There is no in-built system to disable Incognito Mode in Chrome. For whatever reason, Google has decided that this is a feature they don't offer. And for many people, that won't really matter.
But perhaps for anyone with kids who are beginning to explore the internet, with all of the potentially unsuitable content that's out there, disabling Incognito Mode might just offer an additional way of protecting them from anything you may not want them to see.
While it isn't as simple as flicking a switch or adding a password, it is possible to disable Incognito Mode. Here's how you do it.
How To Disable Incognito Mode In Chrome
If you do want to disable Incognito Mode on a PC or Mac, then you're going to need to do a little bit of work using something called a Registry addition. This sounds complicated, but is actually not too difficult.
Disable Incognito Mode on PC
On a Windows computer, complete the following steps:
- Press Start, and type CMD into the search box.
- Right-click Command Prompt, and choose Run as administrator.
- When the Command Prompt window opens, type REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome /v IncognitoModeAvailability /t REG_DWORD /d 1, then press Enter.
Disable Incognito Mode on Mac
On macOS, you'll use a slightly different approach to disable Incognito Mode in Chrome, but the net result is the same:
- In the Finder, click on Go, then Utilities.
- Open the Terminal app.
- Type the following command: defaults write com.google.chrome IncognitoModeAvailability -integer 1z
- Press Enter.
How To Disable Incognito Mode In Chrome On Android
You can't use either of the methods we outlined above to disable Incognito Mode on an Android device. And there is no other built-in way to do this.
Instead, you'll need to look for a third-party app which will do the job for you. A simple search in the Play Store for "disable Incognito Mode" should let you find something suitable.
Install the app, and you'll need to give it the necessary permissions to function.
What Is Incognito Mode?
Incognito Mode is a feature on Chrome that means your activity isn't saved on your device, or to a Google account that you aren't signed in to.
This can be useful if, for example, you wanted to shop for a birthday gift for someone who shares access to your device. Incognito Mode would mean that none of your shopping would be saved on your device, so you can avoid spoiling the surprise.
When you close your Incognito window, Chrome will automatically discard and cookies or other site data linked to that browsing session.
It isn't perfect though. Websites can still track your activity on the internet, especially if you are signed into an account. Your activity will also remain visible to your ISP, or your school or employer if you are on their network.
Perhaps most importantly, Incognito Mode could allow someone to access unsuitable content without you being able to monitor this. As we mentioned earlier, this may be especially relevant to anyone with children.
Ultimately, Incognito Mode can be useful. But if you decide it isn't right for you or your loved ones, we've given you the tools to stop it from working.