YouTube for Android has now started rolling out an ‘Incognito’ mode for the masses. The new feature, which was originally spotted in May, is designed to disable history tracking on the YouTube app. The original ‘Sign out’ has been replaced with the ‘Turn on Incognito’ option to let you easily enable the Incognito mode. You need to have the latest YouTube app on your Android device to experience the latest development. A list of browser apps included a similar functionality for a long time. Likewise, Google added the ability to restrict history tracking on Gboard and the Google app for iOS in the past.
With the arrival of Incognito mode, you can disable your watch and search history on YouTube. You can begin the action by tapping your avatar from the top-right corner of the YouTube app and then hit the Turn on Incognito option. Once enabled, the app will show a “You’re incognito” bar at the bottom with a Black background. The bar stays throughout the app, just below the Home, Trending, Subscription, Inbox, and Library tabs. This works similar to how the address bar on Google Chrome turns dark when you enable the Incognito mode there. Also, your existing avatar will be transformed into the Incognito icon to notify you that you’ve not signed out but watching YouTube content under Incognito mode.
When enabling the Incognito mode for the first time, Google shows a prompt note to confirm that ‘You’ve gone incognito’. The note also highlights that when you exit the Incognito mode or become inactive, your activity from this session will be cleared and you’ll return to the account last used. However, it also acknowledges that your activity might still be visible to your “employer, school, or Internet service provider”.
Apart from the Home and Trending feeds, there isn’t any content available under the Subscriptions, Inbox, Library, or Search tabs. This makes sense as the app will no longer have access to your personal data and will not use your history to highlight your subscriptions, library, or search history. Furthermore, you won’t be able to add a video to a playlist, though it is a bit weird that the app still shows the ‘Add to playlist’ option. Video suggestions will also not be available.
It is worth mentioning here that the Incognito mode stays for some time and automatically turns off after a period of inactivity, as reported by 9to5Google. You can alternatively tap the avatar in the top-right corner to disable the mode. Similarly, you can leave the private world by tapping the ‘Turn off Incognito’ option from Subscriptions, Inbox, or Library screens.
As we mentioned, you need to download the latest YouTube app (version 13.25.56) on your Android device for Google Play to check out the Incognito mode. The mode is however not available to all users, though it is widely rolling out.