You don't always want your browser to remember where you've been. Here's how to go undercover no matter what you're using. Do you want to keep your browsing sessions private? One way to do this is to browse browsers incognito on iPhone and Mac devices. This ensures that your data is not retained once you close the browser tabs.
Fortunately, the most popular browsers support the incognito function or “private browsing”, as it is also known. This guide takes a look at how you can browse incognito in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on macOS and iOS.
How to browse incognito on your iPhone
Most iPhone browsers support incognito or private browsing mode. This allows you to visit websites without other users knowing on your iOS device.
Here are the steps to go incognito in various iOS browsers.
Open the private browsing mode in Safari
- Launch Safari on your iPhone.
- Tap the icon in the lower right corner.
- Select Private in the lower left corner.
- Private browsing mode should now be enabled.
- Tap the icon Add (+) at the bottom to open an incognito tab.
Safari will not remember the websites you visit and will not automatically fill in the information you use while in this mode. To exit private browsing mode, tap the Private option again on the bottom left.
Open an Incognito tab in Chrome
- Open Chrome.
- Tap the three-dot menu and select New incognito tab.
- The screen turns dark gray, which means you are now in private browsing mode.
- Visit the websites you don't want saved in your history.
To exit Incognito mode, close the Incognito tabs and you will return to normal mode.
Open an Incognito tab in Firefox
- Start Firefox.
- Tap the tabs icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap the mask icon in the lower left corner.
- You are now in private mode. To open an incognito tab, tap the icon Add (+).
- As long as you are in private mode, you will see the mask icon above the usual tab icon at the bottom of the screen.
Besides the incognito mode, there are also other ways to keep your mobile browsing private.
How to browse incognito on your Mac
Most macOS browsers also support incognito mode and this makes it easier for you to browse websites without logging them in your browsing history. Here's how to go incognito in various Mac browsers.
Open a private window in Safari
- Launch Safari.
- Click on the menu Fillet at the top and select New private window. Alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + N.
- Private browsing mode is now enabled and any tabs you open in this newly opened window will remain private.
- You can close the window to exit private browsing mode.
Open an Incognito window in Chrome
- Open Google Chrome on your Mac.
- Click on the three dots at the top right and select New incognito window. Alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + N.
- The Incognito window will open allowing you to browse the web anonymously.
- Close the window when you no longer want to keep your browsing history private.
Chrome also offers a guest mode and you can use it for private browsing. Before you do that, though, make sure you know the differences between guest mode and incognito mode.
Open a private window in Firefox
- Open Firefox on your Mac.
- Click on the menu Fillet and select New private window. Alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + P.
- Firefox should say that you are in a private window and that your browsing history will not be saved.
- Close all your private tabs when you want to exit Incognito mode.
Incognito browsing, how it is activated
Keep web sessions private on Apple devices
If you are an iOS or macOS user and want to keep the sites you visit to yourself, the above methods teach you how to open private browsing windows in various browsers on your devices. Everything that happens in these windows stays in these windows.
If you frequently use incognito mode, you can actually make this mode the default mode for when you launch your favorite browser.
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