YouTube has a pretty solid recommendation engine, which can be wonderful or awful depending on your perspective.
Watch enough content you’re interested in, and YouTube will help you find more. But if you sometimes watch videos for your kids or have other irregular viewing patterns, your recommendations start filling up with nonsense.
Thankfully, a new feature of YouTube on Android (likely coming soon to iOS) makes it easy to exclude guilty pleasure viewing sessions from your personal tastes.
How to Secretly Watch Videos With YouTube Incognito
- Open YouTube and ensure you’ve signed into your account.
- Tap your profile picture in the top-right corner to open the Account menu.
- Select the Turn on incognito option.
- The first time you do this, you’ll see a prompt about incognito mode. Accept this to confirm.
- You’ll see the incognito icon in the top-right, along with You’re incognito along the bottom of the screen.
While incognito, you essentially watch YouTube from a “blank slate”, just like an incognito window in Chrome. This means that anything you watch won’t appear in your history. In addition, YouTube won’t use what you watch to fuel recommendations.
Keep in mind that you can’t browse your Subscriptions in incognito mode though. And like incognito mode in Chrome, this won’t hide your watch activity from your ISP or your network administrator—you’ll need an Android VPN for that. (We really recommend ExpressVPN or CyberGhost!)
You can manually exit incognito mode by tapping the incognito profile picture in the top-right corner. Choose Turn off Incognito to return to your normal account.
If you don’t see the feature on your phone yet, you’ll need to wait a bit. YouTube is rolling this out as a server-side feature, which means it won’t unlock for everyone at the same time. Since this feature isn’t on the desktop yet, you can simply use an incognito or private window to achieve the same effect.
Follow our advice for improving YouTube’s recommendations if you don’t think incognito mode is enough.