So in firefox privacy mode afaik once you close a private window all cookies and other information related to the sites in that window are deleted independently of any data on the regular firefox window(s) you may have still open. The Tor browser has no private windows but does it discard cookies and other data from a window once it closes? or it only does so if you close the Tor browser altogether and/or ctrl+shit+U for new identity (which also reloads the program)?

What if you ctrl+shit+L for a new circuit? does the data from that specific site/tab get discarded or not?

1 Answer 1


They're discarded on a per-session basis.

Using the 'New Tor Circuit for this Site' will only cause Tor Browser to use a new circuit for the site, it will not clear any other information. That is what the 'New Identity' option is for, see the Tor Browser Design and Implementation.

N.B. On Firefox's Private Browsing windows, cookies and other tracking data is absolutely not removed when a tab is closed. It is unset when the window is closed. This is trivially testable by visiting a site that sets and displays a cookie, closing the tab (but keeping the window open) and opening a new tab on the Private Browsing window and then checking to see if the cookie is still present.

When tested, it can be seen to be still set. The same is true of Chrom{e,ium}s Inconito Window.

  • Thing is new identity wipes out all open tabs and windows, is there a middle ground? like a way to implement private windows?
    – Ghost
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 13:33
  • See my updated answer, the behaviour you describe is not at all what private/incognito windows provide.
    – cacahuatl
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 21:52
  • Ok but I asked if private windows could be implemented on TOR somehow
    – Ghost
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 4:38
  • Tor Browser is already in private window mode, so it already functions like one.
    – cacahuatl
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 18:51

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