Earlier this year signs surfaced indicating Google was working on an incognito mode for YouTube. As spotted during testing, the new mode was designed to be similar to what Google did with Chrome’s incognito mode in that the app will not retain the watch and search history. With the latest update for YouTube that started rolling out this week, Google is pushing out this new option for all users.
To access the incognito mode on a mobile device, a user just has to tap their account avatar at the top of the screen. On the menu screen that then displays, a new option to “Turn on incognito” will be found in place of the Sign out option. Google gives users a little reminder when they first try the new mode that while history of videos being watched is not being retained, it does not mean others may not be monitoring your activity. Getting past that nag message, users may note their avatar has changed to the hat and glasses avatar the company uses to indicate Incognito mode and there is a black bar present at the bottom of the screen with the message “You’re incognito.”
Some other differences a user will note can be found when trying to access Subscriptions, Inbox or Library where a message is displayed letting you know those items are hidden when in incognito mode. If a user happens to be in incognito mode and decides they want to add a video to a playlist, they can do so, but that requires jumping out of incognito mode which Google makes easy to do with a single button tap.
In the apps settings, users do have the option of tweaking incognito mode just a bit to only pause watch and search history, but otherwise make suggestions based on the logged in account’s history. Incognito mode will also turn off on its own after a period of inactivity, although users can manually jump out by tapping on the avatar.