How to Activate Incognito Mode in Google Chrome for iPad

Stay private in Chrome by using an Incognito Tab

chrome ipad incognito mode
Getty Images (Steven Puetzer #130901695)

Several iPad web browser apps offer some type of discreteness while browsing the internet, and Google Chrome is no exception with its easily-activated Incognito Mode.

Known in some circles as stealth mode, Chrome's Incognito Mode is enabled in separate tabs, allowing users to have the final say as to which websites are allowed to store history and other components, and which are discarded once the current browsing session is terminated.

Personal items including browsing and download history, along with cache and cookies, are never saved locally while in Incognito Mode. However, any modifications made to your bookmarks and browser settings are kept, providing some continuity even when you choose to browse privately.

Note: The steps below are nearly identical for opening Incognito Mode in Chrome for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as using Incognito Mode in the desktop version of Chrome.

How to Use Chrome's Incognito Mode on an iPad

  1.  Open the Chrome app.
  2. Tap the Chrome menu button at the upper right-hand corner of the app. It's represented by three stacked dots.
  3. Choose the New Incognito Tab option from that menu. 
  4. You've gone incognito! A brief explanation should now be given within the main portion of Chrome's browser window. You'll also notice the Incognito Mode logo, a shady character with a hat and sunglasses, displayed in the center of the New Tab page.

More Information on Incognito Mode

You won't see your regular tabs in Chrome while you're in Incognito Mode, but switching to this special mode doesn't actually close down anything. If you're in Incognito Mode and are looking for a way back to your regular tabs, just tap the small four-squared icon at the very top right corner of Chrome, and then go into the Open Tabs section.

If you do this, you can see just how easy it is to switch between your private tabs and your regular ones. However, remember that Incognito Mode is not fully shut down until you close the tab you're using. So, if you're browsing privately in an Incognito Tab but then switch back to your regular ones without closing the tab, you can return to Incognito Mode and pick up where you left off since it will stay open until you actually close the tab.

Using Incognito Mode in Chrome provides another benefit that you might not think about at first glance. Since cookies are not stored when in this special mode, you can log in to a website in a regular tab and then log in to the same website using different credentials in the other tab. This is a neat way to, for example, be logged in to Facebook in a regular tab but have your friend log in under their own account in an Incognito Tab.

Incognito Mode does not hide your web habits from your ISP, network administrator, or any other group or person that might be monitoring your traffic. However, that level of anonymity can be achieved with a VPN.

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