How to Use Google Chrome Extensions in Incognito Mode

How to Use Google Chrome Extensions in Incognito Mode

Protect your online activity with private mode

Have you ever been browsing the internet and wanted to keep your activities private? Or maybe you don't want websites to track your behavior and collect your private data. If so, you can use incognito mode in your web browser.

 

If you're like most people, you probably have a few things you don't want others to see on your browsing history. That's where incognito mode comes in. Private browsing sessions allow you to dodge third-party cookies, provide tracking protection, and keep your browsing history hidden. This way, anyone using the same device as you won't have access to the websites you visited while in private browsing mode.

 

Browsing in incognito allows you to have one more layer of protection and privacy. Browsing in incognito mode means your activity data isn’t saved, and any site data such as cookies associated with the browsing session are discarded.

 

Luckily, starting a new incognito session isn’t a hard task. In this article, we'll explain what Incognito Mode is, how it works, and some reasons why you might want to use it.

 

Read: How to Fix "Your Connection is Not Private" Error in Google Chrome

 

What is incognito mode? Is it safe?

Incognito mode is a privacy setting coined by Google Chrome. It's now included in various other browsers as well. Incognito mode prevents your browsing data from being recorded and allows you to block third-party cookies, avoid targeted ads on the websites you visit, and browse with tracking protection.

 

When you start a private browsing session, your search history, cookies, and site data aren’t saved to your account or your local storage. If you dislike web tracking and such behavior from websites, private browsing also takes care of that.

 

The main benefit of private browsing is that it doesn't store information about your browsing activity, meaning no data about your particular browsing session or computer will be stored. This can be useful if you’re using a public computer, or if you simply don’t want your browsing history saved. As soon as you start a new session, your previous private session will be wiped.

 

Most browsers feature private browsing. You can find this feature under the following names:

 

  • Incognito Mode in Google Chrome
  • InPrivate Browsing in Microsoft Edge
  • Private Browsing in Mozilla Firefox
  • Private Browsing Mode in Opera

 

Other web browsers have support for private mode as well.

 

Using an incognito window or private browsing window is actually safer than browsing the web regularly, but it has its downsides. For example, you need to re-enable all of your Google Chrome extensions to work once you enter incognito mode. You also can't store passwords, cookies, and other side data. This may become a problem if you use a lot of websites that require logins.

 

Incognito browser: What it really means

When you open a new incognito window, you access the web without storing any information on the device. Normally, some data is saved locally, while website hosts can also store information about you.

 

Once you exit incognito mode, the session will be deleted from the operating system including the browsing history, passwords you used, cookies, and other data.

 

What does incognito mode do?

You can browse the internet in private with incognito mode, which provides you a level of anonymity when visiting any website. Browse privately without having to worry about websites breaching your privacy.

 

Going incognito means there's no personalized website experience based on browsing habits, which can result in unwanted changes. For example, ads will start to target your interests, and websites may know what region you're browsing from.

 

How private is incognito mode?

In incognito, your browsing history, cookies, site data, and information entered in forms are all deleted from your device. This means that no matter how many times you use the same browser on the same computer, no one will be able to tell what you've been up to.

 

Who can see your incognito mode history?

Because the incognito tab does not display your browsing history, no one can view your incognito history on the same computer.

 

However, note that incognito mode does not hide your browsing activity from your employer, internet service provider, or the websites you visit. Opening a private browsing window only impacts your local privacy, which is what people can see on the computer where your surfing occurs.

 

Why do people use incognito mode?

People browse in incognito mode (or private mode) when they don't want their search or browsing history saved to their device. This might be because they're using a public computer, don't want their personal information saved, or are just curious about how the internet looks without extensions, targeted ads, and so on.

 

Some people also use incognito mode to circumvent tracking and cookies on websites. You can also enter private browsing mode to use multiple accounts on a website, or log into your other users from a new InPrivate window.

 

Can incognito mode be tracked?

Online tracking is used for collecting data about a website visitor via analytics tools, or by using a web application. The information is used to create a customized online profile, called digital fingerprints. Your computer’s digital fingerprint includes all the data retrieved from your device, your computer, your browser, the time zone, languages, or device specifications.

 

If you use incognito mode while logging into your account on a website, the site will still know that it's you and can keep tabs on your activities from then on. Personal information including what your IP address is and what device you're using to visit a website (particularly if you're logged in) is still visible to others across the internet who may be monitoring you.

 

Does incognito mode hide IP addresses?

Your IP address is visible in incognito. Most incognito modes only hide your browsing activity from other users on your device.

 

Even in incognito mode, your personal information may not be kept from websites, advertisers, your internet service provider (ISP), or big tech firms. Even in incognito mode, Google and others can still monitor you.

 

Is incognito mode really safe?

While incognito mode, InPrivate browsing, and private mode are completely secure, they won't protect you from viruses or malware.

