While using Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode I’ve noticed that some information about visited sites is stored.  Certainly it doesn’t store cookies or the URL history (as it appears in the URL bar).  However, follow these simple steps to confirm for yourself that some history is preserved:

  1. Start an incognito window
  2. Visit a URL you have never visited before, maybe http://www.elephants.com/
  3. Increase the zoom by pressing the Control key and + at the same time
  4. Close the incognito window
  5. Start a new incognito window
  6. Re-visit your URL (notice that it doesn’t appear in the URL history)

As the site loads at step 6 you should now notice that the zoom level you previously chose has been remembered and reapplied.

I’m currently using Chrome 6.0.401.1 dev and reported this issue to Google a month or so ago and no fix has yet appeared.  It does also work with  5.0.396.0 dev.

Comments

Didn’t work for me using 4.1.249.1064

kznf - May 2, 2010

Didn’t work for me using 4.1.249.1064

just tried this in 5.0.375.38 beta and it didn'…

yincrash - May 2, 2010

just tried this in 5.0.375.38 beta and it didn’t happen. did you have other incognito windows open as well? all incognito windows appear to be in the same session, so unless you closed them all, it probably still had the zoom data in the session information.

Yep that worked for me too, very odd. May be it…

Pendragon - May 2, 2010

Yep that worked for me too, very odd. May be it’s the Elephants, they never forget!

Just tried this in 4.1.249.1064 (45376) and didn&#…

Brian - May 2, 2010

Just tried this in 4.1.249.1064 (45376) and didn’t see it.

Yup, incognito remembered.

Jeff - May 2, 2010

Yup, incognito remembered.

It works until you close all Chrome.exe instance. …

ZeXr0 - May 2, 2010

It works until you close all Chrome.exe instance. After than, it returns to normal.

Older versions of Chrome actually don’t store …

Roy - May 2, 2010

Older versions of Chrome actually don’t store zoom levels. I’m on 5.0.375.38 beta - I don’t remember which version I was on before, but I know it didn’t store zoom levels.

Why do you need privacy when looking at pictures o…

x - May 2, 2010

Why do you need privacy when looking at pictures of elephants? Pervert.

6.0.407.0 (47392) Ubuntu remembered the zoom even …

nik9000 - May 2, 2010

6.0.407.0 (47392) Ubuntu remembered the zoom even after restarted the browser.

Also, if you have the same website opened in both …

Johnathan Evans - May 2, 2010

Also, if you have the same website opened in both incognito and in normal at the same time, they both zoom at the same time if you zoom in one page or the other.

Elephant never forget. You haven’t forgot, so …

Baavaa - May 2, 2010

Elephant never forget. You haven’t forgot, so is Chrome. Bugs are common. Don’t worry.

Yep. I’m currently using Ubuntu Linux 10.04 wi…

Matheus - May 2, 2010

Yep. I’m currently using Ubuntu Linux 10.04 with Google Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta

Did work here.

Confirmed in 5.0.375.38 beta - I had no other Chro…

Blorgbeard - May 2, 2010

Confirmed in 5.0.375.38 beta - I had no other Chrome windows open, incognito or otherwise.

It stayed zoomed for me with the Mac version 5.0.3…

Alex - May 2, 2010

It stayed zoomed for me with the Mac version 5.0.375.38, even after I quit out and then reopened Chrome.

Worked for chrome 5.0.375.38 beta OS X version.

Alex Bell - May 2, 2010

Worked for chrome 5.0.375.38 beta OS X version.

It appears that incognito mode stores a per host z…

J K - May 2, 2010

It appears that incognito mode stores a per host zoom level in the Preferences file despite the fact that you are incognito. I’d say unless you zoom in incognito mode, your porn browsing should be safe - if you are zooming, Preferences is easily editable (if you can find it - it’s buried on Windows - can’t speak for other OSes currently).

Wim Leers - May 2, 2010

A similar problem exists for per-domain cookie settings. I already reported this to the same issue: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=43107#c1.

chromium 6.0.408.0 (47412) no elephants in the roo…

Matthew Green - May 2, 2010

chromium 6.0.408.0 (47412) no elephants in the room

Thanks Wim. I hadn’t seen this bug. I used &…

lewiz - May 2, 2010

Thanks Wim. I hadn’t seen this bug. I used “Report a bug or broken website” from within Chrome and nothing came about it.

