Browse in private with incognito mode

If you don’t want Google Chrome to save a record of what you visit and download, you can browse the web in incognito mode.

How to go incognito

You can open an incognito window on your computer and mobile devices to prevent Chrome from saving your browsing history. You can switch between an incognito window and any regular windows you have open. You'll only be in incognito mode when you're using the incognito window.

Computer
  1. Open a Chrome window
  2. In the top-right corner of the browser window, click the Chrome menu Chrome menu.
  3. Select New Incognito Window.
  4. A new window will open with a gray figure in the top-right corner
  5. To close incognito mode, go to the corner of each of your incognito windows and click the X.

Incognito mode isn't available if the account is a part of Windows 10's "Family Mode."

Tip: You can also use the keyboard shortcut and press Ctrl + Shift + N (Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) and ⌘ + Shift + N (Mac) to open an incognito window.
 

Android device
  1. Open a Chrome window
  2. Touch the Chrome menu, which may look like either three dots More or a tab Menu.
  3. Touch New incognito tab.
  4. A new window will open with a gray incognito icon .
  5. To close incognito mode:
    1. If you have Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later, swipe from the top and touch Chrome: Close all incognito windows.
    2. If you have an earlier version of Android, go to the corner of each of your incognito windows and touch the X.
iPhone or iPad
  1. Open a Chrome window
  2. Open the Chrome Menu .
  3. Select New Incognito* Tab.
  4. A new window will open with a gray incognito icon .
  5. To close incognito mode, go to the corner of each of your incognito windows and touch the X.

Note: Your iPhone or iPad might store information about some websites you visit in incognito mode, even though Google Chrome doesn't. This is because regular and incognito mode tabs share HTML5 local storage in iOS devices. HTML5 websites can get this information about your visit in this storage area.

How incognito mode works

What you view

Incognito is a mode that opens a new window where you can browse the Internet in private without Chrome saving the sites you visit. You can switch between an incognito window and any regular Chrome browsing windows you have open. You'll only be in incognito mode when you're using the incognito window.

Be careful. Incognito mode only prevents Chrome from saving your site visit activity. It won't stop other sources from seeing your browsing activity, including:

  • Your internet service provider
  • Your employer (if you're using a work computer)
  • The websites you visit themselves

What you've downloaded

Chrome won’t save a record of the files you download in incognito mode. However, the downloaded files will be saved to your computer’s Downloads folder, where you and any other users of your computer can see and open them, even after you close your incognito tabs.

For more information about what's stored in incognito mode, visit the Chrome Privacy Policy.

Exit and turn off incognito mode

Incognito mode runs in a separate window from your normal Chrome browsing sessions. To return to your normal Chrome browsing session, you'll need to close all incognito windows. Select your device below to learn how. 

Computer
To close incognito mode, go to the corner of each of your incognito windows and click the X. Then, re-open Chrome.
Android phone or tablet
  1. To show all open apps, tap the Android square icon.
  2. Swipe left or right on the incognito mode window.
  3. Return to your Android home screen by tapping on the home button.
  4. Re-open the Chrome app Chrome logo.
iPhone & iPad
  1. To show all open apps, double-press the home button.
  2. Swipe up on the incognito mode window.
  3. Press the home button.
  4. Re-open the Chrome app Chrome logo.

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Laura is a Google Chrome expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback about the page.

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