How to Set My Browser to Incognito or Private Mode on Google Chrome

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House

Don’t want to leave a record of that website you’re visiting? You might want to activate Incognito Mode, sometimes known as Private Mode. Maybe you’ve downloaded something that you don’t want the next person who uses that Google Chrome browser to see. Incognito mode stops the Chrome browser from saving your activity.

how to activate incognito mode

Keep in mind that Incognito Mode only keeps your activity private on the computer you are using. For example, if you use your computer at work and set it to Private Mode, your employer can still see your activity. Your service provider and the actual sites you visit will also be able to monitor what you view. Incognito Mode will prevent records of what you download, but the downloaded files will still be on the computer. Remember to remove the files when you are finished using Private Mode.

You can use the Google Chrome browser on your PC, Mac, Android devices, and iOS devices. Look below for instructions on activating Incognito Mode on each type of device.

How to activate Incognito Mode or Private Mode on a computer

When using a PC, follow these steps to activate Incognito Mode:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, download the Google Chrome web browser to your computer.
  2. Launch the Chrome Browser.
  3. To set Private Mode, click on the More icon in the upper right corner of the browser window. This looks like three vertical dots More-icon.
  4. Select New Incognito Window.A new window will open in Incognito Mode. You can verify by looking for the Incognito Icon in the upper corner. Seeing the icon will let you know that you have successfully initiated Incognito Mode.

incognito icon

There is also a keyboard shortcut to open an Incognito Window. For Windows based computers, use Ctrl + Shift + N. For Macs, select ⌘ + Shift + N.

To exit Private Mode, simply click the X in the upper corner to close the window.

How to activate Incognito Mode on Android devices

The default browser on an Android is Google Chrome. To browse Incognito on an Android device, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Chrome Browser.
  2. At the upper-right corner of the browser window, click on the More icon that looks like three vertical dots.
  3. Select New Incognito Tab.
  4. A new tab will open in Incognito Mode. You can verify by looking for the Incognito Icon in the upper corner.

To exit Incognito Mode, select the Switch Tabs icon. On the right, you will see all open Incognito tabs. Click the X in the upper right corner of each tab to close them.

How to activate Incognito Mode on iOS devices

Apple iPhones and iPads do not come with Google Chrome. On iOS devices, Safari is the native browser. If you want to use Incognito Mode on iOS devices, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download the Google Chrome app from the App Store.
  2. Click on the Chrome icon to launch the browser.
  3. At the upper right corner of the app, click on the More icon that looks like three vertical dots to activate Private Mode.
  4. Select New Incognito Tab.A new iOS window will open in Incognito Mode. You can verify by looking for the Incognito Icon in the upper left corner.

To exit Incognito Mode, select the Switch Tabs icon. On the right, you will see all open Incognito tabs. Click the X in the upper right corner of each tab to close them.

Happy browsing!