How to Activate Incognito Mode in Chrome for iPhone and iPod Touch

Go incognito to keep your surfing history private

Businessman standing in front of a big smart phone
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When you surf the internet using the Google Chrome app for iPhone and iPod touch, it saves specific private data components such as browsing and download histories, search history and cookies. This data is stored on your mobile device for a variety of future uses, ranging from speeding up page load times to pre-populating your passwords. While the Chrome app provides a method to remove this data completely at any time in the Privacy section of its Settings, it also offers a mode of browsing that automatically deletes these potentially private items from your iPhone or iPod touch as soon as your browser window closes.

What Is Incognito Mode?

Incognito Mode, occasionally referred to as stealth mode, can be activated in individual tabs to give you full control over what data is and isn't saved on your mobile device. When Incognito Mode is active, no record of the websites that you visit or the files that you download through the Chrome app is created. Also, any cookies that are downloaded while surfing are immediately cleared upon closure of the active tab. Browser settings modified while in Incognito Mode are maintained, however, as are the addition and deletion of bookmarks.

Note that Incognito Mode affects your own device only. It does not remove your browsing history and information from your internet provider or from the sites you visited — only from your iOS mobile device.

How to Enable Incognito Mode

Incognito Mode on your iPhone or iPod touch can be enabled with just a few taps. Here's how:

  1. Open the Chrome app. Sign into your Google account.

  2. Tap the Chrome menu button, which is three vertically positioned dots located in the upper right corner of the browser screen.

  3. When the drop-down menu appears, select the New Incognito Tab option.

You are now browsing incognito. As depicted in the screenshot accompanying this article, a status message and a brief explanation are provided in the main portion of Chrome's browser window.

Tap in the address bar at the top of the screen to enter a URL. The Incognito Mode logo, a hat and a pair of eyeglasses are displayed to the left of the browser's address bar to indicate you are in Incognito Mode on this particular tab. To exit Incognito Mode at any point, simply close the active Incognito Mode tab by tapping the X at the top of the screen. 

Note that on each tab you have in Chrome, the top of the tab is either white or dark gray. The tabs with the white top are normal tabs. The ones with the dark gray tops are incognito tabs. To see all the open tabs either swipe to the right or tap the small number in the box at the top of the screen.