How Do I Turn Off Incognito Mode in Chrome

Incognito Mode in Google Chrome is a popular feature that offers private browsing by not saving your browsing history, cookies, site data, or information entered in forms. This can be very useful when you want to keep your browsing activity confidential. However, there may be times when you need to disable this feature, either to enforce parental controls, to enable your browser to retain your browsing history, or for other reasons. Let’s explore various methods to deactivate Incognito Mode and revert to standard browsing where your activity is recorded.

how do i turn off incognito mode in chrome

Disable Incognito Mode Using Windows Registry

For those using Chrome on a Windows PC, one way to turn off Incognito Mode is by modifying the Windows Registry. This should be done carefully since changes to the Windows Registry can affect your system’s operation.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesGoogleChrome. If you don’t see the Google or Chrome folders, you’ll need to create them.
  4. Right-click on the Chrome folder, select New, and then DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Name this new value IncognitoModeAvailability.
  6. Double-click on the newly created value and set the Value data to 1.
  7. Click OK and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Disabling Incognito Mode this way is quite effective – it removes the option entirely from the browser. However, editing the Windows Registry carries some risk and should be done carefully and only if necessary.

Alter Group Policy on Windows

Those managing multiple computers, like in an office or school environment, might opt to use the Group Policy Editor on Windows to disable Incognito Mode in Chrome.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter to access the Group Policy Editor.
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Google -> Google Chrome.
  4. Look for a setting named “Incognito Mode Availability”.
  5. Double-click on it and set it to “Enabled”.
  6. In the options, select “Incognito mode disabled” from the dropdown.
  7. Click Apply and then OK, and restart the computer.

Adjusting group policies is a more centralized way of managing settings for several users. It needs administrative access, and the change is system-wide.

Use Terminal on macOS

Mac users can also block Incognito Mode by using Terminal commands, which adjust system-level preferences for Chrome.

  1. Open the Terminal application; you can find it in the Utilities folder within Applications or by searching for it with Spotlight.
  2. Type defaults write IncognitoModeAvailability -integer 1 and press Enter.
  3. Restart your Mac to apply the changes.

This is a straightforward method, but it requires a bit of familiarity with Terminal. Mistyped commands can have unintended effects, so proceed with caution.

Setup a Supervised User

On platforms that support it, setting up a supervised user account in Chrome can restrict access to Incognito Mode.

  1. Go to your Google Account’s Family Link section.
  2. Follow the steps to set up a supervised account or profile for a family member.
  3. Once set up, you can manage the account’s settings and restrict access to Incognito Mode through the supervised user’s account settings.

Supervised users provide a great way for parents to manage their children’s browsing activities, but it might not be suitable for self-regulation or other contexts.

Third-Party Extensions

There are various third-party extensions available that can help to disable Incognito Mode in Chrome.

  1. Open Chrome and navigate to the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Search for extensions that block Incognito Mode, such as “Incognito Gone”.
  3. Choose an extension and select “Add to Chrome” to install it.
  4. Follow the extension’s specific instructions to disable Incognito Mode.

Third-party extensions can be helpful but always research and ensure you’re installing reputable software. Extensions might not be foolproof, and some could potentially compromise your privacy or security.

Use Parental Control Software

Parental control software often includes the ability to disable private browsing.

  1. Research and select a reputable parental control software that is compatible with Chrome.
  2. Download and install the software.
  3. Follow the software’s setup process, which generally includes creating an account.
  4. Look for an option within the software to disable Incognito
Larry R. Jimenez
I'm the senior editor of I help people solve their computer problems and recommend reliable products. My area of expertise includes electronic or hardware products, Windows, Mac, and application tricks. I'm active in the various online tech communities where he provides help for new computer issues as they are released.

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