How to Go 'Incognito' in YouTube Right Now 

Jacob Kleinman just a moment. 0 comments
YouTube Privacy Data Privacy Google

Google knows a lot about you, and a decent amount of that info comes from YouTube. By default, the video site tracks everything you watch and search for (including that time I played the same Taylor Swift video on a loop for 2 hours) so it can suggest better videos—and target you with more relevant ads, of course.

If you don’t like YouTube’s suggestions being cluttered up with some of your stranger video views (like the aforementioned Tay Tay), or you just don’t want YouTube to keep tabs on what you view, it appears that the service is getting ready to add a new private browsing mode. Android Police reports that YouTube is currently testing a new “Incognito mode” that will make it easy to hide your activity.

Beyond keeping your guilty pleasures a secret, this could also a good way to manage the video suggestions you get on the site. YouTube has a nasty habit of pushing viewers to go more hard-core with their interests (whether that’s lefty politics, right-wing conspiracies, or even veganism). Once this new feature arrives, you’ll be able to watch a few Bernie Sanders speeches without worrying that YouTube will forever brand you as a socialist.

Thankfully, you don’t have to wait—there’s an easy way to go incognito right now.

If you mostly watch YouTube on your iPhone or Android device, here’s what to do. First, open the app and tap on your profile picture in the top-right corner. Then, tap on Settings and scroll down to the “History & Privacy” header. From here, you can toggle “Pause watch history” and “Pause search history,” which will stop YouTube from tracking your activity. You can also clear all your viewing history on that same page.

If you prefer to stream from a web browser on your desktop or laptop, the process is slightly different. Pull up YouTube and click on the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) in the top-left corner. Then, select History, and look for the “Clear all watch history” and “pause watch history” on the right-hand side of the page.

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