Create Google Chrome Incognito Mode Shortcut

Chrome Incognito Mode Icon 256

How to Create Google Chrome Incognito Mode Shortcut

Almost every Google Chrome user is familiar with Incognito mode, that allows opening a special window that doesn't save your browsing history and personal data. You can create a special shortcut to open a new Incognito window directly with one click. Here's how.

Incognito in Google Chrome is a window that implements the private browsing feature. While it doesn't save things like your browsing history, cookies, site and forms data, it allows you accessing your profile, bookmarks, etc. Actually, cookies remain saved during your Incognito session, but will be deleted once you exit Incognito mode.

It is also important to note that if you have an Incognito window open and then you open another one, Chrome will continue using your private browsing session in that new window. To exit and terminate Incognito mode (e.g. to start a new Incognito browsing session), you need to close all Incognito windows that you have currently open.

Google Chrome allows you to create a shortcut that will open a new Incognito window directly with one click. Here's how it can be done.

Update: Google has introduced a native feature for the same. Check out

Chrome now allows creating Incognito Mode shortcut with one click

Note: I will use the %ProgramFiles(x86)% and %ProgramFiles% environment variables for the shortcut target.


To Create Google Chrome Incognito Mode Shortcut,

  1. Right click the empty space on your Desktop. Select New - Shortcut from the context menu (see the screenshot).
  2. In the shortcut target box, type the path to the Chrome.exe file followed by the -icognito argument.
  3. For a 32-bit Windows version, the command line looks as follows: "%ProgramFiles%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -icognito.
  4. For 64-bit Windows versions, the shortcut target usually looks as follows: "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -incognito.
  5. Name your shortcut as Google Chrome Incognito and change its icon if needed.

You are done!

Now, you can move this shortcut to any convenient location, pin it to taskbar or to Start, add to All apps or add to Quick Launch (see how to enable Quick Launch). You can also assign a global hotkey to your shortcut.

Also, here are a couple of tips you might find useful.

Make the shortcut open a URL in Incognito mode

You might want to open a specific web site always in Incognito mode. In this case, you can add its address (URL) to the shortcut target. For instance, you can create a shortcut with the following target:

"%ProgramFiles%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -icognito


"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -icognito

Then every time you click on the shortcut you will have Winaero opened in an Incognito window.

Open a new Incognito window

By default, Chrome launched with the -icognito switch opens an Incognito window only if one was not already open. If you want, you can make it open an extra incognito window by adding one more command line argument, -new-window.

The shortcut target will look as follows:

"%ProgramFiles%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -icognito -new-window


"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -icognito -new-window

Similarly, the targets with a web site open in a new/extra Incognito window.

"%ProgramFiles%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -icognito -new-window


"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -icognito -new-window

That's it!

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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