Google rolls out Incognito Mode for the YouTube application on Android at the time of writing; YouTube's incognito mode works similarly to Incognito Mode (private browsing) in Google Chrome in that it blocks the recording of activity locally.
Incognito Mode is only available to signed in users. The browsing and watch history is not recorded when it is active. While that does not guarantee 100% privacy, it does ensure that your activity is not linked to your Google or YouTube account.
Google users on Android who run the YouTube application will notice that the sign-out button has been replaced with a "Turn on Incognito" option.
The YouTube app displays a "you're incognito" reminder at the bottom of the screen when Incognito Mode is enabled. The app displays a prompt to you the first time you enable the mode that explains what it does and does not do, but it does not provide any guidance on how to sign out of an account.
You can switch between different accounts, however.
Note: If your Internet connection is not the fastest, you may see the sign out option when you toggle Incognito Mode on or off. The sign-out option is displayed as long as the profile icon or incognito icon are not displayed.
YouTube clears activity data from the Incognito session when you exit the session.
You've gone incognito
When you turn off Incognito or become inactive, your activity from this session will be cleared and you'll return to the account last used.
Your activity might still be visible to your employer, school, or Internet service provider.
Some functions on YouTube, subscriptions, for instance, become unavailable while you are in incognito mode. Other parts of the app may remind you that activity is not recorded. When you open search, YouTube reminds you that the search history is paused while the mode is active.
Incognito Mode is turned off automatically after a period of inactivity. You can exit the mode at any time by tapping on the incognito icon that is displayed instead of the profile icon and selecting "turn off incognito".
Update: Apparently, there is still a way but it is quite hidden. Select Paid Memberships from the menu, tap on the menu again and there you have the sign out option.
Incognito Mode offers similar functionality to not signing in to YouTube in first place. Using Google without sign in limits the functionality on the site somewhat: you can't use subscriptions, messaging, or use other functionality on the site when you are not logged in to an account.
The option to turn Incognito Mode on or off replaces the sign out option in the YouTube app. There does not appear to be an option to sign out of the YouTube application once you are signed in and Incognito Mode becomes available on the device.
I could not find an option in the app to sign out other than the aforementioned lag bug when switching between normal and incognito mode. If you know of a way please let me know and I will add instructions on doing so to the article.
Now You: What is your take on the removal of sign-out options?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.