Tech Dreams

Create Desktop Shortcut To Launch Chrome In Incognito Mode By Default

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The Incognito mode of Google Chrome browser allows you to browse the Internet without leaving any tracing of your browsing history on the computer – none of URLs you visited are recorded, cookies and cache are deleted once the browser is closed.

The general way of launching Chrome in Incognito mode is to launch Chrome in normal mode, click on Tools icon and select New incognito window¬† or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + N. I hate this method as it’s a lengthy process and also I’ve to close the first browser window which is opened in normal mode. Now lets looks at launching Chrome by default in Incognito Mode with help of a desktop shortcut

1) Create copy of Google Chrome Shortcut on your desktop (either by copy & pasting your existing desktop shortcut or by right clicking on the chrome icon available in Start Menu and choosing the option Send To -> Desktop)

2) Rename the new Chrome shortcut to “Google Chrome – Incognito” for differentiating the normal Google Chrome shortcut with Incognito mode shortcut


3) Right click on the Incognito mode short cut and select Properties

4) Navigate to Target textbox and append -incognito the the existing command text(note that there should be at least one space between chrome.exe & -incognito)


5) Click on OK to save the changes.

Your shortcut to launch Google Chrome in Incognito mode by default is ready! From now onwards you can use this short and browse the net without any traces of your browsing habits on the computer

24 Comments on Create Desktop Shortcut To Launch Chrome In Incognito Mode By Default

  1. davee
    November 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm (7 years ago)

    Yes it works but keeps resetting back to the ordinary Chrome. Any ideas why?

  2. pumpkinslayer
    November 6, 2012 at 1:24 am (7 years ago)

    Great. Solved my issue with cookies not being cleared after exiting Chrome.

  3. Mel Lloyd
    May 31, 2012 at 3:14 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks for this simple solution :-)

  4. Me
    September 14, 2011 at 1:28 am (8 years ago)

    Thank you. Quick, easy, done!

  5. Scott
    September 1, 2011 at 7:29 am (8 years ago)

    I Can not get it to work one dash – 2 dashes . Only opens in regular crome?

  6. rohan
    March 10, 2011 at 11:12 am (9 years ago)

    Thanks man, very smooth…

  7. Cyle
    February 28, 2011 at 3:38 am (9 years ago)

    I used this tip a while ago, and it worked fine for about a month but now it doesn’t work anymore and the same shortcut now opens standard chrome!? :S

  8. Luca
    November 26, 2010 at 8:17 am (9 years ago)

    How do I do this in mac OS? I use Snow Leopard. I am not getting properties option on the right click. I did a search but no luck. I get a resource option but don’t know where to look if that would be the place properties is located

  9. wita
    October 5, 2010 at 3:13 am (9 years ago)

    How pin to W7 taskbar Chrome and Chrome Incognito?

  10. SMH
    January 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm (10 years ago)

    WHEN I try to rename any shortcut the disktop restarst and after 2 sec the desktop comes back

  11. sjmanning
    January 19, 2010 at 12:34 am (10 years ago)

    I would like to follow your instructions but for I cannot find a way to create an alternate shortcut on the desktop. Nor can I find a ‘START’ menu on this MacBook Pro.

  12. John
    October 21, 2009 at 7:22 am (10 years ago)

    With Vista there is no quotes on the shortcut and the -incognito would not work. I tried adding quotes and then following this tip, but it still didn’t work until I added 2 dashes like this –incognito.

  13. Kelvin Lee
    September 25, 2009 at 9:36 am (10 years ago)

    Great tips! Finally can have separate icons on the desktop, much easier to access multiple Gmail lol.


  14. Todd
    September 1, 2009 at 8:35 am (10 years ago)

    Thanks for the trick. I created an icon for the incognito shortcut that is a copy if the man in the upper left corner of Chrome. If you want, I can sent it to you so you can post it here, just let me know.

  15. Sarah
    August 4, 2009 at 12:58 am (10 years ago)

    You should update the blog post and screenshot to show that -incognito belongs *after* the end quote. Most people won’t bother to read the comments and just think your tip is wrong.

    Thanks though, after reading the comments I was able to get it to work.

    • Gopinath
      August 4, 2009 at 10:08 am (10 years ago)

      Thanks Sarah. The post is updated now.

  16. Shiwuz
    June 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm (10 years ago)

    Great Tip and follow ups, Thanks!

  17. Gerry
    January 30, 2009 at 1:31 am (11 years ago)

    it works with a single dash/hyphen. That’s not the issue.
    The Target for a shortcut is usually enclosed in quotes like

    “C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”

    The -incognito must be added after the final quote, like this

    “C:\Documents and Settings\userl\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” -incognito

  18. Not Working
    January 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm (11 years ago)

    resolved the issue: you have to append two dashes after the last quote in the target name. It should look like this: chrome.exe” –incognito

  19. Gopinath
    January 28, 2009 at 8:59 pm (11 years ago)

    make sure that there is at least one space between chrome.exe & -incognito

  20. Not Working
    January 28, 2009 at 8:54 pm (11 years ago)

    couldn’t get it to work. Problem with shortcut message pops up stating that the target name is not valid.

  21. Jamie
    January 16, 2009 at 1:00 am (11 years ago)

    Superb tip. I’ve seen other ways of doing it, but this is clearly the “real way”.

  22. Insurge
    December 24, 2008 at 10:48 am (11 years ago)

    Great, thanks!

  23. Vijay
    December 9, 2008 at 4:32 am (11 years ago)

    Nice tip


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