5 Tips to Enhance Incognito Mode in Chrome on Android
Chrome’s incognito mode makes private web browsing easy and accessible. There are, however, lesser-known tips and tricks you can use to further enhance the incognito mode on Chrome for Android devices.
By utilizing a few well-hidden Chrome flags and tinkering with other available options, you can extend the usefulness of the incognito mode on Chrome for Android—and here are some of the best ways to do so.
1. Lock Incognito Tabs
Although Chrome’s incognito mode lets you browse privately without stacking up any of your browsing history, there was no way to protect your incognito tabs from prying eyes until recently. You can now add fingerprint authentication to lock incognito tabs on Chrome for Android.
This feature works similarly to how most banking apps handle authentication and security. Once enabled, you will be required to use your biometric data or your phone’s passcode to unlock your incognito tabs and access the content within.
To lock incognito tabs on Chrome for Android:
- In Chrome, tap on the three-dotted menu, and head to Settings > Privacy and security.
- Enable the Lock incognito tabs… toggle and see the feature in action.
If you’re using an older version of the app, you might need to activate the feature first.
- To do so, launch Chrome on your phone or tablet and search for chrome://flags in the address bar.
- In the search bar below, type in Authentication.
- Look for the Enable device reauthentication for incognito option and change the value to Enabled. Now you will be able to enable the feature in the Settings menu.
2. Allow Screenshots Inside Incognito Mode
Not allowing screenshots of sensitive information to be taken is another thing that’s inherently great about the way Android handles private browsers and app windows. The moment you grab a screenshot or try to screen record on your Android device while in a data-sensitive app, you’ll be hit with a restricted warning.
Such is also the default behavior with Chrome incognito tabs on Android. However, this quickly gets annoying especially if you find yourself using incognito more out of habit than to simply protect your privacy. Fortunately, another Chrome flag on Android lets you bypass this security measure and grab screenshots freely.
To take screenshots in incognito mode on Android simply search for the Incognito Screenshot option inside chrome://flags and enable it.
3. Disable Incognito Mode
As a parent or a guardian, it is imperative to shield inappropriate content from the young ones. The inclusion of an incognito mode makes it next to impossible to determine if your kid has been accessing age-restricted or influential content on your phone.
Using a third-party app available on the Play Store, you can disable the incognito mode on Chrome for Android phones and tablets. Apart from preventing access to incognito mode, the app may also be used to automatically get rid of your private tabs every time you lock your device.
Download: Incoquito ($1.99)
4. Launch Incognito Windows Quicker
If you find yourself using Chrome’s incognito mode quite often, there’s a quicker and easier way to launch straight into a private tab. Android 8 introduced Quick Actions and in-app shortcuts that activate when an app icon is long-pressed either on the home screen or in the app drawer.
Simply long-press on the Google Chrome app and you should see an Incognito Tab shortcut. You can also long-press this shortcut and drag it over to your home screen for it to act like an independent app.
5. Use Other Google Apps in Incognito Mode
The sheer usefulness of a private browsing mode that doesn’t leave behind any trails motivated Google to incorporate the Incognito Mode in other apps as well.
Google Maps and YouTube both have a toggle under the Accounts section that triggers a temporary incognito mode. This is exceptionally useful if you’re not comfortable adding travel history to and from certain locations.
The incognito mode on YouTube works in a similar manner by disabling your watch history momentarily, so you can consume any type of content without it bombarding your recommendations later.
Use Incognito to Browse the Web More Privately
A culmination of these secret Chrome flags and simple toggles is sure to give you more control over your private browsing sessions. However, it is important to note that using incognito mode on your favorite browser or app still leaves your traces behind, and you’ll need to put in more effort to truly browse the web anonymously.