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How to secretly watch videos using YouTube’s incognito mode

YouTube has a strong recommendation feature, which may or may not be very good depending on your perspective. By seeing enough content that interests you, YouTube will help you find more. But if you sometimes watch videos with your kids or have other uneven viewing patterns, your recommendations start to fill with irrelevant content to you.

  • READ: How to browse the internet with Chrome’s incognito mode on Android

Fortunately, a new YouTube feature on Android makes it easy to exclude the playback sessions that you don’t want left in your history. This is YouTube’s incognito mode, which allows you to watch videos without the history being recorded and without counting for recommendations.

Watch videos secretly with YouTube’s incognito mode

  • Open YouTube and make sure you are logged into your account.
  • Tap your profile picture in the upper right corner to open the account menu.
  • Select the option  Enable incognito mode.
  • The first time you activate it, you will see a message about incognito mode. Click on Got it to confirm.
  • You will see the incognito icon in the upper right corner, and the message that you are in incognito at the bottom of the screen.
Activating YouTube’s incognito mode

When using incognito mode, you basically watch YouTube from a “blank slate”, like an incognito window in Chrome. Everything you watch in this mode will not appear in your history. Also, YouTube won’t use what you see to feed your content recommendations.

However, you cannot explore your Subscriptions in incognito mode. And like incognito mode in Chrome, this will not hide your activity from the ISP or your network administrator. For such purposes you will need to use an Android VPN.

You can manually exit incognito mode by pressing the incognito icon in the upper right corner. Then choose the option Disable incognito mode  to return to normal mode.

If you still don’t see the feature on your phone, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. YouTube is implementing this as a server-side feature. This means that it will not be unlocked for everyone at the same time. Since this feature is not on the desktop yet, you can use an incognito or private window to achieve the same effect on your computer.

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