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Incognito mode makes its way to YouTube

We’d all like to have more online privacy, these days especially. Knowing that our every movement has or can be tracked is disturbing enough, but upon learning what companies and individuals can do with that information it gets even worse.

Many sites and services have been grappling with this, or at least the reaction to it. People are demanding better privacy and protections, which is not easy for places that essentially traffic in information.

Measures are being taken, and one of the most popular concepts has been “incognito mode.” A popular feature in Google Chrome, it is now being adapted for YouTube and YouTube Music.

Browse away, tracking-free

Google, which owns YouTube, began testing the new incognito mode in May, and now it is ready to be brought to the masses via the Google Play Store (not iOS). With it, your watch and search history will be disabled and therefore not tracked.

When incognito mode is enabled, the button for signing out of your YouTube account is instead one to “Turn on Incognito.” When enabled for the first time, you will receive a notice that informs you of having gone incognito.

But if you forget, there will be other indicators of the change, such as Google’s hat and shades avatar icon in the upper right-hand corner as well as a bar on the bottom of the screen that will say it.


When in incognito mode, the Home and Trending feeds are the only ones you will be able to access. Things like subscriptions, your inbox, library and search are all hidden as a sign that nothing at all is being saved to your history.

If, however, you’d like to add something to a playlist, a button will appear that allows you to quickly turn off incognito mode without losing your place in the video.

However, if you would rather just pause your search and watch history temporarily while staying logged in to keep video suggestions, that feature is still available in settings. Furthemore, incognito mode will automatically turn off after a time of inactivity or can be deactivated by manually tapping the avatar in upper-right corner.

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