I recently switched from Chrome to Safari for a few choice web applications, and I found that I couldn't disable extensions like Lastpass when browsing privately, at least not apparently, like I could in Chrome (which disables extensions by default in Incognito).

Is there any way to do this from the Safari UI? I have an Applescript snippet I'm using to disable extensions, and toggle them back on when I'm done, but it's sort of a hassle, and I'd like to make this a default for Private browsing.

  • 1
    This really, really needs to be a feature, especially with Apple increasingly billing itself as the privacy company. In fact, I'll go one further and say this ought to be the default behavior. Aug 17, 2018 at 23:51

3 Answers 3


EDIT: Making my answer better by offering a keyboard shortcut method since my question found a solution back in the day. for even quicker safari extension disabling in or out of private mode.

ORIGINAL: A much easier way to perform this action is to enable the Develop Menu in Safari Preferences -> Advanced -> At the bottom you can check this to have a Develop menu in your menu bar for safari. Here you can select from the dropdown "Disable Extensions" which will disable them completely for both private and non-private windows but the activation and disabling of the add-ons is extremely quick and hassle free.

Making private window/tabs default to having extensions disable isn't an option in any Safari settings sadly. However this is an easy one click solution to your problem.

Again, the steps are as follows:

Safari -> Preferences -> Advanced Tab -> check "Show Develop menu in menu bar"

Now you can click the Develop dropdown and click "Disable Extensions" as well as other options such as javascript, images, styles, and more!

This works with Safari 9.0 - 11.0


Well, the most simple way would be to use Automator to create a service which first "does" your Applescript snippet and second "calls" Safari's menu item "New private window" for you.
Use Automator's action "record my actions" and click "Safari's > File > New private window".

But you'd get a rather more compact result by adding this code to your existing script snippet:

tell application "System Events" to ¬
tell process "Safari" to click menu item "Neues privates Fenster" of ¬
     (menu of menu bar item "Ablage" of menu bar 1)

--   (Insert localized strings for my menu names: "Files" "New ..."

This done, either select "Safari > Services > yourService" or even give "yourService" a shortcut via: "System Preferences > keyboard > shortcuts > services".


This is another way to achieve your aim without using Safari. For your private browsing, download and use the web browser Opera. It has built in VPN which will much improve your private browsing experience. HTH

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