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 thoughts on “Create Desktop Shortcut To Launch Chrome In Incognito Mode By Default”

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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