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YouTube Might Finally Get An Incognito Mode (androidpolice.com) 61

Currently, you can head to the "History and Privacy" settings in YouTube and toggle on the options to pause watch and search history if you don't want the site to track your searches and watched videos, but that can be a bit complicated each time you want to search for something weird. According to Android Police, "YouTube will make it a little easier to go into incognito without digging into many settings and without having to disable it later." A new "Incognito Mode" will appear when you tap your account avatar in the top right of the app. From the report: With "Incognito Mode" on, all your activity from the current session is not saved and subscriptions are hidden too. It's as if you were signed out without being so, and there's a neat incognito icon replacing your avatar. If you turn off Incognito or become inactive on YouTube, you'll be back to using your own account.

YouTube Might Finally Get An Incognito Mode

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  • ... you could just, well, log out.
    • And then have to log in again because the content requires you to prove you are 18+, so I have heard.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Apparently there are people (possibly most people) who just leave everything logged in.

      I know, I know, I'm not one of them either, but I get the feeling we're the anomalies here.

  • call them what they are
    • by qzzpjs ( 1224510 )

      call them what they are

      You're probably right. The easiest way to find the people that law enforcement wants to know about is to let you turn on a "don't watch me, I'm not doing anything sketchy" option.

  • it used to be fine but after the last round of updates after playing 7-10 videos it's hanging.

  • I wonder why they don't first make YouTube's interface a little better: -

    My gripes...

    1: On the desktop version [using Windows 10 and Chrome], losing view of the video once I start scrolling through the comments. The same applies to videos I have designated as those to watch later.

    2: No video controls? Contrast, brightness, hue etc etc...

    I just do not get it.

    • by epine ( 68316 )

      The most ridiculous missing feature on YouTube is the inability to time-shift the audio track when some idiot uploads video with the audio badly out of sync.

      Alternatively, Google's machine learning could correct this automatically, in most cases.

      • The most ridiculous missing feature on YouTube is the inability to time-shift the audio track when some idiot uploads video with the audio badly out of sync.

        That is annoying, but you can solve it easily enough by downloading the video with youtube-dl and then time-shifting the audio with vlc :)

        What annoys me most about the interface is that I can't tear off a tab, resize the window to an arbitrary size, and zoom the video to fill the window. Which is another problem which sends me to the downloader.

        As an added bonus, when you use youtube-dl you never have to see an ad unless it's actually part of the video. Win-win!

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      YouTube removed its damn classic design. The new one is so slow, big, bloated, etc.! Argh. :(

  • Iv had both watch and search history paused for years now, and somehow YT keeps recommending me videos relevant to the ones I watched few days ago, Magic!
    They keep tracking that shit no matter what you do.

    • by jetkust ( 596906 )
      The same thing would happen if you didn't have an account. This is a fairly well established practice called browser fingerprinting. Google likely honored your request to not save search history on your account. But yes they are still tracking every single browser they can identify as unique. And though browser fingerprinting is supposed to be anonymous, it's hard to believe some correlation isn't going on there. Realistically though, these types of "Incognito" settings were never about hiding your act
    • and somehow YT keeps recommending me videos relevant to the ones I watched few days ago

      How did you find those videos? The pause watch and search history only applies to to your profile created from within Youtube. If you browse to youtube from some other site the resulting video ends up in your profile anyway.

    • They also track you via cookies when you're not logged in.

      Try this: create a clean browsing profile, don't login to any google services from it, then go to youtube and watch some videos on a particular topic. Next time you go to youtube, you will get recommendations based on your previous activity, even though you don't have an account.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Great, but...

    Will this incognito mode require a Google account? It seems that every time Google does something privacy-related, it requires a Google account. Want to see what information they have on you? Create a Google account. Want to request they remove said information? Create an account...

  • Serious if I was going to search for "How to be a Kinky Furry" on Youtube, why would I even want that in my local browser history? Just use the browser incognito mode. That will isolate it from your account altogether.

    • I don't think that's the intended use.

      I have a crapload of completely irrelevant videos recommended to me because I occasionally sit down with my daughter and we search for videos on various topics together. There's virtually no set of circumstances where I'd want to watch any of the recommendations related to watching these (generally my recommendations are flooded with a combination of videos about Jaguars - the cat type, not car - and the latest episodes of DC Super Hero Girls.)

      TBH though, I'd find

      • because I occasionally sit down with my daughter and we search for videos on various topics together.

        And how is private browsing not a solution to your use case as well?

        • I guess because you lose everything by going into incognito mode - your autoplay settings aren't honored for example. At this point we have to look at what exactly Google means by Incognito mode.
  • ... to enable incognito.
    You are using that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means.

    I almost never log in and filter as much as I reasonably can and cookies are destroyed when I log close my browser. That way I can get some different content when I do a search. I sometimes do weird searches. I am not worried that they know what I am looking for. It is that I do not want to get the same sort of content I was already looking at. I want the weird stuff.

    Imagine I was always looking at Linux tuto

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