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Start Google Chrome in Incognito Mode by Default

If you like Google Chrome and keeping your browsing private, use Incognito mode. In the past we explained how to go about starting Chrome and other popular browsers in Incognito mode however here’s a handy trick for always starting Chrome in incognito mode by default.

First, right click the desktop icon or from the Start menu rename the icon something that you can easily recognize.


Here I’m calling it Chrome Incognito. Then right click the icon again and select Properties.


Now in the Target field scroll to the end of chrome.exe create a space after it. Type: –incognito and click OK.

target field

Now any time you click on the icon you just created, it automatically starts in Incognito mode.

incognito Chrome

If you’re a not a Chrome user, check out how to automatically run Firefox in Private Browsing mode.


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7 Responses to Start Google Chrome in Incognito Mode by Default

  1. VOXPOP March 13, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    i tried the above and it deleted chrome from ‘all programs’ and i chose the name ‘chrome private’ and got the following error msg.

    “the name ‘private’ in the target box is not valid.make sure the path and file name are correct”
    it also deleted the file name in the target box and just left the word ‘private’….now i’m afraid to try it in firefox,,H E L P
    chrome..latest version
    firefox 10.0.2

    • Brian Burgess March 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

      @VOXPOP — are you sure there isn’t a rights issue? Are you admin on your computer or a user?

      • VOXPOP March 14, 2012 at 12:13 am #

        administrator..i’m the only one using this machine.

  2. Srikanth Naidu March 15, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    Hi Brian !

    I tried it in Windows XP service pack 3. When I click the Apply button in the properties dialog, I get the message as “target box is not valid. Make sure the path and file name are correct.”

  3. jason.chu February 16, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Hi guys, please use this:
    “C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” -incognito

    • Darkguardian1314 August 12, 2013 at 10:11 am #

      Cut and pasting the path didn’t work but just adding the incognito with a space outside the parentheses of the existing pathway worked for me. Thanks.

  4. Keith Williams September 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm #

    How do I do just the opposite? I DO NOT WANT GOOGLE to open in INCOGNITO MODE.

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