How to Launch Opera Browser in Private Mode by Default

Learn how to set Opera browser to always open in private mode by default. Protect your online privacy and keep your browsing history safe.

Opera is known for being a privacy-focused browser compared to other more popular ones. If you want to make it more secure, you can activate the private mode by default.

In the following, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to get Opera to open automatically in a private window each time. Both Windows and Mac users can follow the steps according to their respective operating systems. So, let’s see how to do it.

Also read: Browser Comparison: Opera vs. Brave vs. Vivaldi

Windows Users

Step 1

First, we need to locate where Opera is in the Windows files system. By default, the app should be inside C:\Users\user_name\AppData\Local\Programs.

find location
Step 2

Right-click on the Opera app and then select “Show more options”

show more options
Step 3

In the expanded menu, select “Create shortcut” and rename the created shortcut to “Opera Browser”.

create shortcut
Step 4

Right-click on the created shortcut and select "Properties".

select properties
Step 5

Inside “Target:”, go to the end of the line, add a space, follow by “--private” without quotes, and then hit “OK”.

In short, we are replacing the following:


with one that includes a space and the parameter --private.

"C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Programs\Opera\opera.exe --private"

adding parameter
Step 6

Double-click the Opera shortcut created to see if it opens up an Opera browser in Private mode, which it should.

And if all works, you can now drag it down to the Taskbar so it opens up in Private mode every time you launch it.

drag to Taskbar

Mac Users

Step 1

Open the Script Editor app. You can search for it via Spotlight or find it inside /System/Applications/Utilities.

launch Script Editor
Step 2

In Script Editor, select “New Document” and paste the following code inside.

do shell script "open -a /Applications/ -n --args --private"

Then go to File > Save (Command + S) to save the file. Select “Desktop” for “Where:”, “Application” for “File Format:”. Hit the "Save" button when done. This will create an executable file that opens Opera in Private mode on your Desktop.

add code save file
Step 3

Double-click the executable file you just created; it should open up Opera in Private mode by default.

Step 4

Finally, let’s add an icon to the executable file so it looks nicer when added to the Dock.

Open Finder, and look for the Opera app installed on your Mac, right-click, and select “Get Info”.

Note: Opera should be, by default, located inside Macintosh HD > Applications.
Opera get info

Next, “Get Info” on the executable file you just created, and position the two dialogue boxes side by side, like the screenshot below.

get info side by side

Now, left-click once on the Opera logo, then do a Command + C to copy its logo, then click the executable file’s logo and hit Command + V. This will copy the Opera logo over.

copy paste icon

Finally, go ahead and drag it onto your Dock!

add to dock