InPrivate theming


Hello Insiders! We've heard a lot of cool ideas and requests for themes in the browser but I wanted to start a discussion around InPrivate + Themes specifically. Theming refers to the color of the browser frame (tabs/favorites bar) and transient surfaces (right click menu, notifications). How would you expect themes to effect your InPrivate window frame and menus? Would you prefer themes from a regular browsing window to carry into InPrivate browsing? What are your thoughts on the current InPrivate theme?


The current theming experience for InPrivate is that the frame of the browser is dark regardless if you're in light or dark theme in a normal window. So if you're normally in a light mode and you open InPrivate, this is what you'd see: 


Likewise, if you're normally in a dark mode and you open InPrivate, this is what you'd see:



Thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback and helping us build great experiences!

InPrivate team 

34 Replies
I would like InPrivate mode theme to have consistent dark theme (i.e the menu, tabs, address bar etc all be in dark theme regardless of the theme set in the normal browsing session). because it looks funny to have the whole UI in dark and then menu be in white color.

Ideally I would like an Acrylic / Transparent dark theme for InPrivate mode, just like in Edge classic, and not a solid color.
Thank you!

@ShirleyNg wrote:

What are your thoughts on the current InPrivate theme?

Is that blue abomination aka "InPrivate" button counts towards a theme? It's current design has to go, seriously.

Remove (or redraw) that amateur-looking grey "profile" icon, make the whole button squared, maybe even a color change to a more neutral grey/dark that's just subjective.

The button used to be squared and dark grey if I'm not mistaken way back when, which fit the theme of the browser but was replaced to the current placeholder.



Appreciate you soliciting user input! From my perspective, I would want whatever theme the user has established for their normal browsing to carry over into the private browsing. Then challenge then is how to allow the user to easily distinguish between the two environments.


Unlike a previous user's feedback, I don't mind the blue "InPrivate" button. I would suggest that rather than have it in the upper right corner that it instead be moved to the upper left corner and just right of the address bar. As a user, we are accustom to looking in that area to see HTTP vs HTTPS info. Having some sort of "InPrivate" designation there, blue button or not, would be a great.



I think the button is fine where it is as it replaces a user's current profile button, however I would square the button up and round the corners to match the rest of the browser's buttons.




The theme should match what the user already has selected, just leave the InPrivate Browsing page and button you currently are using but square up the button and round the corners to match the other UI buttons in the navbar.

@ShirleyNg The normal ‘light’ theme should carry over into InPrivate by default. The option to use a dark theme is fine, but please do not force them down our throats.


Distinguishing dark shades is objectively more challenging plus decades old studies proved dark themes reduce productivity.

@ShirleyNg The private mode should be in a different colour, e.g. purple. The private mode now merges with the dark theme of your browser. 


@Wade_Middleton wrote:

Distinguishing dark shades is objectively more challenging plus decades old studies proved dark themes reduce productivity.


I'm interested to know about those studies. do you have any links to them maybe?


@Mitchris wrote:

@ShirleyNg The private mode should be in a different colour, e.g. purple.

I'd love purple too, more than blue :) 

User must feel like they are in InPrivate browsing mode , so the Theme must be different from normal browsing, black would be good representative for InPrivate browsing.
However, I received some feedback from community that they don't like black and for them keep color the same for normal and InPrivate would be ideal.


I think this is question of general Edge profiles, and including the In-private mode.
This should reflect the:
 - title bar text

 - title bar background color
 - profile icon
 - shortcut file icon

Since, it is normal that we have separated Edge profiles (example Work and Personal), while being able to have the same profile picture in this sign-in account, then we have mess.

So my proposition is:
 - have some color picker or ability to choose "theme" for the whole Edge profile, which will define, edge icon, profile icon, title bar background color etc. (example green, blue, red, etc.)
 - This, new term "themes" should follow the graphic design for the whole menus, window frame etc.
 - and then, for incognito, of this profile (since incognito knows my bookmarks and some other settings), to have the same, previously mentioned "edge theme" , with additional text in title, and the whole theme to be more "dark" or more solid (less transparent) version, with also modified icon and profile icon (maybe "in private Stamp" / new logo for in-private?) overlay etc.
 - Theme, by itself, could define the "normal color" and its "inprivate color" , so no questions is it dark or white, or grey, or whatever color is. If user does not like his theme, it could change the theme to another option. Them could be defined with JSON or XML properties just as settings, and maybe could be imported from MS store, maybe new option like "Edge themes" there?

This needs to be cleared out first ,with few images (like screenshots) developed by some application graphic designers, so we can comment (i am not expert here).

I am talking from IT Pro, Dev and MVP perspective, also where I use single device with multiple organizations and multiple edge profiles.

Anyhow, I think this is more question for Profiles then just incognito option. Hope you will manage this question globally inside Edge product group :)


I think that the In Private theme should be consistently dark. I don't think that the theme should carry over to In Private. It should remain how it is and also be like the old Edge In Private looked in general, but of course keeping the new UI updates.

@Mason425 Thanks for your feedback! Can you elaborate on which aspect of the old Edge InPrivate you liked specifically? 

@Mitchris Thanks for your suggestion! What would you expect to happen if a user also chooses a purple theme in their normal browsing? 


I liked the consistent dark and In Private being independent of normal browsing as far as theme goes. I also think that the blue button should stay. That blue button may stick out a lot, but it assures you that you are definitely browsing In Private. I think that In Private should always stay dark, so that if you put on a theme for normal browsing it doesn't carry over and confuse the user on how they are browsing.


The default should at least be dark. If some people want to change it, I don't think that they should be denied that freedom.

As I said, previously
Themes are planned and discussion is here  -

However, can the color of the private mode be defined in theme or theme settings?
If you do not know what is answer (always dark, or always purple etc.) make it an option in settings (theme settings?) with some default value and that is it, all users - happy :)



Exactly. This point seems to be overlooked in many of the suggestions. Using a given theme to signal a user that they are in Private browsing mode only works if the theme is significantly different from the theme used in Normal mode.


Many users select a given theme for a reason and do not want the OS or application to make changes to their preference. Making it obvious to the user that they are in Private mode, via some method other than a theme change, would be the reliable solution. As I noted in my earlier response, retaining a visual clue such as the current BIG BLUE "InPrivate" button is all that is necessary. Maybe let folks theme the color of that big button if they want.

@ShirleyNg In this arrangement we go back to the starting point. Well, then maybe we should give users a choice? Let's add an option that allows the user to choose what color he wants to have private mode. 



Presume that the ability to choose is incorporate, as you request.

Paraphrasing @ShirleyNg early question:


What would you expect to happen if a user also chooses the same theme in their normal browsing?


Themes cannot be the means by which InPrivate mode is distinguished from Normal mode. Just because most browsers to date have done it that way does not make it the correct solution. Some variation on the current BIG BLUE "InPrivate" button is a good starting point. Obvious identifier in the browser header (user customizable colors if you like) builds on the idea that users already need to observe their browser header to know what user account they are logged into, whether the site they are visiting is HTTP vs HTTPS, what your chosen extensions are indicating, etc. Some sort if "InPrivate" identifier in the browser header is all that should reasonably be expected.