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Incognito mode in Chrome 65+ blocks Android screenshots, obscures card in Recents view

Chrome 65 rolled out earlier this month to Android with a handful of user-facing changes like new preferences for Languages and the ability to read articles in a “Simplified view.” With this version, the browser also blocked taking screenshots in incognito mode, while those private tabs no longer appear in Android’s Recents view.

Starting with Chrome 65 and above, screenshots are no longer permitted by Android at a system level when private browsing. When attempting to capture (with the button shortcut) a screen — even just the start page for incognito — users will be met with a “Couldn’t capture screenshot” notification from Android System.

This alert notes that “Taking screenshots isn’t allowed by the app or your organization” and is also visible in certain media apps like Play Movies and Netflix when attempting to perform an identical action. Meanwhile, attempting to use Assistant’s Share screenshot feature results in a “Something went wrong. Try again later” message.

Meanwhile, a related security feature implemented with this version results in Chrome no longer appearing in the Android Recents menu when in incognito mode. On Chrome 65 and above, the preview in multitasking is just a white, blank card with just the Chrome logo and name above. Previously, this preview would be displayed like any other regular Chrome tab.

In our testing, screenshots in incognito on Chrome 64 are still permissible, while both of these incognito features are applied in Chrome 65, 66, and 67.

Chrome 65+

Chrome 64

9to5Google’s Take

This is clearly a security-focussed change that is reflective of Google’s sentiment that users expect a higher level of privacy when browsing in incognito. Such a stance can be seen in all HTTP sites being marked as “Not secure” in Chrome’s Omnibar while in incognito. These recent changes are an extension of that and might inconvenience some users, but is for the better.

Thanks Maxine!

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: