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Google is enhancing the privacy of Chrome’s incognito mode on Android

When you want to visit some dubious websites but don’t want anyone to know about it, using the incognito mode of your web browser is a good idea. While Google Chrome for Android has offered incognito browsing for decades, anybody with access to your phone may immediately restart your hidden browsing sessions, making them less than personal. Since at least August of2021, Google has been working on a way to add biometric authentication to incognito tabs. It was included to the stable version of Chrome 105 for Android a few months ago with the help of a new flag. Now, Google is finally making this feature official and spreading it out to all Android users.

Google has announced the availability of biometric authentication for resuming incognito browsing sessions in Chrome for Android, just in time for Data Privacy Day on January 28. However, this function is turned off by default. To activate this feature, head to Chrome’s settings, choose Privacy & Security, and then click the option next to Lock incognito tabs when you close Chrome.

After that, you’ll need to use a fingerprint scan or your phone’s unlock pin every time you relaunch Chrome and try to resume your private browsing session from where you left off. If the functionality is not yet active on your phone, you may enable it by going to chrome:/flags/#incognito-reauthentication-for-android and activating the flag. To take effect, a browser restart is required.

Keep in mind that you may still instantly shut private tabs from the notification shade on your mobile device. There will be no need for biometrics throughout this procedure. Chrome on iOS has had the option to lock incognito tabs for almost two years, but Google has taken its sweet time introducing the capability to Android.

Google has announced new features for Safety Check, its tool for managing intrusive website alerts, in addition to an improved incognito browsing mode. You will now receive more proactive advice from Safety Check to disable such alerts.