognito Extensions
If extensions are disabled in incognito mode there will surely be a valid reason, namely to respect the user’s privacy as much as possible; for this reason, we invite you to enable as few extensions as possible in incognito mode, so as not to compromise the security and privacy of this mode which is so useful when we use shared PCs or public computers.
Enable incognito extensions on Google Chrome
- Google Chrome is undoubtedly the most used browser on any platform (Windows and Mac), so it makes sense to start with it right away.
- To activate extensions in incognito mode on Google Chrome we open the browser in normal mode
- press on the top right of the menu with the three dots, go to the Settings menu
- Click on the side menu Extensions, press on the Details button on the extension you want to activate incognito
- scroll to the page that opens and finally activate the switch next to the item Allow incognito mode.
The extension will be used in incognito mode as well. We have to repeat the operation for every extension we want to use in any mode, but without exaggerating: the more extensions we authorize in incognito mode, the more likely we are to find an extension that has access to our confidential information, leaving a trace of our online activity.
Enable incognito extensions on Microsoft Edge
If we use Microsoft Edge as our default browser for browsing on Windows 10 (but we can also use it on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1), you’ll be pleased to know that it is based on Chromium, the open-source version of Chrome, so it shares most of the screenshots seen in the previous chapter. First of all, let’s make sure we have the latest version of Microsoft Edge installed, so we open the Microsoft browser,
- Click on the icon with the three dots in the top right corner
- Open the Extensions menu
- Click on the Details item under the extension to enable incognito and place a checkmark next to the Allow inPrivate item.
After enabling the item we’ll be able to use the extension in Edge’s incognito mode as well, called InPrivate. Also in this case, as seen on Chrome, we recommend not to activate too many extensions, to avoid leaving a trace of the pages and activities carried out on the computer anonymously.
Enable incognito extensions on Mozilla Firefox
Although Mozilla Firefox is no longer as successful as it was in the past, this doesn’t mean that it is a bad browser: it is still one of the best for respecting browsing security and protecting users’ privacy, as well as being open source. If we use Mozilla Firefox as a browser on our computer or Mac, we can authorize extensions in incognito mode by opening the browser, clicking on the top right of the icon with the three horizontal lines, and taking us to the Add-ons menu; alternatively, we can access the installed extensions by typing about: addons in the address bar or using the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+A. Once we get to the window with the installed extensions, we press the button with the three dots (next to each extension), open the Manage menu, scroll down the page and place a checkmark next to the item Allow, found in the section Operating in anonymous windows.
From now on the extension will be active even when we enter an incognito mode in Firefox; we repeat the steps for the other extensions present if necessary, but without exaggerating! Activating too many extensions will break the privacy protection obtained with this browser, always leaving a trace of the activities carried out.
Extensions have revolutionized the use of browsers for many years and are indispensable, but until now we could not use them when we need to activate the incognito mode of browsers. As we have shown you in this guide, extensions are configurable to be available in anonymous mode, but they must be activated manually. All browser manufacturers recommend activating as few extensions as possible (the ideal is not to activate them at all), to preserve the privacy of browsing in this special mode. We recommend activating only the password extension (for example LastPass) so that you can connect incognito to your favorite sites or open new Facebook or Instagram windows without having to leave the site in normal mode.