How to Use Incognito Mode in Google Chrome

google chrome incognito mode
How to Use Incognito Mode in Google Chrome. Getty Images (Paul Oomen #466057463)

Browsing in Incognito Mode

This tutorial is only intended for users running the Chrome Web browser on Chrome OS, LinuxMac OS X, Mac OS Sierra or Windows operating systems.

Each time you load a Web page in Google's Chrome browser, potentially sensitive data is stored on your hard drive. Although this data is used to enhance your browsing experience going forward, it can also be personal in nature. The good news is that you can keep things private if you want.

The data files are used by your computer for a variety of purposes, ranging from keeping a history of the sites you've visited, to saving site-specific preferences in small text files known as cookies. If you desire a level of privacy when it comes to this browsing-related data, Chrome's Incognito Mode may do the trick. While browsing in Incognito Mode, most private data components are not left behind at the end of the current session. 

This tutorial explains how to activate Incognito Mode in just a few quick steps. First, open your browser.

Click on Chrome's main menu button, represented by three horizontally-placed dots and located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select the choice labeled New incognito window.

Please note that you can use the following keyboard shortcut in lieu of selecting the aforementioned menu item: CTRL+SHIFT+N on Chrome OS, Linux and Windows; COMMAND+SHIFT+N on Mac OS X and Mac OS Sierra.

You have now gone incognito! A status message, as well as a brief explanation, is provided within the main portion of Chrome's browser window. You will also notice that most of the window is now a shade darker, with the Incognito Mode logo displayed in the upper left-hand corner.

When Incognito Mode is activated for a particular Chrome tab or window, an image of a hat and eyeglasses can be found in the upper left-hand corner of your browser window.

While this logo is displayed, all history and temporary internet files will not be recorded and stored.