For those of you who use your browser for confidential work: banking, purchasing, email, and downloading questionable material – Google Chrome’s incognito mode is a welcome feature.
When operating in incognito mode, Chrome will not save browsing history, search history, cookies, passwords, form information, or download history.
Browsing with incognito mode
To browse in incognito mode, go to the “Customize and control Google Chrome” drop down menu (click on the small wrench icon in the upper right) and select “New incognito window”. A new window will open with a new image in the upper left corner (see above comparison of the same webpage open in regular and incognito modes). You can continue browsing as normal in the other window.You can also press “Ctrl+Shift+N” as given in a recent GT article. A final method is to right click on any link and select “Open link in incognito window”.
Here is a shortcut to be able to open a Chrome window in incognito mode without opening a regular window first for PC users:
- Copy a shortcut for Chrome to the desktop or taskbar.
- Right-click the shortcut and select “Properties”.
- Type ” -incognito” directly after “…exe”" in the target box. Don’t forget the space (see image above).
- A suggestion is to rename the shortcut to something like “Chrome – Incognito Mode” to differentiate the shortcut from the regular Chrome one.
Congratulations! You should now be able to open a Chrome window in incognito mode with a double-click.
Limitations of incognito mode
Chrome users should be aware that there are a few shortcomings with browsing in incognito mode:
- Extensions cannot be used in incognito mode.
- Browsing in this manner does nothing to limit your information as recorded by sites you visit.
- If you are signed into your Google Account your Google web search history may be saved. (follow this early GT article on how to deal with Google search history).
- Spyware/malware (e.g. keyloggers) are not affected by this mode.
- Pinned tabs don’t seem to stay saved when closing and then opening Chrome.
While incognito mode appears to have great promise, it appears to have limited utility in a few applications.
Do you find incognito mode useful for browsing the web? Let us at GT know.