Private Or Incognito Browsing Vs Clear Browsing Data On Exit

I planned on posting this in the Uncategorized section but got a message that it is “going the way of the dodo” so this appears to be the next best place for my question:

Is there any difference between using a private browsing window versus having Brave (or any browser, really) set to clear browsing data on exit (with all categories checked for deletion on exit)? If there is a difference what is it?

I wondered this for a long time and I’m sure there’s an answer (or someone knows the answer) but after several web searches and searching this and other forums, I couldn’t find anyone addressing this. If anyone can fulfill my curiosity, that would be great! :thinking:

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Well, either no one knows the answer or the community isn’t as active as it once was. I kept digging and may have figured out a couple of differences:

  1. I found a few posts. They’re about Firefox and 4+ years old (I couldn’t find any for chrome/chromium-based browsers). It seems like these may still apply:
    Is there a difference between Firefox’s Private Browsing mode and using the “Clear history when Firefox closes” method?
    Why is Private Browsing better than just clearing History daily?
    Finally, this is the oldest (2011-2013) but may be the most informative as you read the thread: Removing the “Clear history when Firefox closes” option
    – Basically if there’s a system or browser crash while using the browser, history etc is retained if ‘clear on exit’ is used as the browser never exited. Open tabs and history during a crash would then be restored on next browser launch.
    – Visited links are visible (change color) in ‘clear on exit’ but not in private browsing
    – You can pick/choose what categories are cleared in ‘clear on exit’ (can decide to retain some things) but private browsing doesn’t store anything in any category (nothing is retained)
    – Clear on exit uses additional resources and time to clear the data (don’t know if this still applies or they dealt with this issue with browser updates since then)

  2. After reading the above and thinking about differences between Firefox and Brave, I came up with one more difference of private browsing and clear on exit unique to Brave:
    In Brave, while in private browsing, I can unblock scripts etc. in Brave Shields for a website I’m on and the block exception only be valid until I for the browsing session (once I exit/close the browser, the block exception is automatically removed - the next time I use Brave the site’s scripts will be blocked).
    – If I want to create a permanent exception in Private Browsing, I can go to Brave settings > Additional Settings > Privacy and security > Site Settings > JavaScript > Allow/Add and enter the site name
    – In contrast, if I used ‘clear on exit’ with all options checked (rather than private browsing), then all Site Settings (including shield exceptions) would be cleared so I couldn’t make permanent exceptions. I could uncheck clearing Site Settings but then any exception I made would be permanent and I would have to go to the above menu/page and manually delete the exceptions each time.

Hopefully this will help others with this question but if anyone has other differences or details they can add in, that would be great!

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