Ephemeral icon


Cassidy James Blaede

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The always-incognito web browser

Browse the Internet in private without leaving a trace of history on your computer. Ephemeral is a stripped down private browser that's perfect for avoiding persistent cookies or web trackers. Close the window and all traces of your browsing are removed from your device.

Handy features:

Ephemeral protects you in four key ways:

1️⃣ Always incognito. From the second you open an Ephemeral window until you close it (or hit the Erase button), Ephemeral is in private browsing mode. That means history, cookies, local storage, passwords, etc. are all blown away as soon as you leave.

2️⃣ Contained. Every Ephemeral window is a separate instance of the browser engine. This means pages are kept separate from one another. Sign into a service in one window, and other Ephemeral windows will have no idea you’re signed in.

3️⃣ No third-party cookies. Out of the box, Ephemeral blocks cookies from third-party sources. This cuts down on advertising cookies and other unwanted forms of cross-site tracking.

4️⃣ No telemetry. Ephemeral does not touch the network until you explicitly load a web page or perform a search. Even then, no usage data is ever collected—I have no idea what you do with Ephemeral, and I don't want to know!

Ephemeral uses Startpage.com—the world's most private search engine—by default to avoid as much Google tracking as possible. You can also choose DuckDuckGo from the menu if that’s your preference.

What if you run into a site compatibility issue due to the tracking prevention, or if you want to sign into a site using another browser’s saved passwords? Ephemeral has you covered: just hit your other browser’s icon in the header and the current page is opened up there.

The best part of Ephemeral comes when you use it as your default browser: make privacy a habit by opening links in a private browser by default, knowing you can always jump back into a less private browser with one click.

Remember, Ephemeral and any browser's incognito or private mode can only do so much: they mitigate some tracking and don't store data on your device, but they won't stop your ISP, government, or determined websites from tracking you.

For the best protection, always use a VPN.

Get it for $9 on AppCenter

Get Ephemeral and more on elementary AppCenter, the open, pay-what-you-want app store for indie developers. Every app is open source and has been reviewed and curated by elementary to ensure a native, privacy-respecting, and secure experience.

What's New:

4.2.0 – Feb 23, 2019

Blaze It

  • New option to close the window when opening a page in an external browser
  • The web view is now focused when navigating
4.1.2 – Feb 22, 2019

URL Entry Fixes

  • Updated and corrected several autocomplete domains
  • No longer attempt to force HTTPS on protocol-less domains—fixes several popular sites
  • Strip whitespace from URL entry before navigating—fixes instances where trying to navigate to a domain would perform a search
4.1.1 – Feb 21, 2019

URL Suggestion Fixes

  • Corrected joinmastodon.org TLD
  • Added additional useful sites
  • Added descriptions for more sites
  • Removed dead sites
  • Updated translations
4.1.0 – Feb 15, 2019

All New Search + Suggestions

  • The URL entry will offer to complete over 400 popular sites*
  • New Search Engine choice in the Menu
  • Switched to Startpage.com by default
  • Happy birthday, Katie!

*This data is all shipped with Ephemeral itself, and Ephemeral still does not touch the network until you explicitly navigate somewhere. The list of domains is heavily inspired by a similar feature in Firefox Focus. Domains being included in completion suggestions are not an endorsement, it simply means that domain is relatively popular.

4.0.4 – Feb 12, 2019

Guten Tag! German translations thanks to Hannes Schulze

4.0.3 – Feb 5, 2019

Здравствуйте! Russian translations thanks to Artem Polishchuk

4.0.2 – Jan 28, 2019

More translations:

  • Lithuanian translations thanks to @welaq
  • Updated Dutch translations thanks to Heimen Stoffels
4.0.1 – Jan 27, 2019

Fixed some missed translations and updated French translations. Thanks again, @NathanBnm!

4.0.0 – Jan 23, 2019

Lots o' goodies:

  • The last-used browser is remembered for next time
  • New "Reset Preferences" menu item and dialog
  • Ctrl+O to open the current page in another browser
  • Refined (ever-so-subtly less flat) HeaderBar design
  • Ephemeral is now translatable!


  • ¡Hola! Spanish translations thanks to Adolfo Jayme-Barrientos and Mario Rodrigo
  • salut! French translations thanks to Nathan (@NathanBnm)
  • Olá! Brazilian Portuguese translations thanks to Lucas Sanchez dos Anjos
  • Hallo! Dutch translations thanks to Heimen Stoffels
3.2.2 – Jan 22, 2019

Styling fixes for non-native platforms.

3.2.1 – Jan 22, 2019

Fixed a few small issues with zoom:

  • Zoom controls are now only sensitive when the web view is visible
  • Reported zoom level is now correct when opening a new window
  • Reported zoom level is now kept in sync across open windows
3.2.0 – Jan 21, 2019

Zoom! And more…

  • A new menu to keep the UI tidy and balanced
  • Zoom in, out, and default from the new menu or with the keyboard
  • New Window action moved into the menu
  • Added a Quit All Windows action to the menu
  • Smooth scrolling when using the keyboard or a scrollwheel
  • Fixed Twitch livestreams
  • Fixed YouTube resolution support: now up to 4K!
  • Code cleaning to keep things fresh and clean
3.1.0 – Jan 14, 2019

Better error handling and quality of life improvements all around:

  • New approval dialogs for external apps, e.g. appstream:// or ftp://
  • New warning when no network connection
  • Prettier errors using native views
  • Stopped throwing away text when unfocusing URL entry
  • Stopped searching when the URL entry is empty
  • Code cleaning to keep things smelling fresh
3.0.0 – Jan 12, 2019

Fresh styles to keep things funky, plus more:

  • The new start page makes Ephemeral faster and makes it not touch the network until you're ready to browse
  • Middle- or Ctrl-click a link to open it in a new window
  • Displayed URLs are kept in sync for pages that manually update the URL without a page load
  • Local HTML files can now be opened
2.0.1 – Jan 10, 2019
  • More informative "set as default" infobar
  • Tweaked "set as default" infobar styling
2.0.0 – Jan 10, 2019
  • Search from URL entry!
  • Asks (politely!) to be set as the default browser
  • Open unsupported links (like AppCenter ones) in the OS-default app
1.2.0 – Jan 9, 2019
  • Add "New Window" to headerbar, app launcher, and keyboard shortcuts
  • Collapse external browsers into a menu when there's more than one
1.1.0 – Jan 8, 2019

Add several useful keyboard and mouse shortcuts

1.0.1 – Jan 8, 2019

Fix links that try to open in a new window

1.0.0 – Jan 8, 2019

Initial release for AppCenter