Internet: Tips and Guides

How to always open Chrome in Incognito mode by default

Starting Chrome in Incognito mode by default is one of the options suggested to Google for future browser updates, with the aim of browsing privately without leaving a trace.

As you know, this is a function focused on safeguarding the user’s privacy and security, which among other advantages allows web browsers not to store information on the page we browse.

A temporary private browsing session that does not share data with the browser, does not save web page information or browsing history, web cache, passwords, form information, cookies or other website data, by deleting these or other temporary files when we end the session.

Although private browsing is not 100% guaranteed and making it clear that it is not the same as “anonymous browsing” which requires other tools such as TOR, the incognito mode is very useful on many occasions.

How to start Chrome in Incognito mode by default

At the moment, there is no option to always start Google Chrome in incognito mode enabled by default and the only official way to activate it is to first start the browser, opening a “New Incognito window” or using the hot keys “Ctrl + Shift + N”.

If you want to start Chrome in Incognito mode by default, there are a couple of options to use. One of them is to create a link to the browser by adding an execution parameter. 

For now this method can only be used in Windows, starting the process by creating a new Google Chrome shortcut on our desktop. After creating it, all we have to do is right-click on the link and make a change. Let’s see how to do it:

  • Create a desktop shortcut with “Right click on desktop> New> Shortcut”.
  • The element to create the link is the Chrome executable. By default on Windows systems you will find it in the path “C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Google \ Chrome \ Application \ chrome.exe” which will be what you need to add.
  • On macOS or Linux find the specific installation path. If you already have Chrome installed, it’s easier to copy and paste the shortcut icon you’ll have on your desktop.
  • Rename the created icon so you don’t get confused with the other one.
  • Right-click on the newly created icon and access its properties. You just need to add the -incognito modifier in the destination path as you see in the image leaving a space between the file path and -incognito:

Click “Apply” to save the changes. Finally, if we click on the “Change Icon” button, we can also select a new icon that will help us identify this modified version of the classic standard shortcut for Google Chrome.

You will now have quick and direct access to start Chrome in incognito mode by default without having to enter the standard version of the browser.

If you’re having trouble starting Chrome from the modified shortcut, check if you made an unintentional typo in the Destination field. If everything keeps crashing and you can’t pinpoint the error, removing the link, creating a new one, and then trying to edit it again, should be enough.

A second option is to act on the Windows registry. It’s a more complicated method and also affects any installed Chrome installation, but it works.

  • Log in to the register. Click Start and select and type regedit in the reload field.
  • Vai al percorso “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ ChromeHTML \ Shell \ open \ command”.
  • Double-click the entry and add the -incognito option, leaving the default entry in “C: \ Program Files \ Google \ Chrome \ Application \ chrome.exe” -incognito “% 1”.

As you have seen, the first method is preferable because it enables standard or private sessions simply by choosing one icon or another.

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