Chrome’s private browsing mode: how to activate it and does it protect you from secret agents?
Google Chrome’s Incognito mode enables ‘private browsing’, which means web pages you open and files you download while you’re in Incognito mode aren’t recorded in your browsing and download histories.
Cookies are deleted after you close the Incognito tab, and bookmarks and general settings while in Incognito mode are all still there.
Google says Incognito is "for times when you want to browse the web without saving certain info". Here’s our list of five things that you need to know about Chrome’s Incognito…
How to activate Incognito
When in a Google Chrome session, you can go the top right of Chrome, where you will see the menu button, and from there click to bring up a drop down menu. The third option down is ‘new incognito window’ which will start your Incognito browsing session in a new window.
Alternatively, you can use the shortcut shift+ctrl+n to bring up a new Incognito browsing session.
Sign out of your Google accounts before using Incognito
While using Incognito on Chrome doesn’t save your web browsing history, if you are signed in on a Google account whilst using Incognito, searches WILL be saved in Google’s own web history. Check out this supporting document from Google that explains it all clearly:
"Browsing in incognito mode only keeps Google Chrome from storing information about the websites you’ve visited. The websites you visit may still have records of your visit. Any files saved to your computer or mobile devices will still remain.
For example, if you sign into your Google Account on http://www.google.com while in incognito mode, your subsequent web searches are recorded in your Google Web History. In this case, to prevent your searches from being stored in your Google Account, you’ll need to pause your Google Web History tracking."
Furthermore, if you are using Chrome Incognito on iOS (iPhones and iPads) then Incognito tabs share HTML5 local storage with regular tabs meaning "the same sites can always access their data in this storage in both regular and incognito* tabs. Incognito* tabs will still keep browsing history and cookies separate from regular tabs, which are cleared once those tabs are closed."