Making Private the Default

Description of the issue:
Technically this is not a bug/defect. This is most probably a simple invisible configuration change. Brave is set as my default browser. Standard window is the default when brave is opened by clicking on the Brave button on the task bar and when opened programmability (clicking on a URL in an e-mail or double clicking a .htm/.html file name in File Explorer for example). How can a Private Window be made the default?
How can this issue be reproduced?

  1. Click on the Brave button on the task bar.
  2. Click on a URL in an e-mail.
  3. In File Explorer double click on any .html file.

Expected result:
Steps 1 - 3 above launch the Brave browser with a standard window/tab.
Desired result:
Steps 1 - 3 above launch the Brave browser with a Private window/tab.
Brave Version (check About Brave):
Version 1.49.128 Chromium: 111.0.5563.110 (Official Build) (64-bit)
Additional Information:
Microsoft Windows 11 Version 2H22 with all available updates.

InPrivate mode can’t be made default on any setting, it is something you have to force it by starting the browser with --incognito command line switch on it.


I’m essentially answering you what Emi mentioned, but going to guide you on the detailed steps.

Follow the steps:

  1. Have a shortcut for Brave on your desktop

  2. Right click on the Brave shortcut

  3. Click on Properties

  4. Add a space after what is written in the Target box and then type in -incognito and hit Enter or click on OK.

Done, now every time you open Brave with this shortcut, you will be in Private Window.

If you want this to be a “quick launch” by pinning to your taskbar:

  1. You’ll first have to make sure default version of Brave isn’t on your taskbar. If it is, then unpin it.

  2. Drag the shortcut you modified to the taskbar, where it will be pinned.

From then on, whenever you click on Brave on your taskbar it will open in Private Window.

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Well, not only that, but if you want links to open in incoginito automatically when clicking a file or something, You will have to find what registry key is controlling that.

You have to go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Clients\StartMenuInternet then find Brave\Capabilities\ and then File FileAssociations and URLAssociations

That will tell you the key/data controlling the whole assotiation, so now you need to find it, which will be BraveSSFile (pdf and svg) or BraveSSHTM (anything else protocols and file associations) when you find those registry keys you will have to find \shell\open\command or and then you find the path like brave.exe" --single-argument %1 where I think / guess if you add the incognito to it, it should also work, but it is risky, because 1. it is registry 2. I have never tested it because I don’t care about it, but that’s what you were asking for.

It Probably can get more complicated, like re-creating the Browsers defaults but only for incognito which you could then use it for letting some protocols and links to open normal and html files on incognito or something like that. it is what the registry would allow you to do, but that’s only for experts who don’t care to mess with it.

There is a program that might help to find all necessary to change and add
the --incognito flag
I also remember this one but never really used it so can’t say if it is good or not, but it is mentioned around.

It would probably better if you just install a program to add elements to the right click and you can add “open in incognito”. Can be done with: Shell by nilesoft or ShellExtView or ShellMenuView by Nirsoft, although Nirsoft doesn’t seem like it has updated them for win11 so I don’t know if that will change anything since Win11 added the new menu, Shell seems to be free and look exactly for customizing win11.

1 Like

Saoiray and Emi,
Thank you for responding to my inquiry. Both replies are very helpful. I am a retired Systems and Software Engineer with over 40 years of real-time programming on midrange systems. The registry will be a new learning experience for me.
Again, thank you,

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