How private browsing works

When you browse privately, other people who use the device won't see your activity.

Chrome doesn't save your browsing history or information entered in forms. Cookies and site data are remembered while you're browsing, but deleted when you exit Incognito mode.

Your activity might still be visible

Incognito mode stops Chrome from saving your browsing activity. 

Your activity might still be visible to:

  • Websites you visit, including the ads and resources used on those sites
  • Your employer, school, or whoever runs the network you’re using
  • Your internet service provider

If you sign in to an account to use a web service, like Gmail, your browsing activity might be saved on sites that recognize that account.

Downloads and bookmarks are saved

Chrome won’t remember the files you download while browsing in private. But, they're still saved to your Downloads folder, even after you exit Incognito. You and anyone who uses your device can see and open the files.

All bookmarks you create are saved to Chrome.

You can switch between Incognito windows and regular Chrome windows. You'll only browse in private when you're using an Incognito window.

Stop private browsing

Incognito mode runs in a separate window from your normal Chrome windows.

If you have an Incognito window open and you open another one, your private browsing session will continue in the new window. To exit Incognito mode, close all Incognito windows.

  1. On your computer, go to your Incognito window.
  2. Close the window:
    • Windows or Chrome OS: At the top right, click Close Close.
    • Mac: At the top left, click Close Close.

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Chrome author Jess

Jess is a Google Chrome expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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