Here Is How You Can Use Incognito Mode on Different Browsers

incognito on the internet picture

Let’s be honest. We’re living in a world where online privacy hardly exists. Be the ISP (Internet Service Provider) or search engine, everyone carefully watches your online activities. Chrome knows your search, its timing, and its duration. And it’s not just about Chrome; every other browser does the same thing.

Even though there are several privacy laws, they are not enough. Maintaining a low profile won’t be easy if you don’t have your guards on. Out of all the privacy-friendly options, using incognito mode on your browser is perhaps the easiest and most cost-effective way to keep your online presence a secret.

If you’re a privacy-concerned internet user and want to know how to use this method, read this post, as it will bring everything related to the surface.

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Incognito Mode – Meaning and Significance

Offered in almost every leading web browser, Incognito mode is a private browsing window that doesn’t keep browsing history logs. As it keeps things private, it’s often known as private browsing mode or private mode. Call it by any name, but the mode does protect your online identity to a great extent.

As long as you browse the internet in this mode, cookies, session history, passwords, and other vital details are not recorded on the devices.

As you browse the internet, all these and much more data are saved on the device. Friends and family can access this data to find out what you were up to or search over the internet. It is a bolt-on to your online privacy. Incognito mode prevents it from happening.

This private browsing or private mode works best if:

  • You don’t want to store cookies on the device

With saved cookies, you won’t be able to use multiple accounts for one website and save some bucks.

With a private browsing window, cookies are not saved, and you can avoid incidents like last-minute price hikes, pre-built packages that are often pricey, using fake accounts to grab a deal, and so on.

  • You want to keep your search history a secrete

As you browse the internet, your search history is automatically saved. If you don’t want this to happen, try this private browsing window.

  • You want to reduce tracking

You can stop ruthless online tracking in private mode if you don’t use any personal account.

Incognito mode - You want to reduce tracking - Reddit comment

  • You want to keep financial records safe

We recommend using this mode when you’re making any financial transactions. Some passwords and details tend to get auto-saved, which is not good when dealing with financial transactions. Use InPrivate browsing to prevent it from happening.

How Private Is Incognito Mode?

You must be impressed with Incognito mode by reading the above section. But hold one for a second. You need to know that it’s not always a great deal of good. You must not expect 100% privacy and secrecy.

Indeed, it won’t save cookies, passwords (never reuse them, here’s why), and search history on your device. But certain information will be stored for sure. For instance, people will be able to find out about the sites that you have bookmarked.

As all the downloads will remain on the device, people can track all files you have downloaded from the internet. Only people using your device won’t know what you’re doing during your active internet session. But your ISP will be able to know all of it.

It won’t stop your Internet Service Provider from tracking your activities. It is because your IP address is still open, and the outer internet world only needs this one thing to know how you’re using the internet. Because of an unprotected IP address, threat actors can track and attack you.

You should use advanced security tools like VPN, proxy server, and antivirus software for advanced IP concealing facilities and security features.

How Private Is Incognito Mode - Reddit comment

The websites you’re accessing in incognito mode will know your search history. If you work in a company and are thinking of attaining online privacy with the help of this mode at work, you will be disappointed big time.

Using the mode will not go any good to you in this case, as network administrators will be able to know what you’re doing over the internet. As always, your activities are not secret from search engines. They are ruthless and can watch out for your every move in incognito mode.

Nonetheless, it’s still a great move as it doesn’t cost anything and is easy to begin with.

Does Tracking Happen in Incognito Mode as Well?

As mentioned above, internet activity tracking is the core of every problem. ISPs, threat actors, web crawlers, search engines, and many more resources keep logs of online activities.

Online tracking enables businesses to generate digital footprints of the users they later use to pitch their services and provide a personalized web browsing experience. It even helps search engines provide accurate search results.

We agree that online activity tracking isn’t always a bad thing. It tends to create huge havoc when it goes south. If cyber criminals got their hands on online tracking data, they could carry out an attack, which is a nightmare.

Now, let’s talk about the incognito mode’s efficacy in preventing or controlling online tracking. Well, your activities are tracked even in incognito mode.

Ad trackers can collect your browsing data. Online tracking begins as soon you access any of your personal accounts like Facebook, Gmail, and Amazon. These websites are not bothered about the presence of incognito mode.

How Safe Is Incognito Mode?

As a whole, there are no security concerns attached to incognito mode. It’s entirely safe. You can enjoy significant safety if you keep a few things in mind. For instance, you should never log in to any of your accounts/sites as these will lead to tracking even in this mode. Hence, the whole idea of maintaining reduced online tracing will go wasted.

How Safe Is Incognito Mode - Twitter comment

Also, you shouldn’t consider it a standalone security tool; instead, you should sideline other essential and advanced online security tools like VPNs, proxy servers, anti-virus software, etc. You need all those tools in the private browsing window to experience advanced online security.

How to Use Incognito Mode in Different Browsers

A good enough discussion has happened about the meaning and utility of private mode. If you’ve decided to use it, this section will help you as it talks about the techniques to use this mode on all the leading browsers.

Google Chrome


Google Chrome is one of the most widely used browsers in the world. You must probably be using this browser only, as nearly 2.56 billion people use Google Chrome to access the internet. Here’s how you can open a private browsing session in Chrome.

