What is "incognito"
Incognito is one of the popular features of Google Chrome browser, designed for users who want to "roam" the Internet and remain unnoticed. This special mod allows you to hide your visits to various sites and leave no trace on your device.
There is often controversy among users about the features that anonymous mode does or does not provide. The developers say that it is intended for browsing websites and different Internet resources in case the user needs nobody to know about the visit of these pages. Besides, as we know, the Google search engine saves the queries of the users. When incognito, no topics or search queries are added to Google's history. However, such features do not necessarily mean complete privacy. Don't forget that some websites and internet providers reserve the right to spy on their users despite the stealth mode.
How to clear browsing history
How incognito works
It's clear from the above that in this mode your actions on your device are hidden from other users' eyes. The browser does not save your browsing history and search queries. As for cookies and data, they are deleted from Google Chrome when you exit incognito mode.
Important ! Even if you have enabled anonymous browsing in Chrome, the information about your browsing activity is communicated to:
- The sites you visit (including advertising and resource use);
- The administrator or owner of the network you use;
- Internet Service Provider.
If you use web services to function, for example Gmail - information is also stored on the sites that identify the account. Any sites you've added to your bookmarks in Google Chrome while in incognito mode will stay there even if you leave the browser. As for the downloaded /files, they are not included in the browser's corresponding list, but remain in the phone memory (in the Download folder or other folder indicated during the download).
How to activate incognito on Chrome
To activate incognito on your phone, follow these steps:
- Download or update Google Chrome to the latest version.
- Open the browser.
- Locate the "more" icon to the right of the address bar.
- Click the item "New incognito tab".
- The browser will open a new window in the protected mode.
- Locate the icon (points and hat) in the top left corner. Its presence indicates that "invisible mode" is enabled.
Hints for working in anonymous mode
- Incognito mode in the Chrome browser applies to open tabs only. If the first tab has been started in "incognito mode", all subsequent tabs will be opened in this same mode.
- When browsing websites in incognito mode, you may manually open new tabs in standard mode and feel free to switch between all the windows currently running.
- While browsing some websites you may encounter various error messages. For example, it may be a message that a screenshot could not be taken or that there is no permission from applications and organizations. To solve such a problem, just open the same page in normal mode and repeat the action.
How to exit incognito mode
We have already figured out how to anonymize browsing in Google Chrome on Android. The next question is how to get out of this mode. Here everything is even simpler. In order for the browser to stop opening new windows in "invisible" mode you should
- Close all the tabs which have been started as "incognito".
- If there are few open pages you may revise them manually by closing the unnecessary ones with a cross.
- The second possibility is to find the tab switch icon (upper right) and click on it.
- The right side of the screen will display all tabs in incognito.
VPN services for Google Chrome
Another alternative way to visit various sites anonymously is to use VPN services. Their main function is to hide visitors' data. This applies to search queries, browsing history, downloaded /files, etc. In addition, VPN-services allow bypassing the bans on visiting certain Internet resources in certain countries. This applies, for example, to directory sites with movies and music or torrent portals, file exchangers.
For most Android devices, it is possible to configure the VPN manually. You can do this in the settings of the phone, creating a new network. To do this, you must enter the name of the network, the IP address given by the provider, and the password. If you consider this method too complicated, you can choose an easier way.
A large number of VPN services for Android users, both free and on a paid basis. In this article, you can learn more about each of the applications in reviews, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the service, read about the features and the cost of the subscription.
To visit incognito sites in Chromium, you need to download the application to your device, start it, and configure the necessary settings.
This way, Android device owners have at least two ways to "surf" the internet anonymously. Which one is more convenient is an individual question. Incognito mode works equally well in Google Chrome both simply through the browser and through the VPN service.
Alternative options for enabling Incognito on Android
Secret mode in Samsung Browser
The standard browser installed on the phone may also have an incognito mode. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S10 has a secret mode in the Samsung Internet Browser. To use anonymous browsing:
- Open the Samsung Web browser,
- Tap the "Tabs" icon,
- Click the "Enable secret mode" link,
- Set a password if necessary.
- To disable secret mode, return to the tabs and click "Disable secret mode".
Private tabs in Firefox
Firefox also supports incognito browsing. Here's how it works:
- Download Firefox for Android.
- Open Firefox.
- Tap the three dot menu in the top right corner.
- Tap "Private Tab".
- To open a link in a private tab: Click and hold the link to open the menu, and choose "Open in Private Tab".
- To open a private tab: Tap the tab icon at the top of the screen, then tap the mask icon to view sites you have opened in private tab mode.
- To close a tab, tap the cross (X) icon next to the tab you wish to close.
- You can also close all open tabs by clicking the menu button, then Close private tabs.
InBrowser takes privacy one step further. It is probably one of the best applications for those who are serious about online privacy and security.
The browser works in permanent incognito mode, hence all history, cookies and logins are deleted when you press Exit, Home or Close. InBrowser also provides support for TOR via Orbot and the possibility to use VPN services.
The design of the application is rather minimalistic, but this is due to the developers' commitment to remove all annoying and unnecessary advertisements for a pleasant user experience. After a few quick tests, we found it to be as functional as the Chrome or Firefox browsers for Android, although extensions are not fully supported.
InBrowser - Incognito browsing