YouTube on Android is getting an Incognito mode

Image: 9to5Google

The YouTube app on Android is getting a new feature today: a Google Chrome-esque Incognito mode that will let users browse videos on the mobile app without worrying about their watch and search history, as noted by 9to5Google.

The new mode is available in the Account section of the app, where a toggle to “Turn on Incognito mode” should appear once the update rolls out. When in Incognito mode, the app will show a bar at the bottom of the screen to remind users of that fact. It will also replace your account icon with Google’s Incognito mode detective instead. Just like with Chrome, all watch and search activity while using Incognito mode is cleared when you exit. (The mode also deactivates after a period of inactivity.) Google still cautions that “your activity might still be visible to your employer, school, or internet service provider.”

When Incognito mode is active, you’ll only be able to access the Home and Trending portions of the app. Things like your subscriptions, inbox, and library won’t be available in the private browsing mode, and you won’t be able to save any videos to your playlists, either.

For a better look at how to keep most of your internet browsing activities private, here’s a deeper dive.


Honest question, how is this useful? The main reasons to use Incognito mode in a browser is for porn or when you’re entering sensitive information (like banking), neither of which are available through YouTube.

Supposedly you can’t even watch age gated content while in incognito (as it effectively logs you out), so I really have no idea what it’s for.

Researching the other side point of view without being bombarded by recommendations around it later on? It’s good to have a choice

So you can check on videos that you don’t want to keep showing up in suggestions. I’m subscribed to r/ElsaGate on Reddit and it’d be nice to be able to check on the videos for myself without YouTube suggesting more of those types of videos.

when you want to watch something and you dont want it to show up on your history.or change your algorithms on the main page.

I hope it remembers that I’m paying for YouTube Prime so I don’t have to see the ads.

It seems like remembering that would mean it’s associating user data, defeating the purpose…

YouTube doesn’t have to remember it. Incognito mode has never been truly anonymous, it’s just an automatic way to clear your browsing history.

Sure whatever. Where is DARK MODE on Android? It’s been available on iOS for decades now.

Fantastic. Hope there is a way to make this the default mode and permanently disable YouTube’s stupid recommendations.

This is good

I alreasy have sort of an incognito mode for youtube. You just need to turn off search and watch history from both Google settings and then the youtube app. Was kind of a long and cumbersome process from something as basic as this, good its accessible now easily.

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