Browser Automations - Private/Incognito vs Standard Browsing

Hi all - looking for some general feedback / discussion on best practices.

For the last couple of years, my team’s SOP for browser-based automation has been to set the browser to Private (enabling Incognito in Chrome / InPrivate in Edge) whenever a site or webapp will allow this. The idea was to avoid any unnecessary complications introduced by a site trying to be “helpful” and modify itself based on any existing cookies or cache.

However, this also comes with its own complications. Allowing the extensions in these modes cannot be set via policy, requiring us manually update the setting for each potential bot user on each VM. In addition, we have found that for some bot users / VMs this setting can turn itself off, seemingly at random, adding an extra layer of maintenance work.

My question is, what are other development teams / organizations doing around browser-based automation? Is Private a standard and this work is just to be expected? Or are you typically automating in a standard browsing session?

I have always used private mode for browsers. Private mode solves many complications like you said cache etc.
You can create some libraries that set the extensions on automatically. If the robot couldn’t open or have problem with the private mode, the robot does your manual job, and everything would be fine.