How To Go Incognito In Chrome

How To Go Incognito In Chrome – Browser features like these trace their roots back more than a decade, and the feature — which first appeared in a high-end browser in 2005 — spread quickly as others copied it, making tweaks and minor improvements.

But labels that promise privacy can be sneaky. Simply put, “incognito” is as effective at protecting online privacy as witchcraft is at warding off the common cold.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

That’s because private browsing aims to erase local traces of where you’ve been, what you’ve searched for, the content of forms you’ve filled out. It’s meant to hide, and not always convincingly, your tracks from others with access to your PC. That’s it.

Incognito Mode Doesn’t Protect Your Privacy And Can Let Your Boss See What You’re Browsing

At their most basic, these features promise not to log pages visited in your browsing history, store cookies that show you’ve been on and logged in to websites, or remember credentials like passwords used during sessions. But your Internet wanderings can still be tracked by Internet service providers—and the authorities who serve subpoenas to those entities—employers who control company networks and advertisers who track your every move.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

To end this cognitive dissonance, most browsers have added more advanced privacy tools, commonly known as “anti-trackers,” that block various types of small pieces of code that advertisers and websites use to track where people go in an attempt to compile a digital documentation or display targeted advertisements.

While it may seem reasonable that the end game for a browser is to create a system that combines anonymous modes with tracking protection, this is highly unlikely. Using private browsing or anti-tracking comes at a cost: website passwords aren’t saved for the next visit, or websites break after a tracking search. These costs are also not equal. It’s much easier to turn on some level of tracking protection by default than it would be to do it for private sessions, as evidenced by the number of browsers that do the former without complaint, while none do the latter.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

How To Go Incognito On Chromebook

Private browsing will necessarily always be niche, as long as websites rely on cookies for everyday things like logging in and shopping cart content.

But the mode remains a useful tool when the browser—and the computer it’s on—is shared. To prove it, we’ve gathered instructions and insights on using the anonymity features—and anti-tracking tools—offered by the top four browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Apple’s Safari.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

While incognito mode may be synonymous with any browser’s private mode for some users, Google took credit for coining the word as its most flamboyant feature name when it launched the tool in late 2008, just a few months after Chrome debuted.

Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode Isn’t 100% Private

The easiest way to open an incognito window is with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-N (Windows) or Command-Shift-N (macOS).

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

Another way is to click on the menu in the upper right corner – it’s the three vertical dots – and select New incognito window from the list.

Open a new incognito window in Chrome using keyboard shortcuts or by selecting New incognito window (2) from the menu (1).

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

How To Go Incognito In Google Chrome

The new incognito window can be identified by its dark background and stylized “spy” icon to the left of the three-dot menu. Chrome also reminds users of what Incognito does and doesn’t do every time a new window opens. A message can be tiring for regular anonymous users, but it can also save a job or a reputation; it is important for users to remember that incognito does not prevent ISPs, businesses, schools, and organizations from knowing where customers, workers, students, and others have gone online or what they have searched for.

Every time a new incognito window opens, Chrome reminds users that incognito is not saved. Starting with Chrome 83, it also puts a switch on the screen to block third-party cookies.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

The Incognito welcome screen also shows a toggle — it’s on by default — along with text that says third-party cookies will be blocked while in privacy mode. Although cookies are never stored locally while a user is in incognito, websites can track a user’s movement from web page to web page while in incognito. Such tracking can, for example, be used to show advertisements to a user who visits several websites in anonymous mode. This third-party cookie blocker, which stops this behavior, debuted in Chrome 83 in May 2020.

How To Go Incognito On Chromebook, And Know What It Doesn’t Actually Do

Google has been experimenting with the new language on Chrome’s Incognito splash page, but it hasn’t yet made it to the desktop browser. However, in the Canary version of Chrome on Android, the introduction now describes “What Incognito does” and “What Incognito does not do”, to make the mode’s options a little clearer to the user. (Some have speculated that the changes were made in response to a class-action lawsuit still pending in 2020 that claimed Google continued to track users’ online behavior and incognito movements.)

