The YouTube app for Android just got a significant new update that allows all users to watch videos in incognito mode.
Every once in a while, everyone watches or searches for something they would not want to show up on their permanent record, or, in this case, their browsing history.
Browsers have been offering private browsing options for ages now, enabling people to keep parts of their browsing history hidden if they so prefer. Private browsing means that the content is not logged and won't show up in history or recommendations.
Opening YouTube in a private browser window is also an option to keep video watching and search history to oneself, but having this option right in the app is easier and more convenient.
YouTube Incognito Mode
The first clues of a so-called Incognito Mode for both YouTube and YouTube Music first started surfacing earlier this year, indicating that YouTube would finally get a private browsing option to disable users' search and watch history.
YouTube started testing this Incognito Mode back in May for its app, and it now seems that the tests were successful. The feature has started rolling out to all Android users worldwide with the latest version of the app.
How To Use YouTube Incognito Mode
Accessing this new feature is very simple. Open the YouTube app on your Android device, tap on your avatar, and you'll see a new option to "Turn on Incognito" where the Sign Out button used to be.
Tapping this option is all it takes to start searching and watching without your history being recorded, albeit a prompt will point out that your ISP, employer, or school, might be able to see your activity anyway.
Otherwise, what you watch in Incognito Mode will not show up in your YouTube history, which means that it should also have no influence on what recommendations you get from YouTube when you're logged in. Recommendations are based on one's history and preferences, subscriptions, likes, and the sort.
When Incognito Mode is enabled, the icon at the top right of the app will get the familiar Google hat and shades, and a bar at the bottom will note that you're incognito. Once this mode is disabled, the YouTube app will clear the activity from the Incognito session and return to the logged-in account.
Android users who want to try out the new Incognito feature will have to install the latest version of YouTube for Android, which is available for download now from Google Play.