  • Open the browser, go to Menu and select New Incognito Window. To open this mode, you can also use a shortcut command Ctrl+Shift+N (Windows) or Command+Shift+N (Mac).

Google Chrome - Incognito Mode

  • A new dark-themed window will open, and you can search as usual – but in Incognito mode.
  • To exit from the Incognito mode, close the window.

Google Chrome - Incognito Mode is ON

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Microsoft Edge


From Windows 10 onwards, Microsoft Edge offers an in-built InPrivate browsing mode. Earlier, internet users had to use the mode in Bing, the default search engine of Edge. Now, you can use it in the browser itself. That’s what you need to do to avail this facility.

  • Open Microsoft Edge and select the More Actions option from the top right corner of the page.

Microsoft Edge - More Actions - Incognito Mode

  • From the list, choose the New InPrivate Window option. You can also use the Ctrl + Shift +P command to activate this mode.

Microsoft Edge - Choose InPrivate Window - Incognito Mode

  • As usual, a dark-themed window will open. Browse as usual and close the tab to exit the private browsing window.

Microsoft Edge - Incognito Mode

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firefox logo

In Firefox, this mode is known as Private Browsing mode and can be easily activated.

  • Open Firefox and go to the menu, which is represented by three vertical lines. Select the New Private Window option. You can also use commands to activate this mode. For Mac, use Shift + Command + P. Use the Control + Shift + P command to activate this mode in Windows.

Firefox - Private Browsing mode - How to Turn It On

  • A purple color window will open. Search as you please.

Firefox - Incognito Mode

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Internet Explorer

internet explorer logo

Internet Explorer, or IE, is now mostly an extinct browser. If that is still available in your region and you want to use private browsing mode in this browser, this is how you can activate this mode.

  • Open the IE browser and go to the Tools section, which is mentioned on the upper right-hand side of the page.

Internet Explorer - Private Mode - How to Turn It On

  • Go to Safety and select the InPrivate browsing option. You can use the Ctrl + Shift + P command to open this mode instantly.

Incognito Mode - the InPrivate browsing option

  • Close the window to exit from the mode.

Apple Safari

safari icon

If you’re a MacOS user, Safari is the default browser that you use to connect with the world. Here are the steps to follow to enter Private Browsing mode in Safari.

  • Open Safari and go to the menu bar. Select File > New Private Window to activate the mode. You can also use the Shift+Command+N command to enter this mode quickly.

Apple Safari - enter Private Browsing mode in Safari

  • A light-dark-themed window will open up. It is a private browsing window.

Apple Safari - Private Browsing Enabled

  • Hold the Option key for a while to open a line. Right-click on the link and select Open Link in the New Private Window option. It shall work.

Apple Safari - Incognito Mode is On

Safari is offered on the iPhone as well. To activate incognito mode iPhone, open Safari on iPhone, click on the Tabs button, tap on the number page, and select Private. Incognito mode iPhone is activated.

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Opera is mostly outdated. But it’s not entirely obsolete. Hence, you should be aware of the process to activate this privacy mode in this browser. The steps are simple.

  • Go to Opera and access the Menu.

Opera - Private Mode - Opera and access

  • Select File > New Private Window, or you can also use Ctrl+Shift+N (Windows PC) or Command+Shift+N(Mac) to access this mode.

Opera - Private Mode - New Private Window

  • A window explaining that private mode is activated will be displayed. Use as usual and close the private browsing session to exit this mode.

Opera - Incognito Mode

That’s it! The process is simple and doesn’t ask for heavy technical knowledge. You can easily hide your search history on your device and reduce your digital footprint.

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Must Try Alternatives to Private Browsing or Incognito Mode

InPrivate Browsing mode is a great way to keep your search history hidden. But, it’s not flawless as it won’t provide enhanced online security. Also, your sessions will often be erased, making it inconvenient to use private browsing long-term.

Alternatives To Private Browsing or Incognito Mode - Reddit comment

Here are a few consider-worthy alternatives to try if you want improved security.

  • Tor Browser

Want to keep both the search history and IP address hidden? Try Tor Browser. The browser improves online secrecy and privacy.

This browser will hide/mask the location and online messages Along with your personal data and browsing history. It uses powerful encryption to keep communication and data transfer protected.

  • VPN

To improve security, using a VPN is indeed a wise move to make. It’s basically an intermediary that sits between the website and the server. It filters traffic before it reaches the end user.

Along with encryption, it proffers multiple security protocols to strengthen the basic cyber security profile of an application.

Incognito Mode and VPN - Reddit comment

  • Proxy Server

A proxy server is also a great alternative to incognito mode to improve online privacy. It replaces the IP address and makes online tracking difficult. But, only a few features and security, like VPN, are enjoyed. However, you can still consider it to improve your online presence.

Final Say

Maintaining online privacy in the world of extensive tracking takes a lot to maintain online privacy. Search engines, ISPs, browsers, and threat actors are eyeing your online activities. Hence, you must make efforts to protect your search history and online presence.

Incognito mode, offered as a free feature, is one of the easiest ways to protect the search history on a device. Whatever you browse in this mode is not saved or logged.

It’s an easy way that demands hardly any technical competencies. Hence, you can try it. But don’t bank on it solely if you’re seeking improved online security. Alternatives like the Tor browser, VPN, and proxy server are wise choices as they are more sound and robust.

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