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

After the Incognito tab is populated with a website, Chrome continues to remind users that they are in Incognito with a dark background for the address bar and window title.

A link on an existing page can be opened directly in incognito by right-clicking on the link and then selecting Open link in incognito window from the menu that appears.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

How To Prevent Web Tracking On Your Favorite Browser With Incognito Mode

What incognito looks like after opening a website. Notice the “spy” icon to the right of the address bar.

To close an incognito window, close it like any other Chrome window by clicking the X in the upper-right corner (Windows) or the red dot in the upper-left corner (macOS).

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

Pro tip: Google is working to lock down incognito tabs on mobile devices — tabs unlocked with built-in biometrics — so that others can’t view content in private mode just by picking up someone else’s phone or tablet. Google is currently rolling out this feature in Chrome 92 on iOS and is still testing it in preview versions of Chrome for Android. There’s no word on whether desktop Chrome will get something similar.

What Is Incognito Mode? + How To Go Incognito

Borrowed the name of its private browsing mode, InPrivate, from Internet Explorer (IE), an older browser that is finally being retired. InPrivate appeared in IE in March 2009, about three months after Chrome’s Incognito and three months before Firefox’s privacy mode. When Edge was first released in 2015 and then relaunched as a Chrome clone in January 2020, InPrivate was also part of the package.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

A slower way to get there is to click on the menu in the upper right corner — those are the three dots arranged horizontally — and select New InPrivate Window from the menu.

Like other browsers, Edge will take you into incognito mode from the menu (1) when you select New InPrivate Window (2).

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

Chrome Browser Opens As

Edge does a more detailed job of explaining what its Private Browsing mode does and doesn’t do than any rival, with on-screen paragraphs dedicated to describing the data the browser collects in InPrivate and how the strictest anti-tracking add-on might be called up from the mode. Additionally, Edge 92—the current version at the time of writing—uses more casual language “What Incognito does” and “What Incognito does not do” on the InPrivate welcome screen, something Chrome on the desktop has yet to do.

Microsoft’s browser also does a good job of labeling InPrivate when in mode: a blue oval labeled “Private” to the right of the address bar combines with an all-black screen to ensure users know where they are.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

It is also possible to start an InPrivate session by right-clicking on a link in Edge and selecting Open in InPrivate window. That option is grayed out when you’re already in a private browsing session, but using Open Link in a new tab does just that in the current InPrivate box.

What Is Incognito Mode & Is It Really Safe?

To stop InPrivate browsing, simply close the window by clicking the X in the upper right corner (Windows) or click the red dot in the upper left corner (macOS).

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

Although Microsoft based the relaunched Edge on Chromium, the same open-source project that comes with the code that powers Chrome, the Redmond, Wash. company. has integrated tracking protection into the browser, something Chrome has not yet done. Called “Tracking Prevention,” it works in both Edge’s standard and InPrivate modes.

To configure tracking prevention, select Settings from the three ellipses menu on the right, then select Privacy, search and services on the next page. Choose one of the three options – Basic, Balanced or Strict – and make sure the Do Not Track switch is in the ‘on’ position. If you want InPrivate to always use the strictest tracking protection by default – not a bad idea – always switch Use “Strict” tracking prevention when browsing InPrivate to “on”.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

How To Leave Incognito Mode In Any Browser

Switch Always Use Strict to “on” and InPrivate will use the strictest tracking protection even if Edge’s default mode is set to, for example, Balanced.

Pro tip: To open Edge with InPrivate—instead of first opening Edge in standard mode and then launching InPrivate—right-click the Edge icon on the Windows taskbar and select New InPrivate Window from the list. There is no similar one-step way to do this in macOS.

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

After Chrome introduced Incognito, browsers without anything similar rushed to catch up. Mozilla added its own version – called Private Browsing – about six months after Google, in June 2009, with Firefox 3.5.

Chrome Incognito Mode

From the keyboard,

How To Go Incognito In Chrome

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