Why does Chrome Incognito remember websites and how to stop it?

by Megan Moore
Megan Moore
Megan Moore
Megan is a Windows enthusiast and an avid writer. With an interest and fascination in all things tech, she enjoys staying up to date on exciting new developments... read more
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  • Chrome Incognito mode deletes browser history, cookies, and login information after exiting to remain discrete while browsing.
  • Any downloads or bookmarks made in Incognito mode will still be visible on your device.
  • Users have reported that the searches and websites visited made in Incognito mode are being suggested in the omnibox.

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Chrome Incognito is a private browsing mode that allows users to surf the web without their history, cookies, and login data being saved. This means browsing activity done while in Incognito mode won’t show up in browser history.

Users have reported that their searches and websites visited in Incognito mode are being remembered and showing up as suggested searches in the omnibox while browsing normally. Keep reading to find the solution to this issue.

How does private browsing work in Chrome?

The purpose of Incognito mode is to allow users to browse without others who use the same device seeing browser history and data. While in Incognito mode, cookies and data are remembered but deleted after closing the private browsing window.

Google Chrome Incognito mode.

Chrome makes it clear that Incognito mode does not save history, cookies, permissions, and login information. However, it does not hide locations or sites visited from network providers, search engines, employers, or schools.

Any downloads or bookmarks made in Incognito mode will still be visible on the device after exiting private browsing.

How can I stop Chrome Incognito from remembering the sites I visit?

1. Use a different browser

Google Chrome is one of the most popular browsers because of its simple user interface and speed. However, it’s no secret that Chrome is not the most private browser and has had numerous claims of privacy and tracking violations.

Private browsing in Opera.

For a more secure browsing experience, we recommend the Opera browser. This browser has a built-in VPN with a no-logs policy so users can surf the web with peace of mind. Opera also has a private browsing mode so users can browse discreetly.

Opera

Browse discretely in Opera’s private browser and protect your data with the built-in VPN.

2. Turn off autocomplete

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner then select Settings. Google Chrome settings.
  2. Under You and Google, select Sync and Google services. Click You and Google.
  3. Under Other Google services, toggle Autocomplete searches and URLs to off. Turn off autocomplete.

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Autocomplete is designed to make searching and filling in data more convenient for users and increase browsing speed. However, this may be causing the searches made in Incognito mode to show up when browsing normally.

3. Clear browser data

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner then select Settings.
  2. Click Privacy and security then Clear browsing data. Under privacy and security, clear browsing data.
  3. Adjust the time range and check all the boxes then click Clear data. Adjust time range and check boxes.

Clearing browser data is a quick way to get rid of your history and cache and will remove data from the time range you select. Doing this might also speed up browsing speed if you haven’t cleared it in a while.

4. Delete search history

  1. Go to Google.com and in the bottom right-hand corner click on Settings. Google.com settings.
  2. Click Search history. Click search history.
  3. Select Delete and choose a time range of history to delete. Delete Google search history.
  4. Choose which activity you want to delete. If you only wish to delete search history, then only check the box next to Search. Select the data to delete.
  5. Click Next, then Delete.
  6. Click OK.

If Google is your main search engine, then clearing your search history will remove all previous searches permanently. If you don’t want to have to do this every so often, you can set up auto-delete in the search history settings which will automatically delete search history every 3, 18, or 36 months.

5. Turn off Web & App Activity

  1. Go to Google.com and in the bottom right-hand corner click on Settings.
  2. Click Search history.
  3. Select Saving to Web & App Activity. Click saving Web & App Activity.
  4. Click Turn off. Turn off Web & App Activity.

The Web & App Activity feature saves your activity on Google and associate apps to provide faster searches and search recommendations. Turning this feature off may prevent Google from suggesting searches that were made in Incognito mode.

These methods offer the solution to Chrome Incognito remembering the websites you visit. The purpose of Incognito is to browse discretely, so it can be frustrating if you are seeing searches made while private browsing in the Omnibox.

If you’re having an issue where Chrome Incognito is not showing up at all, we have solutions for that problem as well.

Let us know in the comments below if you found a different solution that is not listed above.

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