Chrome for Windows to gain handy Incognito Mode desktop shortcut

The Windows version of Google Chrome is preparing to add a desktop shortcut to open directly into an Incognito window, perfect for whatever you use Incognito Mode for.

Incognito Mode in Google Chrome has more than its fair share of uses, be it hiding certain web pages from your history, bypassing paywalls from larger news sites, or just wanting to do a search without it appearing in your Google Search history. Whatever you use Incognito Mode for, the current best way to open an Incognito window is to first open Chrome, then use the Ctrl-Shift-N shortcut or the “New Incognito window” menu option.

Now it seems Google is preparing a newer, handier way to open Chrome’s Incognito Mode, exclusive to Windows, by allowing you to create a desktop shortcut that opens directly to Incognito. This comes from a pair of Chromium code changes [1, 2], one of which adds a new flag to chrome://flags.

Enable Incognito Desktop Shortcut

Enables users to create a desktop shortcut for incognito mode.


Digging a bit deeper, we find that this flag will add a new “Create Shortcut” option to Incognito Mode’s profile menu, just as Chrome for Windows already allows each profile to create a desktop shortcut. For now, we’re not sure why this feature is exclusive to Windows, instead of also arriving on Mac and Linux.

As this feature is still early in development and Chrome 86 is less than a month from reaching Beta, we expect that Chrome’s new Incognito desktop shortcut will probably not arrive until Chrome 87, due to release sometime in November.