Confirmed in 5.0.342.9 (43360) Ubuntu,even after c…

Jordan - May 2, 2010

Confirmed in 5.0.342.9 (43360) Ubuntu,even after closing all Chromium threads.

Incognito mode stores more than just zoom levels. …

Brian - May 2, 2010

Incognito mode stores more than just zoom levels. Occasionally it’ll store websites to your location bar. No idea what causes that or how to repeat it, but I’ve had it happen more than once.

This worked for me. WinXP SP3, Chrome 5.0.375.38 b…

Chris - May 2, 2010

This worked for me. WinXP SP3, Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta

Confirmed on Chrome 5.0.375.38 Beta on Fedora 12.

MrKidd - May 2, 2010

Confirmed on Chrome 5.0.375.38 Beta on Fedora 12.

Confirmed on Ubuntu 10.4, gc version 5.0.396.0 dev…

Merijn - May 2, 2010

Confirmed on Ubuntu 10.4, gc version 5.0.396.0 dev, even after restarting the browser.

Confirmed on Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta Windows 7 Ulti…

isarian - May 2, 2010

Confirmed on Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta Windows 7 Ultimate x64.

Doesn’t happen using Iron portable incognito m…

doh - May 2, 2010

Doesn’t happen using Iron portable incognito mode.

Confirmed. Google Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta I even t…

Dwarth - May 2, 2010

Confirmed. Google Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta

I even try to close all Chrome windows and re-open and it keep the info.

We should try with a reboot

All the browsers on Windows in stealth/private mod…

x - May 2, 2010

All the browsers on Windows in stealth/private mode store cached objects here:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5

I wouldn’t call any of them really private.

Incognito mode saves zoom settings here, even afte…

Rupert Goodwins - May 2, 2010

Incognito mode saves zoom settings here, even after a full reboot of the OS - Ubuntu 10.04, Chrome 5.0.396.0 dev - so that’s a definite.

yep, incognito remembered with 5.0.375.38 beta

DeLepster - May 2, 2010

yep, incognito remembered with 5.0.375.38 beta

Yes remembered. Even after closing all. Wel…

dogenzn - May 2, 2010

Yes remembered. Even after closing all. Well. . . so much for incognito.

Linux Mint (latest version)

someone should open up the sql lite db (thats wher…

Carter - May 2, 2010

someone should open up the sql lite db (thats where all chrome data is stored right) and see if they can find where thats stored… ill check if i remember tonight

Works for me on 5.0.375.38 beta on Mac.

Joe - May 2, 2010

Works for me on 5.0.375.38 beta on Mac.

x - what are you basing this on? Both Chrome and …

J K - May 2, 2010

x - what are you basing this on? Both Chrome and Firefox appear to have their own cache on my Windows box.

Carter - as I said above, it’s being stored the a js file called Preferences - see http://www.lewiz.org/2010/05/chrome-incognito-tracks-visited-sites.html?showComment=1274202814615#c4803431860313104736

Verified in 6.0.401.1 dev on Windows.

David - May 2, 2010

Verified in 6.0.401.1 dev on Windows.

Looks like it was fixed three minutes ago: http://…

Dan Kegel - May 2, 2010

Looks like it was fixed three minutes ago: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=43107 says r47568 | pkasting@chromium.org | 2010-05-18 14:19:50 -0700 (Tue, 18 May 2010) | 5 lines Changed paths: M http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/trunk/src/chrome/browser/host_zoom_map.cc?r1=47568&r2=47567 M http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/trunk/src/chrome/browser/profile.cc?r1=47568&r2=47567 M http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/trunk/src/chrome/browser/renderer_host/resource_message_filter.cc?r1=47568&r2=47567

Forget zoom levels set/changed in incognito mode when exiting incognito. This mostly reverts r37595.

BUG=43107 TEST=Go incognito. Modify the zoom level for a site. Restart Chrome. That site’s zoom level should not reflect the change made in incognito mode. Review URL: http://codereview.chromium.org/2079010

Chromium 5.0.375.38 (46659) Debian – does remembe…

KDS - May 2, 2010

Chromium 5.0.375.38 (46659) Debian – does remember the zoom setting.

