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Chat in private with Incognito mode

You can have a more private and secure, end-to-end encrypted conversation with one or more people in Google Allo through Incognito mode. 

Start a chat in Incognito mode

  1. Open Allo.
  2. Tap New Chat New chat and then Start incognito chat or Start group incognito chat.
  3. From the Contacts list, tap the person's name you want to start a chat with. You can also search for the person's name or number.
  4. Tap Next.

Note: If you share your incognito group's link with other people, anyone with the link can join your chat. Reset your group link by tapping the profile icon and then Add people and then  Reset link and then  Reset.

What happens in Incognito mode

  • Previews of messages won't show in the Allo conversation list. You'll just see that you or the other person "sent a message."
  • Notifications won't display who sent the message or its content. If you want to turn off notifications entirely, go to Menu Menu and then Settings
  • Your chats are end-to-end encrypted. Only you and the people you're chatting with can read what's sent so you won't see any Smart Replies or Google Assistant features. 
  • When you receive a sticker from a sticker pack that you don’t have, Allo will download it securely from Google’s servers, but without using end-to-end encryption.
  • Important: There are a couple things to note for incognito mode for Allo for web vs. mobile.
    • You can change when incognito mode expires using Allo for web. If you want to make sure your chats are secure, check your conversation code on mobile.
    • When you’re on Allo for web, all incognito messages are end-to-end encrypted. Other applications or extensions on your computer might still be able to see your chats, like monitoring software on a work laptop.

Set messages to expire

In incognito mode, you can set the messages to disappear after a period of time. The default period is 1 hour, but you can change it.

  1. Open Allo.
  2. Tap New Chat New chat and then Start incognito chat or Start group incognito chat.
  3. In the top right corner, tap the timerTimer.
  4. You can choose to never expire your messages. Or choose after how long you want your messages to disappear: Never, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day, or 1 week.
    • For the sender: The timer starts when the message is sent.
    • For the receiver: The timer starts when the message is read.

Within the same chat, you and the recipient share the same timer setting. But you can set a different timer each time you start a new chat.

Important: Allo users who receive your messages can use other ways to save them, like taking a screenshot or by taking a photo.

Related links

Author Caroline

Caroline is an Allo expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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