How to Easily Open Chrome to Incognito Mode

If you do not want Google Chrome to remember your activity, you can browse the web privately in Incognito mode.

If you do not want Google Chrome to remember your activity, you can browse the web privately in Incognito mode.

It is easy to quickly open an Incognito window using a keyboard shortcut. Lets explore how to do this.

This is devices running Google Chrome

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First, open Chrome. Next, with any Chrome browser window open, press the following keyboard combination to open a new Incognito window:

  • Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS: Press Ctrl + Shift + N.
  • Mac: Press ⌘ + Shift + N.

After pressing the keyboard shortcut, a special Incognito window will open. If you want to block third-party cookies, just toggle the switch to On, the default setting. Refer to below image:

Incognito 1
Your Incognito window

Whenever you are in Incognito mode, you will be able to tell because the Chrome browser window’s toolbar will have a darker color scheme and there will be a small Incognito icon beside the address bar in the toolbar. See below image:

Incognito 2
The icon and text telling you are in Incognito mode

You can switch between Incognito windows and regular Chrome windows. You will only browse in private when you are using an Incognito window.

While browsing within an Incognito window, Chrome will not locally store your browsing history, site data, cookies, or saved form data once you close the Incognito window. However, downloaded files and bookmarks will be saved unless you manually remove them.

At any time, you can press Ctrl+T (or ⌘ + T on Mac) to open a new tab within the Incognito window, and browsing activity within that tab will be locally private as well.

Remember that Incognito mode is not perfect, and it does not protect you from those who might view your activity on the web remotely, such as your employer, school, ISP, or the websites you visit. It is only to prevent local snooping of your browsing history.

If you see a number next to the Incognito text at the top right, you have more than one Incognito window open. See following image:

Incognito 3
Your number of Incognito windows open

When you are ready to stop private browsing, you will need to close the Incognito window(s). To do so using a keyboard shortcut:

  • Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS: Press Alt + F4
  • Mac: Press ⌘ + Shift + W

Or you can just click the “X” in the corner of the window with your mouse.

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