Confirmed on Ubuntu 10.04, Google Chrome version 5…

Paul - May 2, 2010

Confirmed on Ubuntu 10.04, Google Chrome version 5.0.375.38 beta {google-chrome-beta 5.0.375.38-r46659 in the stable/main (dl.google.com) repository}.

it saves data in ~/.config/google-chrome/Default/…

LocutusOfBorg - May 2, 2010

it saves data in ~/.config/google-chrome/Default/Preferences

I can replicate that.. what else does it save?

Anton Babushkin - May 2, 2010

I can replicate that.. what else does it save?

It’s conceivable that they’re only storing…

bmearns - May 2, 2010

It’s conceivable that they’re only storing a hash of the site’s domain (for instance) and associating the parameters with that. Still fairly questionable in terms of privacy, but at least it wouldn’t actually store the list of sites you visited.

Did not happen in 4.1.249.1064 on WinXP

Buddhist Theology - “Contemporary” - May 2, 2010

Did not happen in 4.1.249.1064 on WinXP

elephants.com will have a myriad of visitors this…

Dennis - May 2, 2010

elephants.com will have a myriad of visitors this month since this came on in slashdot, good for the elephants ^^.

BTW, didn’t happen in Chrome 4.0.249.43 in Linux

I have Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta and I have noticed t…

Chris - May 2, 2010

I have Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta and I have noticed this for months.

Tried it on 5.0.375.38 beta and bingo it does work…

vinay - May 2, 2010

Tried it on 5.0.375.38 beta and bingo it does work….

Oh no! Someone might discover that I HAD MY BROWS…

nocatchprofits - May 3, 2010

Oh no!

Someone might discover that I HAD MY BROWSER ZOOMED! (dun dun dun…)

Nice catch, but I’d hardly call it a clear and present danger to my privacy.

That didn’t work for me either.

Rose - May 3, 2010

That didn’t work for me either.

Works with me on Google Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta on …

dimg - May 3, 2010

Works with me on Google Chrome 5.0.375.38 beta on OSX.

Verified in 6.0.408 dev on Linux.

Tony Cox - May 3, 2010

Verified in 6.0.408 dev on Linux.

Another example of Google “accidentally”…

John - May 3, 2010

Another example of Google “accidentally” recording and storing personal data. (See the Google street view/Wi-fi mess)

I’m getting pretty sick of google claiming to take privacy seriously then turn around and constantly do crap like this.

Who knows what other google “mistakes” are currently out there slurping up private data.

5.0.375.38 beta under OSX is affected. Thx, Serge…

yalenick - May 3, 2010

5.0.375.38 beta under OSX is affected. Thx, Sergey n Larry n Eric!

Sounds like a NSFW trunk fetish site to me.

Blue Atom - May 3, 2010

Sounds like a NSFW trunk fetish site to me.

“…the zoom level you previously chose has b…

steeleweed - May 3, 2010

“…the zoom level you previously chose has been remembered…”

How is this “information about visited sites…” The zoom level has nothing to do with sites? Stop being paranoid, people.

I tried it in version 4.1.249.1064 and it did not …

davey.71 - May 3, 2010

I tried it in version 4.1.249.1064 and it did not retain the zoom settings using incognito. my preferences are set to delete all history upon exit but i also noticed that occasionally addresses from my bookmarks show up in the search bar.

I concur.

Mir Tanvir Hossain - May 3, 2010

I concur.

Well, this is not Google’s mistake. The point …

Özgür Deniz Demirci - May 0, 2010

Well, this is not Google’s mistake. The point is:

There is a very good browser, Firefox. And it is FREE. And open source. WHY THE HELL YOU PEOPLE DO NOT USE FIREFOX, BUT INSTEAD, WHEN GOOGLE RELEASES SOME BULLSHIT YOU SUDDENLY START USING AND ADMIRING, AND THEN COMPLAINING???????

But I have query - does chrome incognito browsing …

piyusha - Jun 5, 2012

But I have query - does chrome incognito browsing traceable by remote proxy just like our office website blockers?