Most of us are familiar with the concept of private browsing, where we can explore the internet without leaving a trace of our search or browsing history. But did you know that YouTube also offers a similar feature called Incognito mode? In this article, we’ll explore what Incognito mode in YouTube is and how you can make the most of it.
What Is Incognito Mode in YouTube
When you’re logged into YouTube, every video you watch and every search you make is recorded in your YouTube history. This history then influences the recommendations you see on the platform. However, with YouTube’s Incognito mode, you can watch videos privately without leaving any traces in your search or watch history. Once you disable Incognito mode, your history is automatically cleared. It’s like what happens in Incognito mode stays in Incognito mode.
In Incognito mode, the videos you watch won’t impact your YouTube recommendations. You can browse privately without logging out of your account. However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to interact with videos in Incognito mode. You can’t like, add to a watchlist, comment, or subscribe to a channel. If you try to perform any of these actions, you’ll be prompted to log in, which will turn off Incognito mode.
It’s important to note that Incognito mode only hides your activity from your device and Google account. It doesn’t hide it from Google, your employer, or your internet service provider. They can still track your activity in Incognito mode.
How to Enable YouTube Incognito Mode on Android and iPhone
Enabling Incognito mode on the YouTube app for Android and iPhone is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Launch the YouTube app on your phone.
- Tap on the profile picture icon at the top.
- In the YouTube menu, tap on “Turn on Incognito.” Confirm by tapping “Got it.”
Once you’re in Incognito mode, you’ll see a black banner at the bottom of the screen that says “You’re Incognito.”
How to Pause Search or Watch History on YouTube on Mobile
If you only want to disable search or watch history temporarily without entering Incognito mode, you can do so by following these steps:
- In the YouTube app, tap on the profile picture icon.
- Go to “Settings” and then “History & Privacy.”
- Enable the toggle next to “Pause watch history” or “Pause search history” based on your preference.
Enabling “Pause watch history” will prevent newly watched videos from being saved in your YouTube history, affecting recommendations. Enabling “Pause search history” will stop YouTube from recording your future search history. These settings are independent, so you can enable or disable them separately.
How to Turn off Incognito Mode in YouTube App on Mobile
Incognito mode in the YouTube app will automatically turn off if you’re inactive for 90 minutes. When you open the YouTube app again, you’ll receive a pop-up notification indicating that you’ve been logged into your Google account, which means Incognito mode has been disabled.
To manually turn off Incognito mode in the YouTube app on Android or iPhone, follow these steps:
- In the YouTube app, tap on the Incognito icon at the top (where the profile picture icon is usually located).
- A menu will appear. Tap on “Turn off Incognito.”
You’ll be automatically signed into the Google account you were using before enabling Incognito mode, and YouTube will resume recording your watch and search history.
How to Use YouTube Incognito Mode on PC
Unlike the mobile apps, YouTube doesn’t offer a native Incognito mode on PC. However, you can still browse privately or pause your watch/search history by utilizing your web browser’s Incognito mode.
To open an Incognito mode window in popular browsers, follow these steps:
- Google Chrome: Click on the three-dot icon and select “New Incognito window.” Alternatively, use the CTRL+SHIFT+N keyboard shortcut.
- Mozilla Firefox: Click on the three-bar icon and select “New Private window.”
- Microsoft Edge: Click on the three-dot icon and choose “New InPrivate window.”
- Safari: Go to “File” and select “New Private Window.”
To disable YouTube Incognito mode, simply close the Incognito window and open YouTube in a regular browser window.
Bonus: How to Enable Incognito Mode in YouTube Music
While YouTube Music doesn’t have an Incognito mode like its video counterpart, you can still pause your search or watch history to prevent it from affecting your recommendations. In the YouTube Music settings, navigate to “Privacy & location” and enable “Pause watch history” or “Pause search history” as desired.
Now that you understand the power of Incognito mode in YouTube, you can browse privately and enjoy your favorite videos without worrying about your activity being tracked. Whether you’re on your mobile device or PC, Incognito mode provides a convenient and secure way to explore YouTube.