Earlier this year, both YouTube and YouTube Music began hinting at an “Incognito mode” — similar to Google Chrome’s — that disables your watch and search history. The former began A/B testing the feature in May and it’s now widely rolling out this evening.
When enabled, the Sign out button at the bottom of the Account page is replaced with “Turn on Incognito.” As your avatar in the top-right corner is accessible from anywhere in the YouTube app, it’s very fast and convenient to enter this mode.
When you enable the feature for the first time, a prompt will note how “You’ve gone incognito.” There are several indicators that your search and viewing history are not being recorded, including Google’s hat and shades avatar icon in the top-right and a “You’re incognito” bar at the bottom throughout the app.
When you turn off Incognito or become inactive, your activity from this session will be cleared and you’ll return to the account last used.
Your activity might still be visible to your employer, school, or internet service provider.
The Home and Trending feeds are the only parts of the app accessible when Incognito is turned on. Subscriptions, Inbox, Library, and Search remind you how content is hidden and that nothing is being saved to your history. If you want to add a video to a playlist when private, a button will appear at the bottom to quickly “Turn off Incognito” while keeping your position watching the clip.
The option to just pause watch and search history — and therefore stay logged in to retain video suggestions — remains available in settings. Incognito will automatically turn off after a period of inactivity, or users can manually tap the avatar in the top-right corner.
This feature is widely rolling out this evening and appears to coincide with version 13.25.56, which should now be available via the Play Store.