If you want to use incognito mode in Google Chrome to do some private browsing, you’re in the right place, because in this article I’m going to show you how to use incognito mode in Google Chrome and explain a bit about what it actually does.
Prefer to watch a video about incognito mode in Google Chrome? Click here.
What Does Incognito Mode Do?
There are a lot of common misconceptions about what incognito mode actually does and doesn’t do. So before I show you how to use incognito mode, I first want to clear up some of those misconceptions and clarify what it can actually do.
If you already understand how it works and just want to skip ahead to the tutorial, you can click here to skip down to that. But if you’re not entirely sure what it does, let’s clear some of that up now.
What It Does Do:
Doesn’t Save Your Browsing History
The main feature of incognito mode is that it won’t save the browsing history of anything you do while in incognito mode.
Normally when you browse in Google Chrome or any other browser it will save a record of all the websites you visited so that you can go back and look at them later.
But, when you browse in incognito mode, it doesn’t save any of that history, so once you close the incognito window, your computer will have no record of the websites you just visited.
Keeps Cache And Cookies Separate (And Deletes Them At The End Of The Session)
The other thing incognito mode does is it keeps your cache and cookies separate from non incognito Chrome, and completely removes them when you close the incognito window.
If you’re a more advanced user who’s into web development or something, this has a lot of different uses. But for most people, the only real benefit of this is things like logging into different accounts.
So for example, you could go to Amazon.com in an incognito window and log in to your Amazon account, and then when you close the incognito window, you will no longer be logged in.
Another example use case would be if you had two Amazon accounts (I don’t know why you would but let’s assume you do for this example), you could log in to one of your accounts in regular Google Chrome, and then go to Amazon.com in an incognito window and you wouldn’t be signed in.
So then you could either use Amazon without logging in, or you could log in with your other account, and then you would be able to use both your accounts at the same time.
What It Doesn’t Do:
So now that you know what incognito mode actually can do and what it can be used for, let’s take a look at some of the things it actually doesn’t do that a lot of people think it does do.
Of course, there’s a lot more that it doesn’t do than just what’s on this list, but these are just the things people most commonly think it does that it actually doesn’t.
Hide Information From Your ISP Or Organization
Incognito Mode will not hide information like the websites you visit from your ISP or organization like a school or workplace. Your ISP (internet service provider) will still be able to track what you do just as easily as normal (incognito mode makes no difference).
And it’s the same story with your school or workplace if you’re using their wifi at the time.
If you want to browse more privately and hide this data from your ISP, school, or workplace, you’ll need to use a VPN in conjunction with incognito mode.
A VPN will encrypt all your data and send it through an encrypted tunnel so your ISP or organization will see that you’re using the internet, but they won’t be able to tell what you’re doing.
If you want to use a VPN, I’d highly recommend Express VPN as it’s very fast and they take security very seriously.
Hide Information From Websites You Visit
Incognito mode also won’t prevent the websites you visit from tracking you. It will actually make websites less able to track you because, due to incognito mode separating the cookies, if you go to a website in regular chrome, and then go to that same website in incognito mode, they won’t be able to tell that you’re the same person unless you log in to an account you have with them.
But, they will still be able to track regular information like how you get to their website and what you do there. And they will also still be able to see your IP address and rough location unless you are using a VPN.
Keep You Safe Online Or Prevent You From Downloading Viruses
Another common misconception about incognito mode is that it protects you from viruses or prevents you from getting scammed, but actually, it doesn’t.
It can slightly improve your security because any website you visit will have less chance of being able to access all your cookies which might reveal sensitive information. But really you can still download viruses and still get hacked just like you can with regular Google Chrome or really any other browser.
If you want something to help you stay safe and secure online, you’ll want to look at getting an antivirus software like Avast.
So hopefully that has cleared some things up and you now have a better understanding of what incognito mode is and what it will and won’t do. And now, we can get into the actual tutorial and begin using incognito mode.
To open an incognito window in Google Chrome, all you have to do is click on the three dots in the top right hand corner of the screen…
And then, in the menu that appears, click “New Incognito window”.
Tip: You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + N on Windows and Chrome OS or Command + Shift + N on a Mac to open an incognito window more easily.
And now you’ll be in an incognito window ready to browse the web in incognito mode!
You’ll know it’s an incognito window because everything will look dark, there’ll be an “Incognito” badge in the top right hand corner, and the new tab page will have a message explaining that you’re in incognito mode.
And that’s really all there is to it, now you can begin browsing the web in incognito mode and take advantage of the features I mentioned above.
You can visit a whole lot of different websites without it saving your history, and if you go to a website that you’re normally logged into (like Amazon.com), you’ll see that it’s not logged in in incognito mode.
So now you could use that website while being signed out, or if you have two accounts for the one website, you could sign in to one account in regular Chrome, and sign in to the other account in incognito mode to use two accounts at once.
And while you’re using an incognito window, you can still easily jump back to a regular Chrome window whenever you want just as though the incognito window is a normal window. This is great for things like using two accounts with one website.
Then, once you’re finished with your incognito mode window, all you have to do is click the cross to close it just like closing any other window…
And then everything from the incognito window will be gone, meaning it won’t save your browsing history, and any cookies and cache that were inside the incognito window will be automatically deleted.
And you’ll now just be back to your regular Chrome window.
And that’s all there is to it! Now you know all you need to know about what incognito mode does, how it works, and how to use it.