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[[!meta title="How Tails works"]]
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Tails is a [[!inline pages="inc/stable_amd64_iso_size" raw="yes" sort="age"]] download and takes ½ hour to install. Tails can be installed on any USB stick of 8 GB minimum. Tails works on most computers less than 10 years old. You can start again on the other operating system after you shut down Tails.
[[Warnings: Tails is safe but not magic!|doc/about/warnings]]
[[Download and install Tails|install]]
[[System requirements|doc/about/requirements]]
[[!img amnesia.svg link="no" alt=""]] <i class="metaphor">Like a tent, Tails is amnesic: it always starts empty and leaves no trace when you leave.</i>
Tails always starts from the same clean state and <strong>everything you do disappears</strong> automatically when you shut down Tails.
Without Tails, almost everything you do can leave traces on the computer:
Websites that you visited, even in private mode
Files that you opened, even if you deleted them
Passwords, even if you use a password manager
All the devices and Wi-Fi networks that you used
On the contrary, Tails never writes anything to the hard disk and only runs from the memory of the computer. The memory is entirely deleted when you shutdown Tails, erasing all possible traces.
[[!img persistent-storage.svg link="no" alt=""]] <i class="metaphor">Like a backpack, you can store your personal things in your Persistent Storage and use them in your tent.</i>
Persistent Storage
You can <strong>save some of your files and configuration</strong> in an encrypted Persistent Storage on the USB stick: your documents, your browser bookmarks, your emails, and even some additional software.
The Persistent Storage is optional and you always decide what is <i>persistent</i>. Everything else is <i>amnesic</i>.
[[Persistent Storage|doc/persistent_storage]]