What you do online is private, which is why Google Chrome provides a few options for keeping your browsing secret. The two primary alternatives are incognito mode and guest mode, but how do they differ?
Let’s compare guest mode versus incognito mode in Chrome, including what they do and when you should use either.
What Is Incognito Mode in Google Chrome?
Incognito mode, also known as private browsing in most other browsers, has been around for a long time and is an essential online surfing feature. You may surf the web while incognito without Chrome retaining any information about your experience. When you shut an incognito window, all information about that session is erased, with the exception of specific types of data that you preserve.
Chrome will not preserve any browser history, cookies, or form data produced in the incognito window as a result. It also disables extensions and removes the ability to reopen closed tabs with Ctrl + Shift + T. (unless you enable them manually).Any files you download and bookmarks you create, however, will remain when you exit the incognito session. If you want to remove them, you must do it manually.
When you start an incognito session, you’re effectively opening a new browser window that has never seen the internet before. You are not signed into any sites, and none of them are customized for you since there are no cookies. Sites have no clue who you are and don’t know you’re using an incognito window as long as you don’t sign in.
Incognito mode has lots of uses, such as:
- Signing into one of your accounts on a friend’s computer without making them sign out
- Observing how a website seems to the general public
- Looking for anything without interfering with your suggestions
- Checking to see whether one of your installed extensions is causing a website to break
- Bypassing page view limits
- Using a shared computer to buy for surprise birthday presents or something similar
While private browsing is really handy, bear in mind that you are not invisible. Websites may still use your IP address to determine your geographical location, and incognito does not conceal your browsing behavior from your ISP or network administrator. To improve your privacy in certain places, you’ll need to connect to a VPN.
To launch a new incognito window, open Chrome’s three-dot menu and choose New incognito window, or press Ctrl + Shift + N (Cmd + Shift + N on a Mac). If you don’t want websites tracking you throughout the web, you may activate the Block third-party cookies option on the first page. This is an excellent concept for surfing anonymously, however bear in mind that it may crash certain websites.
When you launch an incognito window, it creates a new incognito session that lasts across any additional incognito windows you open. If you notice a number next to Incognito in the top-right corner of your browser, you have more than one open.
The session finishes when you shut all open incognito windows. To start again, open a new incognito window.
What Is Guest Mode in Google Chrome?
In Chrome, guest mode is distinct from incognito mode; the two are not interchangeable. Guest browsing makes use of Chrome’s profile switching ability to provide you with a blank profile for someone who is just using Chrome momentarily.
Guest browsing, like incognito mode, deletes all browser history and disables all extensions. However, the user cannot view or alter any Chrome settings when in guest mode (aside from the default search engine).A guest user cannot see any of the primary Chrome accounts’ browsing history, bookmarks, or downloads. They also have no ability to add new bookmarks to the guest profile.
Guest mode is especially beneficial while surfing on someone else’s computer, allowing someone to use yours, or working on a public computer.
Click the profile switcher in the top-right corner of Chrome, which displays your current profile photo, to open a new guest window. To begin a new guest session, click Guest under Other People. Simply shut the guest window to end the browsing experience.
Closing this window, like incognito mode, will remove all traces of the guest user’s surfing, except for downloaded files. Starting a new guest window restarts the process, with no links to the prior one. In contrast to incognito, you cannot have more than one guest window open at the same time.
The Differences Between Incognito and Guest Mode in Chrome
As we’ve seen, Chrome’s incognito and guest modes are quite similar. However, guest mode is not the same as incognito mode, so when should you utilize either of them?
Both are appropriate for erasing all traces of your surfing as soon as you shut the browser. However, incognito is designed for use on your own computer, while guest mode is intended for use on a computer that is not yours. This makes more sense since you can still access all of your bookmarks and modify browser settings when in incognito mode.
Related: How to Go Incognito on iPhone and Mac
Thus, incognito mode enables the main Chrome user to browse without recording history, but guest mode allows another user to use the browser without access to the original user’s data. Both prohibit any session information from being kept, hence there is no incorrect way to utilize both modes.
Go ahead and start a new browser session in guest mode or have a buddy surf using an incognito window. Just keep in mind that doing so may expose personal information from your browser to a buddy.
Master Using Guest Mode and Incognito Mode
You now understand how Chrome’s guest mode and incognito mode vary. When you want to browse without being linked to your main profile, use them both judiciously. Just keep in mind that unless you use certain extra safeguards, you will not be completely invisible while utilizing either mode.
If this has piqued your curiosity in making your browser more private, you should also check at Chrome privacy options.
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