 

They will not prevent your internet service provider (ISP) from detecting where you've been online. They also can't prevent websites from obtaining your real-world location, unless you use a VPN or a secure browser like Tor browser in combination with private mode.

 

How can I turn on incognito mode in Google Chrome?

In Google Chrome, open the main menu and click on "New Incognito Window." A new window will open with the incognito icon in the upper left corner. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N to open an incognito window.

 

Check out these step-by-step instructions for how to open a new incognito window in desktop Chrome:

 

  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. Click on the three vertical dots to open the More menu, and then select New Incognito Window at the upper right corner.
  3. A new window appears. In the top corner, check for the Incognito icon. This indicates that you successfully opened a new private window.

 

You'll know you successfully entered incognito mode when you see the icon in the corner of the browser. The colors of the incognito window also differ from the default browser. Now, you can open a new incognito tab and browse the internet without having to worry about your data being stored.

 

How to enable extensions when using incognito mode in Chrome

In incognito mode, your browsing data isn't saved, and any site data like cookies from your online activity are deleted. The disadvantage is that when you enter incognito mode, you must turn on all of your Chrome extensions again as they don't carry over automatically.

 

Fortunately, this isn't difficult. Learn how to enable extensions in Google Chrome's incognito mode below. Find instructions for other browser apps in the next section.

 

  1. Open your Google Chrome app.
  2. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome (More) button in the top-right corner of your screen; the icon should look like 3 vertical dots.
    enable allow in incognito for extension in chrome
  3. Hover your mouse cursor over More tools, then click on Extensions from the context menu.

    Tip: You can also enter chrome://extensions into your address bar to navigate to the dedicated extensions page.
    extension tools

  4. Locate the extension you want to enable in incognito mode, then click on the Details button in its box. (See screenshot above.)
    extensions>details
  5. Scroll down until you see the Allow in incognito header. Here, make sure that the toggle is set to On.
    allow incognito
  6. Repeat the steps for any other extensions you want to enable in incognito mode. You should be able to use them the next time you open an incognito window.

 

Read: How to Fix Google Chrome Keeps Crashing on Windows 10

 

How to disable extensions when using incognito mode in Chrome

If you want to disable an extension while using private browsing in Google Chrome, follow these steps:

 

  1. Open your Google Chrome app.
  2. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome (More) button in the top-right corner of your screen; the icon should look like 3 vertical dots.
    disable incognito
  3. Hover your mouse cursor over More tools, then click on Extensions from the context menu. 

    Tip: You can also enter chrome://extensions into your address bar to navigate to the dedicated extensions page.
    chrome > Extensions

  4. Locate the extension you want to enable in incognito mode, then click on the Details button in its box. (See screenshot above.)
    chrome > extensions > details
  5. Scroll down until you see the Allow in incognito header. Here, make sure that the toggle is set to Off.
  6. Repeat the steps for any other extensions you want to disable in incognito mode. They will no longer work the next time you open an incognito window.

 

How to use InPrivate browsing in Microsoft Edge?

Microsoft Edge offers incognito browsing via InPrivate Browsing. These features are accessible in Internet Explorer as well through a different name. The Edge version will continue to be updated since Microsoft no longer updates Internet Explorer.

 

Activate InPrivate browsing in Edge by clicking More options (three vertical dots) and choosing to open a new private window. Use Windows Ctrl and Shift keys for fast entry into an InPrivate browsing window. A window will open explaining Edge's private browsing modes.

 

Check out these step-by-step instructions for how to open a new incognito window in desktop Microsoft Edge, formerly known as Internet Explorer:

 

  1. Launch Edge, and then click on the three dots in the top-right corner.
    Alternatively, use the Alt + F keyboard shortcut.
  2. Open InPrivate window via the More menu.
  3. Now, click on New InPrivate window, otherwise press Ctrl + Shift + N.

 

Incognito mode FAQ

Is incognito mode totally private?

In Incognito or private mode, your local surfing will be private, but your ISP, school, or employer will still know where you've been online. In reality, regardless of what you do, your ISP has access to all of your surfing activity. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution can help you circumvent this.


Can I be tracked in incognito mode?

If you browse any website in private mode, that site will know you're the one using it and can keep track of your online behavior from then on.


What happens when you browse in incognito?

Your activity in Incognito won't be saved on your device, since none of it is. This implies that if you're using Chrome on a shared computer, no one will be able to see what you're doing because your activity won't show up in your browser history.

 

Final thoughts

We hope this article helped you learn more about private browsing, incognito mode, and InPrivate browsing.

 

If there are any questions left unanswered or problems not addressed, please feel free to reach out — our team of experts would love to help! In the meantime be sure to keep up with all things tech by checking back for more articles about troubleshooting, and following us on social media.

 

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