If you ever need to browse privately in Google Chrome, it’s easy to quickly open an incognito window with a keyboard shortcut. In this special mode, your browsing history is not saved on your local computer. Here’s how to get it started.
First, open Chrome. With a Chrome browser window open, press the following keyboard combination to open a new incognito window:
- Windows, Linux or Chromebook: Press Ctrl + Shift + N
- Mac: Press Command + Shift + N
After pressing the shortcut, a special incognito window will open.
When you are in incognito mode, you can see it because the Chrome browser window toolbar has a darker color scheme and there is a small incognito icon next to the address bar in the toolbar.
While browsing an incognito window, Chrome does not save your browsing history, site data, cookies, or saved form data locally once you close the incognito window. However, downloaded files and bookmarks are saved unless you manually delete them.
At any time, you can press Ctrl + T (or Command + T on Mac) to open a new tab in the Incognito window, and the browsing activity on that tab is locally private as well.
Remember, incognito mode is not perfect and will not protect you from those who can remotely view your activity on the Internet, such as your employer, school, Internet service provider or the websites you visit. It’s just to prevent local snooping in your browsing history.
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When you are ready to stop private browsing, you need to close the incognito window. To do this with a keyboard shortcut, press Alt + F4 on Windows and Linux, or Command + Shift + W on a Mac. Or you can simply click on the “X” in the corner of the window with your mouse. Stay safe there!