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How to go incognito on YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, and more

Google is obviously keen on this idea of going incognito because the mode is available in Google Maps too. It’s useful if you need to research places or plan journeys without leaving any traces or if you don’t want to affect the recommendations the app gives you about where to go.

If you’re using the mobile app, tap your profile picture (top right), then choose Turn on Incognito mode. Your personalized recommendations and quick links to places like your home address will disappear, and the app won’t save anything you do in this mode. To exit, tap the incognito mode button (top right) and choose Turn off Incognito mode.

As with YouTube, you won’t find this option built into Google Maps on the web, but you can just open the site inside a browser tab set to incognito mode instead. You can still look up information about places and get navigation directions, but you can’t leave reviews, save places, or see your location history.

To listen to songs without this automatically sharing and logging, start a private session. On mobile, tap Home, the cog icon, and turn the Private Session toggle switch on. On the desktop app, click the drop-down arrow (top right) to find the switch. To end a private session, just retrace your steps and flick the switch the other way.

If you don’t turn them off manually, private sessions end when you restart the Spotify app or “after a long period of inactivity,” though how long that means exactly it’s not clear. The company also says private sessions “may not influence your music recommendations” which is also annoyingly vague.

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