Instantly Switch a Chrome Tab to Incognito (Private) Mode

Private browsing has its uses – from public computers to even the ones in your house if you have more than one person sharing a computer. It is becoming the norm rather than the exception, something which made the browser biggies give it to us as a default feature.

You can reach for the menu or even force Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer to start in private browsing mode. Then there’s the third way of using dedicated extensions and add-ons to instantly switch the browser (Chrome tabs in this case) to a private mode. The word here is “instantly” and it is something I will recommend if you use private browsing a lot.

Incognito Mode

Firefox has add-ons like Toggle Private Browsing and Chrome also has quite a few. Two Chrome extensions are worth mentioning here that can quickly switch a Chrome tab to its Incognito mode.

Incognito Switcher

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Incognito Switcher (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore) is a handy toggle for switching over to the private incognito mode while you are browsing. You can go from normal browsing to incognito with a click on the extension’s icon on the toolbar. Click it again and it switches back. If you click the icon twice the current window will be transformed. To further speed up the toggling you can use the shortcut keys. Enable the Allow in incognito option in the extension’s settings; otherwise the tab opens up in a new incognito window.

Incognito This!

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Incognito This (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore) is similar to the previous Chrome extension in the way it instantly toggles any open Chrome tab to a new Incognito window and vice-versa. Switching the active page to a private browsing page (or a private page back to a regular tab) is achieved by clicking the extension’s toolbar button.

But the extension’s settings give you a few more customizable options. Of particular importance is clearing the page history on switch which Incognito Switcher does not do. You can also set certain tabs to be opened in the incognito mode by default by specifying words in their URLs as keywords in the field given under – Automatically switch tabs with these keywords in their URLs to Incognito.

It is these customization options that made me pick Incognito This over Incognito Switcher.

Are you an advocate of private browsing and keeping your data safe? Which one would be yours if and when you use the incognito mode of Chrome?

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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