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Monica030 Level 1 Level 1

Is there a way to remove the private browsing feature in safari on MAC air laptops?

MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8

    No, but you are not forced to use it!

  • andyBall_uk Level 7 Level 7

    There certainly is - although it means using Workgroup Manager which is a free download from Apple & doesn't require OS X Server.


    It's not especially intuitive, but I can likely talk you through it, after which Parental Controls would be enabled for the non-Admin user you chose, with a hidden option to prevent private browsing in Safari


    Having said that... Parental Controls logs every site visited, even if Private Browsing is active, or History is cleared, so given that most users could work out how to delete individual history entries & cookies... disabling Private Browsing might not really achieve much, since simply enablng PC should give you the logs which presumably would show what you think using PB could hide ? it's a thought, anyway, and seems easier.

  • HNB137 Level 1 Level 1

    No thanks to the rest of the internet, I figured out the answer to this on an IPhone 4, and I imagine the answer is similar on other apple devices. On the iPhone, you disable private browsing by going into the phone's settings > general > restrictions. When you set any website restrictions, it automatically disables the private browsing option.

  • hellicott Level 1 Level 1

    Hello andy,


    I would like to know the details of how to disable private browsing option on Safari.   I wonder if you can tell which file(s) I need to open and edit it by which tool.  I use OS X 10.8.2


    By double click on the nib, I open MainManu.nib of Safari using Xcode, but no contents of the nib you can read.


    By running Workgroup Manager 10.6 first time, it asks address, username and passward.  It seems go nowhere.


    Can you help,  please let me know. 

  • andyBall_uk Level 7 Level 7

    Dismiss the 'connect' dialogue in WGM, then use Server menu - View Directories ( Command D ).

  • hellicott Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Andy,


    Thanks.  Now I opened the WGM, and click Details Tab as it says Modify application preference in the preference editor.   So I added   But I didn't see preference editor.   Then I don't know how to open it, or how to open MainMenu.nib.


    Your concrete advice of how to open and edit Safari settings step-by-step will be appreciated,

  • hellicott Level 1 Level 1

    additional information:


    Under Applications tab, it checked for "Restrict which applications are allowed to lauch".  And it is gray out.

  • andyBall_uk Level 7 Level 7

    I can't check with 10.8.2, are you unable to update to 10.8.5 ?.

    Eiher way, please confirm the Safari version number.

  • hellicott Level 1 Level 1

    I am not able to upgrade to OS X 10.8.5 because of several applications.  The Safari is 5.1.10.


    Appreciate your helps.  

  • hellicott Level 1 Level 1

    additional information:


    Here is the link for screen snapshot:

  • hellicott Level 1 Level 1

    additional info:  When I open About Safari, It says Version 6.0.5 (8536.30.1)  See snapshot.

  • andyBall_uk Level 7 Level 7

    6.0.5 then.


    In your 4th screenshot, click the padlock @ top right & authenticate as an admin user.

    Return to the same details pane, if it's not still active, then double-click on the first Safari entry (or select it & then click the 'pencil' edit button).


    Select 'Always', then click the expand arrow, now the 'New Key' button should be active : click it.


    Click 'New Item' & change it to 'Private Browsing' from the drop-down list presented.

    Set 'Type' as 'boolean' and Value to 'false'.


    Now click Done or Apply Now to save the changes.


    This applies to  the user(s) that you had selected in the left pane, regardless of their being admin or standard.

  • hellicott Level 1 Level 1



    It works great!  Thank you so much!    I have another question if you don't mind. 


    In the Safari, there is an Extensions Tab under Safari Preferences, is it possible to disable the Extensions Tab or Safari Preferences so that children will not able to change anything inside of Extensions Tab. 


    I didn't see Extensions option in New Entry inside of WGM.


    Thanks a ton,

  • andyBall_uk Level 7 Level 7

    If you want extensions on, but unable to be changed, you'll need to experiment with locking the extensions folder in  Home/Library/Safari; or the extensions.plst folder within it.


    If you want to lock extensions Off :


    2014-02-02 at 12.43.42.jpg

    create/edit a new key as shown, ignoring the warning about name not matching the manifest

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