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What is an incognito window?

An incognito or private window in your browser allows you to browse the internet without saving any information about which sites and pages you have visited. The websites you visit store information in your browser, which is called ‘cookies’. Cookies store information about websites you visit such as site preferences, login status, and data used by plugins (such as Adobe Flash).

A normal browser window keep cookies stored for long periods of time (or until you clear them manually), whereas the incognito/private window clears cookies every time you close your browser. In cases where Moodle, Turnitin’s Feedback Studio or Adobe Connect do not work as expected, it is good practice to try access them with an incognito/Private window for troubleshooting or narrow down possible causes of the issue.

Depending on which browser you use, you might have to follow different instructions.

Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome (as normal).
  2. At the top right, click More  > New incognito Window.

A new window appears (in dark colour). At the top left, check for the incognito icon Incognito icon in Chrome which shows a hat on top of a pair of glasses

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to open an incognito window:

  • Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS: Press Ctrl + Shift + n.
  • Mac: Press Command + Shift + n.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Firefox  (as normal)
  2. Click the menu button
  3. Click New Private Window.

Private Browsing windows have a purple mask at the top right.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Edge (as normal),
  2. At the top right, click More
  3. Select New InPrivate window.

Apple Safari

  1. Open Safari  (as normal)
  2. Click File (from the top menu)
  3. Click New Private Window

A window that’s using Private Browsing has a dark search field with white text.

Updated on May 4, 2020

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