How to Browse Incognito in Google Chrome

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Unless you manually delete your browsing history in Google Chrome 41 -- through the Clear Browsing Data dialog box -- the browser automatically records all of the information from your surfing sessions. Use Chrome's Incognito mode feature to stop the browser from recording your private data and browsing history, such as your list of downloaded content, websites visited, cookies and search queries. The Incognito mode feature is especially useful on a shared or public PC because it prevents other users from viewing your private information. You can activate the feature from the Chrome menu button.

A new Incognito window displays the message "You've Gone Incognito."
(Image courtesy of Google)
Step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome Menu" button resembling three lines to reveal the drop-down list of menu options.

Click the "Chrome Menu" button.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 2

Choose "New Incognito Window" from the menu to open an Incognito window.

Select the "New Incognito Window" option.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 3

Click the "X" button to close the Incognito window and exit the Incognito mode. You can identify an Incognito window by the Incognito icon, resembling a man wearing sunglasses and a hat, in the upper left corner of the window. If you have several incognito windows open, close each window to exit the feature.

Click the "X" button.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 1

Click the "Chrome Menu" button and then choose "More Tools" from the drop-down menu.

Choose "More Tools" from the menu.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 2

Choose "Clear Browsing Data" from the sub-menu to open the Clear Browsing Data dialog window.

Click "Clear Browsing Data."
Image courtesy of Google
Step 3

Select the "Obliterate the Following Items..." drop-down box and choose the appropriate time-frame, such as "The Past Day." Select the check box next to each item you want to erase. For example, to erase the websites you have visited on the browser, select the "Browsing History" check box. Click the "Clear Browsing History" button after selecting all of the items you want to erase.

Click "Clear Browsing History."
Image courtesy of Google

Tips & Warnings

  • On a Windows computer, press "Ctrl-Shift-N" to open a new Incognito window. On an Apple computer, press "Command-Shift-N" to open the window.
  • Press "Alt-F4" on a Windows computer to close an Incognito window. Press "Command-Shift-W" on an Apple computer to close the window.
  • When you exit Incognito mode, only the information on the browser's Downloads page is deleted and not your downloaded files.
  • Chrome's Guest mode is another feature that supports the deletion of your browsing session information, such as cookies and your browsing history, after you complete your surfing session. To access the feature, click the current user account's name in the top right corner of the window, choose "Switch Person" and then select "Browse as Guest." To exit the feature, click "Guest" in the top right corner of the window and click "Exit Guest."
  • Although Incognito mode does stop the browser from recording your surfing sessions, it does not prevent third parties -- such as your Internet service provider and employer -- from monitoring your browsing activity. Use a private browsing solution, such as a virtual private network, to prevent your online activity from being tracked.

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