Can’t Open Incognito on Chrome Mac: Possible Reasons & Fixes

Incognito mode is a handy feature that all modern browsers have. Chrome’s incognito mode allows you to browse the internet somewhat privately. But, make no mistake, incognito mode won’t protect your privacy.

Incognito mode allows you to browse the internet without saving browsing data, cookies, and form information. Due to these reasons, plenty of Mac users use Chrome in incognito mode. 

However, a bug can prevent Chrome from opening an incognito window on Mac

Hello, I’m Andreas, a happy Chrome user. Over the years, I’ve encountered all kinds of issues on Chrome Mac, and I relish the challenge of solving each one.

You can think of me as your online Mac Chrome geek that solves frustrating issues. Today’s frustrating issue: Chrome is preventing you from opening an Incognito window on Mac.

I’m here to tell you how to solve that. So, with all that said, let’s start.

What Causes Incognito Mode to Go Missing on Chrome Mac?

No matter how much Control” + ” Shift” + “N you press on your keyboard, it just doesn’t open the Incognito window. 

Why does this happen? It’s very simple and a bit general but there is an issue with Chrome or your macOS. Here’s what you can do to solve this issue:

How to Fix Incognito Mode Not Opening on Chrome Mac

Solution 1

The first solution will tell you how to reset Chrome’s default settings. The solution should solve the problem, as you’ll be reverting to Chrome’s original settings. 

Here is how to do that.

Step 1: Launch Chrome, click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner, and go to “Settings.”

Step 2: Click on “Advanced” and “Reset settings.”

Step 3: Select “Restore settings to their original defaults.”

Step 4: Confirm the reset by clicking on “Reset settings”.

With these four easy steps, you revert Chrome to its original settings. The missing incognito feature has something to do with the browser’s settings, so reverting should solve it.

Solution 2

The following solution solves a problem that might not be directly related to Chrome. Namely, we can disable Incognito mode on Chrome by using the terminal on your Mac. 

Step 1: In the Finder, click on “Go” and then on “Utilities.”

Step 2: Find the “Terminal” app and open it.

Step 3: When in Terminal type in the following: “defaults write IncognitoModeAvailability -integer 1”.

Step 4: Restart your Mac, and you should be able to open the Incognito window.

Solution 3

Sometimes, faulty or buggy extensions might be the problem. So what better way to solve the problem than by deleting these extensions. Here is how to do that.

Step 1: Launch Chrome and type in the address bar: chrome://extensions/. You will see a list of all extensions on your Chrome browser. Look for shady-looking extensions that you might not remember installing. 

For example, some extensions serve the direct purpose of removing Incognito mode from Chrome.

Step 3: Once you identify the faulty extensions, click “Remove.”

Although extensions are handy applications that improve our browsing experience, they can cause huge issues. These are third-party applications that might be poorly optimized or riddled with malware. 

It works in your best interest to delete them.


This short guide explains the main reasons and the three fixes to Chrome’s missing incognito mode bug. While the reasons why you can’t use Incognito mode might be down to your operating system and Chrome, the fixes should get the job done.

I hope you found this article helpful, and feel free to share in the comments which method helped you solve the issue with incognito mode. 

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