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Search and browse privately

You’re in control of what information you share with Google when you search. To browse the web more privately, you can use private browsing, sign out of your account, change your custom results settings, or delete past activity.

Search privately using the Google app

You can search Google and browse the web without saving your past activity using Incognito mode in your Google app.

How private browsing works

  • Searches you do and sites you visit aren't recorded in your past activity.
  • Cookies are deleted after you exit Incognito mode.
Turn on private browsing

You can turn on private browsing in two ways:

In the Google app

  1. Open the Google app Google Search.
  2. At the top left, tap your profile image or Settings.
  3. Tap Turn on Incognito.

On your Home screen with 3D Touch

This way of entering Incognito mode is available on iPhone 6S and above.

  1. On your Home screen, find the Google app Google Search.
  2. Long press the icon until a menu of quick actions pops up.
  3. To turn on private browsing, tap Search Incognito.
Turn off private browsing
  1. Open the Google app Google Search.
  2. At the top left, tap Incognito mode.
  3. Tap Turn off incognito.

Secure your browsing with Touch ID

You can turn on Touch ID for Incognito mode to make your browsing session more secure. If you have Touch ID turned on and you close the app and return after longer than 15 minutes, you’ll be asked whether you’d like to stay in Incognito mode.

  • To go back to regular browsing, tap Exit Incognito.
  • To continue private browsing, tap Continue. You’ll be asked to authenticate with Touch ID to re-enter your session.

To turn on Touch ID:

  1. Open the Google app Google Search.

  2. At the top left, tap your profile image or Settings.
  3. Turn on Enable Touch ID for Incognito mode.

Search privately on a mobile browser

If you don’t have the Google app, you can search privately on a mobile browser (like Chrome or Safari) using private browsing mode.

Open private browsing mode
Sign out of your Google Account

Follow these steps to check if you’re signed out of your browser:

  1. Visit any Google page, like google.com.
  2. Look in the top right corner of the page.
    • If you see the "Sign in" button, you’re already signed out of your account.
    • If you don’t see the "Sign in" button, tap your photo or email address. Then tap Sign out, or if you're using Chrome, tap Manage accounts and then Sign out of Chrome.
Remove all custom results

Your search and ad results may be customized even if you're signed out. For example, you might see results based on which results you tap, including links to apps.

To remove these results, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control your Google ads page.
  2. If you haven't already, sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Next to "Ads personalization," turn off the setting.

Delete your past searches and browsing activity

Delete past searches or stop saving them

Learn how to delete your past searches or turn off your Web & App Activity to prevent searches from being saved.

Delete your browser history

Delete recent history

Your searches, pages you visit, and other web activity may also be stored in your browser or the Google Toolbar. Learn how to delete your history on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

Delete past browsing history

Past browsing and download history may be stored in your browser’s cache. Learn how to clear your browser's cache and cookies on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

Katie is a Search expert and author of this help page.

Katie is a Search expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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