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How to browse in private (incognito) on Android and why it's important

The benefits of private browsing on Android stretch further than just preventing others from seeing what you have been searching for online. Private mode, incognito mode, porn mode, call it what you will, this feature isn’t just for when you want to search for leaked celebrity pictures, there is far more to it than that. Read on to find out how to browse privately on Android, and why you should. 

AndroidPIT Browsing
This is what somebody browsing in private looks like. / © AndroidPIT

How to turn on private browsing on Android

Private browsing is known as incognito mode on Android and it’s very easy to set up, however the method for doing so changes depending on device and browser. Using the standard Android “internet” app, you must open the app, then press the “settings” button (or the “three dots” icon if your device has no hardware buttons) and then tap “incognito mode”. That’s all there is to it. The process will be pretty much the same for any browser you use on Android, just go to your settings and you should see some form of “private” option.

androidpit incognito private browsing
Open your Android internet app or preferred browser, tap the settings button/icon, then tap incognito mode. That's it. / © ANDROIDPIT

Why would you want to do this?

To log into your accounts

Browsers often want to save passwords and log-in details to make logging in easier and quicker on private computers. It makes sense, who wants to have to log into Facebook every time they want to do a bit of digital stalking? But on a smartphone this is different. Phones get shared, swapped and stolen.

Logging into your various accounts while incognito means the browser won’t be able to save your log-in details or form data. This means that if you happen to log into your own accounts on anybody else's device you should choose a private browsing option there too!

When you don’t want to be targeted by advertising

Private browsing won’t stop adverts appearing, but it does mean that your searches won’t be affected by your previous search habits. Google collects data from all over the place to target advertisements and promotional material specifically at YOU, and if you wish to avoid this and conduct a “pure” search, private browsing is the way to go.

To use multiple accounts at once

Have two Google accounts? Want to be logged into both at the same time? Open one normal browser and one incognito browser.

When you want to research something in private

This could be for any number of reasons. Maybe you have an embarrassing illness you don’t somebody to know about? Maybe you are at work but need to go off grid to do some research? Browsing in private means you don't have to worry about anybody else discovering your search habits, just remember to close your browser window when you are done.

For testing and debugging

If you are worried about the effects of your cache and cookie data when trying to run website tests or debugging software, conducting your session in private mode will have a clean user experience. 

So there you go, the benefits of private browsing. Do you use private browsing mode on Android?


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