How Chrome Incognito keeps your browsing private

Incognito mode can help keep your browsing private from other people who use your device.

How Incognito mode works

When you first open a new incognito window, you’re creating a new Incognito browsing session. Any incognito windows that you open after that are part of the same session. You can end that Incognito session by closing all open incognito windows.

In Incognito, none of your browsing history, cookies and site data, or information entered in forms are saved on your device. This means that your activity doesn’t appear in your Chrome browser history, so that people who also use your device won’t see your activity. Websites see you as a new user and won’t know who you are, as long as you don’t sign in.

If you’re browsing in Chrome Incognito mode, you are, by default, not signed in to any accounts or sites.

Your school, Internet Service Provider or any parental tracking software may be able to see your activity. You can check if your Chrome browser is managed.

Incognito mode also doesn’t block third parties from using cookies.

How Incognito mode protects your privacy

What Incognito mode does

  • Browsing in Incognito mode means that your activity data isn’t saved on your device, or to a Google Account that you’re not signed in to.
    • For example, you may use Incognito mode to shop online for a birthday gift for a family member who shares your device. If you don’t sign in to your Google Account, your shopping activity will not appear in your Chrome browsing activity and won’t be saved to your Google Account.
  • Each time that you close all incognito windows, Chrome discards any site data and cookies associated with that browsing session.
  • Chrome doesn’t tell websites, including Google, when you're browsing privately in Incognito mode.

What Incognito mode doesn’t do

  • Prevent you from telling a website who you are. If you sign in to any website in Incognito mode, that site will know that you’re the one browsing and can keep track of your activities from that moment on.
  • Prevent your activity or location from being visible to the websites that you visit, your school, employer or your Internet Service Provider.
  • Prevent the websites that you visit from serving ads based on your activity during an Incognito session. After you close all incognito windows, websites won’t be able to serve ads to you based on your signed-out activity during that closed session.

You’re in control

  • Close all incognito windows and tabs when you've finished browsing. You end a session when you close all incognito windows, so that closing a single tab won’t discard your data. If you see a number next to the Incognito icon on your desktop, or at the bottom of your browser on a mobile device, you have more than one incognito window or tab open.
  • You can choose to sign in to any account when in Incognito mode. If you sign in to a Google service, like Gmail or a site, that site may remember your activity.
  • Delete any downloads and bookmarks that you don't want your device to remember. Files that you download and bookmarks that you create are saved in any mode.

Learn more about using Incognito mode.

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