How To Use Google Maps' New Incognito Mode

Image: Getty Images

Incognito mode is one of the most-loved features on Chrome (despite not being as secure as you think.) Now, Google is extending the feature to Google Maps so you can roam where you want to without leaving a digital trail on your account. Here's how it works.

Reminder: 'Incognito Mode' Is Not As Private As You Think

Even when you're covering your tracks by opening a new incognito window, your web browsing history might not be as private as you think. Information about what you do online, down to every single URL, can likely be purchased on the web by anyone who wants it. And while in most cases people are making those purchases for marketing reasons, they could choose to use their newfound knowledge maliciously as well.

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What does Google Maps' incognito mode do?

Google announced it was introducing the feature in an early October blog post with the roll out starting last month and continuing into November.

This means once it's switched on, according to Google, your Maps activity on that device won't be recorded with your account. It's not clear whether the information will still be collected, though it's likely, it just won't be identified to your account.

If switched on, the app will no longer record what you're searching for meaning you can look for whatever you want without the embarrassment of knowing Google's holding on to your data.

The mode also ensures the app won't:

  • Save your browsing or search history in your account, or send notifications
  • Update your Location History or shared location, if any
  • Use your activity to personalise Maps

How do I turn it on?

It's pretty simple. If the feature's available for you, click on your profile in the top right of the screen and once it shows your account details, hit that Turn on Incognito Mode button and sneak away. A charcoal bar, the Incognito logo and your location dot will alert you that you're in the mode.

Image: Google

If you don't have the option yet, however, it means it's rolling out to you in the coming weeks. We reached out to Google who confirmed the feature is definitely coming to Australia for Android users this month. Unfortunately, iOS device users will have to wait a little longer but Google has said it's coming to them soon.

How To Go Incognito On Instagram

This week Instagram started rolling out a feature that shows your friends when you're currently using the app via a green indicator light.

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