How to Open an Incognito Window in Google Chrome

Imagine this: you’re over at a friend’s house and suddenly realize you need to check your bank account, or one of your several social networking profiles to find out where you’re meeting up later for drinks. You notice your friend uses Google Chrome, and you’re concerned that your username and/or password might end up being saved, or that you might forget to log out altogether. This is where Incognito mode can come in handy.

Opening a new window in Incognito mode doesn’t require any trips to the settings menu or complicated multi-step processes. All you need to do is hit Shift+Command+N from a Mac or Ctrl+Shift+N on a Windows-based PC to activate a new window that won’t save your browsing history.

You can also create a new Incognito window through the menu located at the upper-right of the Google Chrome program. The icon you’ll want to press looks like a wrench. The option you’re looking for should be the third from the very top of that menu.

Another method for opening a new Incognito window without having to have Google Chrome open at all is by right-clicking the shortcut in your dock (Mac) or taskbar (Windows) and selecting New Incognito window.

If you want to enable Incognito by default (handy on a frequently shared system), you can do this in Windows by adding “-incognito” to the end of the shortcut on your desktop or through the Start menu. This can be done by right-clicking the shortcut, selecting properties, and adding “-incognito” to the end of the target field. It should end like this: “chrome.exe -incognito”.

Incognito windows can come in handy in a variety of scenarios. If you’re at work and your boss has a strict policy against checking your social media profiles, this can be a great way to cover your tracks. Be warned, your IT department may have keyloggers or screen capture software installed by policy, depending on what kind of work you perform.

If you live in a house with a shared computer, Incognito can help you plan that surprise party and/or buy gifts without any risk of family members coming across your recent searches and/or visits to Amazon.

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