Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

How to use Google Chrome’s Incognito mode, Features, Pros & Cons

This article focuses on how to use Google Chrome’s Incognito mode, the features that come with it, why you should often use the Incognito mode, and the downside of using it obviously. Kindly read below for more details.

What is Chrome’s Incognito mode?

Chrome’s Incognito mode, also known as private browsing, is a feature that allows you to browse the web without your browsing history, cookies, and site data being saved. When you use Incognito mode, Chrome won’t keep a record of the websites you visit, and any information entered on websites, such as login credentials or form data, won’t be saved.

However, please note that Incognito mode does not make you completely anonymous on the internet. Your internet service provider, your employer (if you’re using a work device), and the websites you visit may still be able to track your online activity.

How to activate Incognito mode in Chrome

Here’s how you can use Chrome’s Incognito mode:

  • Open Google Chrome: Launch the Google Chrome web browser on your computer or device. This mode is available on both desktop and mobile versions of Chrome.
  • Open an Incognito Window: To open an Incognito window, you have a few options:
    • Press the keyboard shortcut: For Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS, press Ctrl + Shift + N. For macOS, press Command + Shift + N.
    • Use the Chrome menu: Click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner of the Chrome window to open the menu. From there, select “New incognito window.”
      • Use a link: If you find a link that you want to open in Incognito mode, you can right-click on it and choose “Open link in Incognito window.”
      • Start Browsing: Once you’ve opened an Incognito window, you can use it just like a regular Chrome window. Any websites you visit and files you download during this session won’t be recorded in your browsing history.
      • Close the Incognito Window: When you’re done using Incognito mode, simply close the Incognito window. Chrome will not keep any data from that session, including cookies, browsing history, and login information.

      Chrome’s Incognito Features

      Chrome’s Incognito mode comes with several features designed to enhance privacy and limit data retention during your browsing sessions. These include:

      • No Browsing History: When using Incognito mode, Chrome does not save any browsing history. This means that the list of websites you visit during the session will not be recorded in your browser’s history.
      • No Cookies and Site Data: Incognito mode prevents websites from storing cookies and other site data on your device. Cookies are small files that websites use to remember information about your visit, such as login details and preferences.
      • No Form Data Autofill: Chrome won’t remember the information you enter into forms, such as login credentials, addresses, and payment details. This can be helpful if you don’t want this data to be automatically filled in on subsequent visits.
      • No Download History: Any files you download while in Incognito mode won’t be saved in your download history. This ensures that the files you download during the session won’t be easily accessible to others who use the same device.
      • No Cached Files: Cached files, which are temporary copies of web pages stored on your device to speed up loading times on subsequent visits, are not retained in Incognito mode. Once you close the session, the cached files are deleted.
      • Extensions Disabled by Default: While some browser extensions may still work in Incognito mode, most are disabled by default. This can reduce the chances of extensions tracking your browsing activity.
      • Separate Cookies from Regular Mode: The cookies and data stored during an Incognito session are kept separate from those in regular browsing mode. This means that websites won’t have access to data from your regular browsing session while you are in Incognito mode.
      • Automatic Session Closure: When you close all Incognito windows or tabs, the browsing session ends, and any temporary data, such as cookies and browsing history, is deleted. This helps ensure your privacy for subsequent browsing sessions.

      Why Use Chrome’s Incognito Mode?

      • Private Browsing: The primary benefit of Incognito mode is that it allows you to browse the web privately. Your browsing history, cookies, and site data are not saved on your device, which can be useful if you’re using a public computer or a shared device and don’t want your browsing activity to be accessible to others.
      • No Saved Data: Incognito mode prevents websites from storing information about your visit, such as login credentials, form data, and search history. This can be beneficial for preventing unwanted auto-fill suggestions and keeping your browsing habits discreet.
      • Avoiding Cookie-Based Personalization: Some websites use cookies to track your activity and provide personalized content or ads. Incognito mode can help you avoid this personalization since it doesn’t retain cookies after the session ends.
      • Testing User Experience: Web developers and designers can use Incognito mode to test how their websites behave for new users without being influenced by their own browsing history and preferences.
      • Price Comparison: Incognito mode can be useful when shopping online. Some e-commerce websites may alter prices based on your browsing history, but using Incognito mode can help you see the original prices.

      Why Not Use Chrome’s Incognito Mode?

      • Limited Privacy: While Incognito mode prevents local data storage, it doesn’t make you completely anonymous. Your internet service provider, employer (if using a work device), and websites you visit can still track your activity.
      • No Protection from Malware: Incognito mode doesn’t provide any protection against viruses, malware, or phishing attempts. You should still use proper security software and be cautious when browsing unfamiliar websites.
      • No Real Anonymity: If you’re looking for true anonymity online, Incognito mode won’t provide it. Websites can still collect information like your IP address, and network administrators can track your online activity.
      • Bookmarks Not Saved: While you can create bookmarks in Incognito mode during the session, they won’t be saved after you close the window. If you want to keep bookmarks, you’ll need to save them elsewhere.
      • No History for Reference: Since browsing history isn’t recorded, you won’t have easy access to previously visited websites. If you need to revisit a site regularly, using regular browsing mode may be more convenient.

      It’s important to remember that Incognito mode is not a substitute for proper security measures, and it won’t protect you from all forms of tracking or online threats. It primarily prevents Google Chrome from storing your browsing activity on the local device.

      To enhance your online privacy and security further, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), regularly clearing your browsing data, and being cautious about the websites you visit and the information you share online.

      Does Incognito mode make me anonymous on the internet?

      No, Incognito mode does not make you completely anonymous on the internet. While it prevents data from being stored locally on your device, it does not hide your online activity from websites, internet service providers, or network administrators.

      Can I use browser extensions in Incognito mode?

      Most browser extensions are disabled by default in Incognito mode to enhance privacy. Some extensions may still work, but it’s important to be cautious, as they can potentially track your browsing activity.

      Will websites I visit during Incognito mode know that I am using it?

      Websites you visit in Incognito mode won’t be notified that you are using it. However, they can still collect information about your visit, such as your IP address and other standard data.

      Can I save bookmarks in Incognito mode?

      You can create bookmarks during an Incognito session, but they will not be saved after you close the Incognito window. If you want to keep bookmarks, you’ll need to save them in regular browsing mode.

      Can I use Incognito mode for secure online transactions?

      While Incognito mode can help prevent the storage of sensitive data locally, it does not offer complete protection from online threats or ensure secure transactions. It’s still essential to use encrypted websites (HTTPS) and exercise caution while sharing personal information online.

      Can I use Incognito mode on my mobile device?

      Yes, Incognito mode is available on the mobile version of Chrome. You can activate it by tapping on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner, then selecting “New incognito tab

      How does the Incognito mode differ from a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

      Incognito mode is a local privacy feature that prevents data from being saved on your device, while a VPN is a service that encrypts your internet connection and routes it through a server to hide your IP address and location from websites and network providers.

      Does using Incognito mode protect me from malware?

      No, Incognito mode does not offer any protection against malware or viruses. To stay safe from online threats, you should use reliable security software and avoid downloading files from untrusted sources.

      Can I use Chrome’s Incognito mode to bypass paywalls on websites?

      While Incognito mode may provide limited access to content behind some paywalls, it is not an ethical or reliable method for bypassing paywalls. Websites may still detect such behavior, and it’s best to respect content creators’ rights and subscribe or pay for access if required.

      Is Incognito mode available in other web browsers?

      Yes, private browsing modes similar to Chrome’s Incognito mode are available in most modern web browsers, such as Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge, often with similar features and functionalities.