What is Incognito Mode in Chrome?

Incognito mode in Chrome is a helpful tool when a user wants to go online without using or saving their browser history. Understanding when and how to use it can make the browsing experience better.

What is Incognito Mode?

Opening a window in Incognito mode will prevent the browser from saving browsing history, cookies, site data, or information entered into forms, when the window is closed.

This browsing mode also separates itself from Chrome profiles, and does it not use many of the tracking functions built into the browser. Bookmarks will still be available to the user, but saved passwords will not.

An Incognito window in Google Chrome.

In incognito mode, cookies will be created only for this window, which will prevent the subject matter from popping up in customized ad feeds. This is also useful when searching for items such as airline tickets, where price can vary based on your past searching patterns. With incognito mode, the search looks like it is from a new user.

Web activity is still visible to the websites visited, an employer or school that manages the device or network, or the ISP who provides internet service.

At SDM, we use incognito mode with clients to assure any client’s log in or accessed information is not saved to our devices. Google Chrome also has a guest mode which is similar.

This browsing mode does not stop websites from collecting their own data separate from the browser based data collection.

How to Open an Incognito Window

An Incognito window can be opened by clicking on the top right 3 dots in a Chrome window, and pressing “New Incognito Window.” Users can also do this with the keyboard shortcut CTRL + Shift + N.

On a Mac, you can also go to the File menu, and choose New Incognito Window.

Google’s recent changes

The results of a class action lawsuit started in 2019, is holding Google accountable for not deleting all incognito data.

Google will be deleting billions of data records they had collected inappropriately. Incognito mode will also block third party cookies by default for 5 years. And they will delete data noting which users were using incognito windows, and redacting past users’ IP addresses.

For more technical information about what exactly they are going to change, check out this PC Mag article.

Other web browsers

All browsers have their own version of Incognito mode. Some examples are:

  • Microsoft Edge – InPrivate
  • Safari – Private
  • Firefox – Private
  • Opera – Private
  • DuckDuckgo – Most private features are built into the normal browsing mode
Microsoft Edge Inprivate Browsing window.

If you have questions about Incognito mode on Google Chrome, or our services, just call or email. We’re happy to assist you! Feel free to use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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