How to See and Delete Incognito History

Private internet browsing

Using Incognito mode is the first measure of privacy protection. It’s a good thing if you care about your privacy. However, one day, you may need to retrace the websites you visited using Incognito. Despite this, someone can still retrieve your browser history. However, it may require a lot of effort and patience. Therefore, if you are interested in your Incognito browsing history, you will have to be patient and spend some time to discover it.

What Does Incognito Mode Do?

Most trendy web browsers provide an option called “incognito mode” that lets users access the internet without saving their browsing history. Although it offers some privacy, it’s critical to know what incognito mode does and does not accomplish.

How the incognito mode works:

  • No previous web surfing: Although your browser does not save your browsing history in incognito mode, information may be held in more obscure locations on your device, as you will see. If you share a device and prefer that others not view your browser history, it helps protect your privacy.
  • You do not need to remember or autofill passwords: Your usernames, passwords, and other form data are not stored when you utilize Incognito mode since it turns off the autofill feature. As it lessens the possibility that your login information will be retained or accessed by others, this might be helpful if you’re using a public computer or someone else’s device.
  • Minimal use of tracking and cookies: By limiting cookies and other tracking tools, incognito mode makes it more difficult for websites to monitor your online activity and provide relevant ads.

What you cannot do in incognito mode:

  • Anonymity: You are not entirely anonymous when using Incognito mode online. Although it stops websites you visit, your internet service provider (ISP), network administrators, and your local device from saving browsing history, they may still monitor your activity. It does not encrypt your internet connection or mask your IP address.
  • Protection: The incognito mode doesn’t offer any further security. It doesn’t shield you from internet dangers like viruses and phishing scams.
  • Hidden Activities: Using Incognito mode does not prevent websites from seeing what you do when you visit them. Network administrators, internet service providers, and website owners can monitor your online activity.

Does Incognito Mode Save Your Browsing History?

No, your browser does not save a history of the websites you visit, the search terms you type, or the cookies and temporary files related to your browsing session when you use incognito mode.

Nonetheless, there are a few methods you might use to discover what someone has visited in incognito mode. The investigation does not occur in the browser; instead, you must utilize third-party programs or browser extensions or verify your computer’s DNS cache. There are privacy and security dangers associated with using obscure applications, so carefully weigh each one before using it.

How to See Incognito History

You may view your incognito history on a Windows or Mac computer via the DNS cache. With browser add-ons, you can also capture your incognito browsing history. It is how these techniques operate.

On Windows PC

DNS cache can store your browsing history in incognito mode long after the session ends within a Windows device. A DNS system links IP addresses with URLs, while a DNS server locates a website’s IP address for you when you type a URL into the browser, and this is what enables you to visit the site. Even using incognito mode, you will have this information in your cache. That will save you the trouble of making a new DNS request for each site you visit.

Using a Windows device’s DNS cache, you may retrieve, clean, or remove your full browser history while in incognito mode.

To view your surfing history using the DNS cache, follow these steps:

  • Select the Start option.
  • In the search bar, type cmd to launch the Command Prompt.
  • Press Utilise administrator mode
  • Put the “ipconfig/displaydns” command.
  • Press Enter. Your DNS cache history will be visible.

On macOS

The DNS cache on an Apple machine is another place to find history from incognito mode. When you visit a website on your Mac, it consults a DNS directory to convert its name into an IP address. The records of the websites you visit are cached to save you from having to check the directory each time you visit. Although it’s not simple, it is possible to view that cache. You must use both the Console and Terminal programs. It is how.

  • Open the Console by going to Applications > Utilities.
  • Choose your Mac from the Devices sidebar.
  • Put “any:mdnsresponder” into the search bar:
  • Click the Start icon located in the toolbar.
  • Open Terminal by going back to Applications > Utilities.
  • Enter “sudo killall -INFO mDNSResponder” into the Terminal.
  • Hit Enter.
  • Enter your admin password here.
  • Return to the Console application to view the cached DNS entries.

With Browser Extensions

There are some Chrome extensions that claim to track all browsing history, even the incognito one, which could seem like a big intrusion into one’s privacy. However, Off the Record History is a simpler option. It allows you to hold on to incognito history briefly, and you can delete it whenever you wish. Once you add the extension to Chrome, turn it on in your “incognito” mode settings.

On Android and iOS Devices

You cannot use the DNS cache to recover incognito history. However, you may use third-party tracking applications to configure your phone to record your browser history in incognito mode. Parental control applications, for instance, may disclose a child’s internet activity, even what they do in private, if put on their phone. We do not support stalkerware programs, even though they can used.

How to Delete Incognito History

Generally speaking, your browser doesn’t keep your private browsing history, so you don’t need to do anything to remove it. The techniques above will only lead to its discovery by a determined snooper. Here’s how to delete your DNS cache on different devices so that you may remove any traces of your incognito surfing history.

On Windows

Here’s how to empty your DNS cache 

  • Select the Start option.
  • In the search bar, type cmd to launch the Command Prompt.
  • Press Utilize administrator mode
  • Put the “ipconfig/flushdns” command.
  • Press Enter

On macOS

Use these procedures to clear your macOS DNS cache:

  • Open Terminal by going back to Applications > Utilities.
  • Enter “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder”  into Terminal
  • Click Enter.
  • Enter your admin password.

How to Hide Your Browsing Activity and Increase Your Anonymity 

To ensure that other computer users can’t see your browsing history, you can use the convenient Incognito mode. However, many third parties can still know what you do online. These consist of:

  • Suppliers of Internet services: Your Internet activity might be seen and tracked by your Internet service provider. 
  • Internet services and websites: Websites and online services can gather data about your online activity.
  • Governmental organizations: Government organizations can monitor internet activity for security, law enforcement, or intelligence reasons, depending on your jurisdiction.
  • Administrators of networks: When accessing a network offered by an institution, such as a company or school, network managers can track and record your online actions.

The easiest method to keep your browsing, incognito or not, hidden from outsiders is to use a VPN. By encrypting your traffic, a VPN prevents those you aren’t speaking with directly from deciphering it. It also assigns you a unique IP address, which greatly hinders anyone’s ability to identify you or create an interest-based profile.


Are searches done in private Stores?

When using incognito mode, your browser (like Chrome or Firefox) does not store the searches you conduct. However, if you sign in to a search engine (like Google or Bing) while using incognito mode, the search engine may record your searches. Additionally, your device stores your activity in the DNS cache, which someone with more sophisticated technological skills can access.

How is history incognito tracked?

There are programs that, when installed on a device, may trace browser history, including history viewed in private mode. We don’t think this is ethical. People install this kind of covert software on devices, calling it stalkerware (or spyware in government or corporate contexts). Apps for parental control, which let parents monitor their children’s internet activities, including what they do in private, are more reliable.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.