How to use Incognito mode on the Google Maps mobile app to keep your searches private

Dean Mitchell/Getty Images
  • You can use Incognito mode on Google Maps to navigate the app privately.
  • When in Incognito mode, Google Maps doesn’t save your navigation or search history, nor can it offer any features that rely on map customisation.
  • You can turn Incognito mode on and off from the menu under your Google account avatar at the top right of the screen.
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Like most web browsers, the Google Maps mobile app has the option to go incognito, which you can use when you want to search for locations or navigate privately.

When you use Incognito mode, anything you do with Google Maps won’t be saved to your Google account.

In addition, Google Maps won’t be able to offer any features that rely on personalisation with your Google account — so it won’t know your home and work locations, have access to your location history, or remember any places you have pinned or bookmarked.

How to go incognito on Google Maps

Incognito mode works exactly the same on both iPhone and Android.

1. Start the Google Maps app on your phone.

2. Tap your account avatar in the upper right corner of the screen.

3. In the dropdown menu, tap “Turn on Incognito mode.”

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderIncognito mode is always just two taps away.

4. A pop-up window appears that explains that Incognito mode is now turned on. Tap “Close” or just tap on the map, outside of the window.

5. Notice that the Incognito icon has replaced your profile avatar at the top right of the screen. You can now use Google Maps in private.

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can tell you’re in Incognito mode by the icon that replaces your account avatar.

6. When you’re done with Incognito mode, tap the icon and choose “Turn off Incognito mode.” Google Maps will restore your normal settings.

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can turn off Incognito mode easily.

If you’re using Google Maps on a web browser rather than on the mobile app, you can open an incognito window through your browser to achieve the same effect.

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