How Do I Use Incognito Mode

Emily Thomas

You’re probably already familiar with browsing the internet, but have you ever wondered about how to make your online sessions more private? This article is all about teaching you to use Incognito Mode—a feature on most modern web browsers that doesn’t save your browsing history or cookies. It’s perfect for when you’re looking up surprise gifts or just want a bit of extra privacy. We’ll guide you through the simple steps to get it up and running on different platforms and browsers, ensuring your online adventures remain your own little secret.

Understanding Incognito Mode

Browsing privately on the internet can sometimes be necessary for a variety of reasons and that is where the concept of Incognito mode comes in.

Definition of Incognito Mode

Incognito Mode is a privacy feature in web browsers. When you’re in Incognito Mode, your browsing history or the search queries you make are not recorded on your computer. This feature is available in most major web browsers and it’s commonly symbolized with a dark or masked figure.

The Aim of Using Incognito Mode

The fundamental aim of using Incognito Mode is to offer privacy when browsing the internet. Whether you are buying a surprise gift for someone and don’t want anyone else who uses your computer to see, or you’re conducting some confidential research, using Incognito Mode means your browsing history won’t be stored locally on your computer.

What Incognito Mode Does Not Do

While Incognito Mode is great for keeping your local browsing history clean, it does not magically shield all your online activities from prying eyes. It won’t stop your internet service provider (ISP), employer, or the websites you visit from tracking your browsing activities or knowing your location.

Using Incognito Mode in Various Browsers

The specific method of accessing Incognito Mode varies from browser to browser. Below are instructions for various commonly used browsers.


To activate Incognito Mode in Chrome, you simply click on the three dots in the top-right corner and select the New Incognito Window option.


For Safari users, locating private browsing is straightforward. You click on File, and then New Private Window to open an Incognito window.

Mozilla Firefox

In Mozilla Firefox, the privacy option is located under the hamburger menu in the top right corner, labelled as New Private Window.

Microsoft Edge

In Microsoft Edge, you find the option to browse privately by clicking on the three dots at the top right and choosing the New InPrivate Window from the dropdown menu.

Internet Explorer

Even in an older browser such as Internet Explorer, private browsing can be accessed by clicking the gear icon on the top right corner and selecting Safety, then choosing InPrivate Browsing.

How Do I Use Incognito Mode

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How to Open Incognito Mode in Chrome

Accessing Incognito Mode in Chrome can be achieved in two ways.

Using Shortcut Keys

Pressing Ctrl + Shift + N simultaneously will open an Incognito window in Chrome.

Through Chrome’s Menu Options

Alternatively, click on the three dots in the top right corner of the browser and select the New Incognito Window option.

Leveraging Incognito Mode in Safari

In Safari, Incognito Mode is activated in much the same way.

Safari’s Private Window

This browser refers to its private browsing feature as a Private Window.

Using Shortcut Keys in Safari

To open a Private Window, simply press Command + Shift + N.

Through Safari’s Menu Options

Or click on File in the menu bar and select New Private Window.

How Do I Use Incognito Mode

Navigating Incognito Mode in Mozilla Firefox

In Firefox, the private browsing feature is quite easy to access.

Using Shortcut Keys in Firefox

The keyboard shortcut to open a private window is Ctrl + Shift + P.

Through Firefox’s Menu Options

Otherwise, click on the menu button (represented by three horizontal lines) and select New Private Window.

Utilizing Incognito Mode in Microsoft Edge

Accessing Incognito Mode in Microsoft Edge is just as simple.

Edge’s InPrivate Window

In Edge, the private browsing feature is referred to as an InPrivate Window.

Shortcut Keys in Edge

Press Ctrl + Shift + N to open an InPrivate Window.

Through Edge’s Menu Options

Alternatively, click the three horizontal dots (more actions) and choose New InPrivate Window.

How Do I Use Incognito Mode

Initiating Incognito Mode in Internet Explorer

Even though Internet Explorer is older, it still supports Private browsing.

InPrivate Browsing in Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer’s rendition of Incognito Mode is referred to as InPrivate Browsing.

Using Shortcut Keys in Internet Explorer

You can activate this feature by pressing Ctrl + Shift + P.

Through Internet Explorer’s Menu Options

Another option is to click the gear symbol on the top right corner, select Safety, and then InPrivate Browsing.

Exiting Incognito Mode in Various Browsers

Just like entering Incognito Mode differs per browser, so does exiting.

Closing Incognito Mode in Chrome

To exit Incognito Mode in Chrome, just close the Incognito window.

Exiting Private Window in Safari

In Safari, close the Private Window to exit Incognito Mode.

Shutting Down Incognito Mode in Firefox

Close the private window in Firefox to exit Incognito Mode.

Exiting InPrivate Window in Edge

In Edge, simply close the InPrivate Window when you’re done browsing privately.

Closing InPrivate Browsing in Internet Explorer

In Internet Explorer, closing the InPrivate Browsing window will end your private session.

What Information is Still Visible in Incognito Mode

Despite its intent, Incognito Mode does not make you invisible on the web.

Visibility of Browsing History

While your search history is not logged on your device, your browsing activities can still be tracked by the ISP, your organization, or the websites you visit.

Cookies and Site Data

Cookies set during an Incognito session aren’t kept once you close your Incognito window. However, a site could use session cookies to track you within that particular session.

IP Address Detection

Your IP address is not hidden while in Incognito mode. Websites, ISPs, and any middlemen involved in the network connection could potentially log your IP address.

Benefits and Limitations of Incognito Mode

Like every tool, Incognito Mode has its advantages and drawbacks, and may not work as some users expect.

Advantages of Using Incognito Mode

Incognito Mode provides a quick way to hide your browsing history from others who have access to your computer. It is also handy for preventing cookies from tracking your browsing habits or logging into multiple accounts simultaneously.

Shortcomings of Incognito Mode

Incognito Mode does not offer full internet anonymity. It doesn’t hide your browsing history from your ISP or the websites you visit. Therefore, it is not a tool for secure or confidential browsing.

Confusions and Misunderstandings about Incognito Mode

Many people wrongly assume that Incognito Mode is a full-proof method for complete online privacy. While it can hide your browsing history, it doesn’t hide your location or activity from the network and the websites you interact with. Moreover, any files you download or bookmarks you create in Incognito Mode stay in your device even after closing the Incognito session.