How to Disable Incognito Mode on Android: Simplified Guide

how to disable incognito mode on android

There are a lot of perks to opening an incognito tab while browsing the internet on your Android phone, especially when you want to leave absolutely no trace behind. This mode leaves cookies, browsing history, and underlying information unsaved and almost impossible to trace, however, there is no direct switch to disabling and enabling incognito mode. In this article, we will give a step-by-step guide on how to disable incognito mode on Android phones using Third-party apps (for example, “Incoquito” and “Incognito Away”), setting up parental control and browsers that don’t support incognito mode.

Incognito Mode and How It Works

Incognito Mode also called private browsing, is a feature on your browser that stores no traces of the web pages you visit.

Most web browsers automatically keep a log of the websites and pages you visit. You can quickly discover and revisit web pages in the future by saving your “history”. The majority of browsers offer the ability to temporarily stop this record-keeping, ensuring that the websites you visit remain private, at least from anyone that uses the same browser.

This feature has a unique name in different browsers. There is Incognito Mode in Chrome, InPrivate Mode in Microsoft Edge, Private Browsing in Safari, and Private Mode in Firefox.

How it Works

After ending your private session and exiting all your incognito browsing windows, your browsing history, cookies, and safe data, the information you entered in forms and permission you give websites are automatically deleted.

Although Incognito mode doesn’t save browsing activities, your activity, like your location might still be visible to search engines, websites you visit, the person that runs the network you are using, and your internet service provider. Your downloads and bookmarks are saved to your downloads folder but will not be saved on the private browser. Anyone will be able to access these files, so, you might want to be careful with how you store or hide said files.

How to Open Incognito Tabs on Android

In order to browse privately and make Google Chrome forget your activity, here is a simplified step-by-step on how to open an incognito tab:

  • Tap the Chrome app
  • To the right of the page, tap the dotted line
  • Select “New Incognito Mode”

A new incognito tab will load up, then, you can surf the internet in private.

How to lock incognito tabs when you leave Chrome

Incognito tabs you leave open are easily accessible by anyone using your device. You can lock your Incognito tabs to prevent other device users from viewing them while they are open;

  • Open Chrome on your Android
  • Tap the dotted line to your right
  • Click “Privacy and Security”
  • Turn on “Lock Incognito tabs when you leave Chrome”

How to Disable Incognito Mode on Android 

Before we get into disabling incognito mode on Android permanently, you have to understand that it could mean two things:

  1. Closing an incognito tab after use
  2. Disabling incognito mode permanently to keep your kids from having access to it

Closing Incognito Tabs

Just closing an incognito tab after private use is quite easy.

Almost immediately, after you open an incognito tab, you’ll get a pop-up notification, depending on the browser you are using, reading “Close all Incognito tabs” or “Close all Private tabs”. Once you’re done browsing and ready to close the incognito tab, click the notification, and all tabs will automatically close.

In a situation where you don’t get the pop-up notification, you can also close incognito tabs directly;

When you’re ready to close and exit incognito mode, click on the tab switcher, switch to incognito mode, and then close all the tabs there if multiple.

How to Disable Incognito Mode Permanently 

If you are trying to keep your kids from accessing this mode completely, then this guide on how to disable incognito mode on your Android is for you.

There are about three ways to disable Incognito mode completely on your Android phone;

  • Using third-party blocker apps
  • Parental Control
  • Using a browser that does not support Incognito mode

Disabling Incognito Mode on Android Using Third-party Apps

The use of third-party blocker apps creates an instant block on incognito tabs. The most popular apps used for this are “Incoquito” and” Incognito Away”, however in order to get these apps, you will need to pay an amount of money.

To download this app;

  • Click on the play store icon on your phone
  • Go to the search bar and type Incoquito or Incognito Away or any other app blocker you may be curious about
  • When you see the app you are searching for, click on it and locate the install button
  • You will not see the word “install”, as you are expected to pay, you will see the price of the app instead of the install button.
  • Click the button and complete the payment procedures
  • Once installed, open the app and grant the requested permissions
  • Locate and activate the “prevent” to block incognito mode completely

Attempts to access incognito mode will be totally blocked and further attempts will prompt a password request. While these apps are great to use, they are, unfortunately, only effective on Google Chrome browsers. Hence, an intelligent kid could bypass these apps by using a different browser or uninstall the app entirely.

Using google family link, parents will be able to link their accounts with their child’s account and automatically block incognito browsing on google chrome. Some requirements are to be met, like the age requirement, but beyond that, it is the easiest way to stop incognito mode on Android phones.

Step 1: Click on the play store icon to start 

Step 2: Tap the search bar and type ‘family Link” into it

Step 3: On the search result page, click on “Google Family Link” to open it.

Step 4: Tap the install button to download and install automatically.

Step 5: After downloading, click on the” open” button to open.

Step 6: Tap the “v” button to read some info and then click the “get started” button. You will then be directed to select who would be using the phone where you downloaded the app. As you are the parent, select the “parent” button.

Step 7: The next page will tell you to have your child’s phone close by. Press “done” after getting the phone.

Step 8: On the next page, if you want to act as the family’s manager, tap “I’m ready” or if you want your partner to be the family manager, press “switch account”

Step 9: This page will ask if your child has a Google account. If they do, press “yes” to continue with the configurations. Press “Done” after adjusting the settings of your child’s phone.

Step 10: If your child doesn’t have a Google account yet, press “No” and the “Next” to create an account for him/her. After that, tap “Next” to complete the link process.

Once you have completed these steps, Google Family Link will automatically block Incognito Mode on your child’s phone. Easy as pie.

Using a Browser that does not Support Incognito Mode

The last option you have, if you are still searching for how to disable Incognito Mode on Android, is to use a browser that doesn’t contain the feature at all. These browsers are uncommon but can be found when specifically searched for.

Open the play store app and search for “browser without Incognito Mode”. A number of them should pop up. Download and install a few and see if they provide what you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if Someone is Using Incognito Mode on Android Phone?

Well, the easiest way is to check the phone’s browser history. Incognito mode saves no data or browsing history, so, if there is little or no browsing history as compared to the person’s browsing habits, then, it might be because they have been using Incognito Mode.

Another option is to use third-party apps, spy apps, or private browsing mode extensions.

Why Can’t I Turn-off Incognito?

This problem rarely surfaces, however, I would advise that in this situation, follow the above steps on closing an Incognito tab and then restart your phone.

How do I Permanently Disable Incognito Mode on my iPhone?

  1. This is actually an easier question to answer than how to disable incognito mode on Android. All you have to do is;
  • Go to settings
  • Locate and press “Screen Time”
  • Tap “Content and Privacy Restrictions. After which, tap the toggle next to “Content and Privacy Restrictions” if you haven’t set up restrictions in the past
  • Tap “Content Restrictions”
  • Click “Web Content”
  • And finally, Tap “Limit Adult Websites” 

You’re done!! The private option will be disabled.

Why is my Phone in Incognito Mode?

This is most likely because you accidentally swapped from normal browsing mode to Incognito Mode. All you have to do is close the incognito tab and switch back to normal browsing mode.

Can anyone see my activity in incognito mode?

The incognito mode actually does leave a data trail. Your ISP, employer, or other websites can view your surfing history. Your browsing history, current location, and any private information you may be disclosing are all visible to them. Only others who share your Android will be unable to see your browsing activity.

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