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Google's latest Chrome update makes it easy to browse in secret – and you can try it now

(Image credit: Future)

Just a few days ago we wrote about Google's plans to make it easy to access Incognito Mode in Chrome so you can browse the internet privately.

Using Incognito Mode prevents Chrome from storing a record of the sites you visit, and also stops cookies and other data about your online activities from being saved. A new feature in the browser means it is possible to launch Chrome directly into this private browsing mode rather than having to switch to it manually.

At the moment you have to launch Chrome in 'normal' mode, and then switch to Incognito. This can be done in a couple of ways: either selecting the 'New Incognito Window' option in the main menu, or by using the Ctrl + Shift + N keyboard shortcut.

But now, as reported by Techdows, Google has added something that people have been asking for quite some time – the ability to create a desktop shortcut to access Incognito Mode directly. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from creating shortcuts in other locations such as the Start menu or the taskbar as well.

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The option of creating shortcut to Incognito Mode is now available in Chrome 86 Canary , which you can install alongside the stable release of Chrome 85. But even with the latest Canary build installed, you will still have to enable an optional flag:

  1. Launch Chrome and visit chrome://flags
  2. Search for 'Enable Incognito Desktop Shortcut'
  3. Select 'Enabled' from the drop-down menu
  4. Restart Chrome by clicking the 'Relaunch' button

Switch to Incognito Mode manually (it doesn't matter what method you use), then click the 'Incognito' button to the right of the address bar. Click 'Create shortcut' in the menu that appears, and an Incognito Mode shortcut will be added to the desktop.

Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.


Having written for websites and magazine since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, Sofia continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, sharing new discoveries is a major passion.


Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy.