How to run extensions in Incognito mode in Chrome [Guide]

Browser extensions are amazing; they allow you to leverage the features of an already powerful app (the browser) and build more features on top of them. They do come with a downside; security risks. A browser extension has access to information that passes through your browser which is why by default, Chrome doesn’t let you run extensions in Incognito mode.

Chrome’s aversion to allowing extensions to run in Incognito mode also has to do with the fact that Incognito mode is supposed to be a private browsing mode where none of your activity is ever saved by the browser. Extensions often contradict that in order to do what they do. That said, it isn’t impossible to run extensions in Incognito mode in Chrome. The option is built-in and must be enabled on a per-extension basis.

Extensions in Incognito mode

Remember the extensions are installed separately for each profile so open the profile that you use for browsing in Incognito. Open a normal browsing session and click the more options button at the top right.

From the menu, go to More tools>Extensions.

On the Chrome Extensions page, look for the extension that you want to use in Incognito mode, and click the Details button under it.

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On the Details page for the extension, scroll down to the Allow in Incognito mode section. Every extension’s details’ page will have this section. The section has a switch which, when turned on, will allow the extension to run in Incognito mode.

Open an Incognito window in the same profile and you will be able to use the extension.

Remember that some extensions may not work correctly since Incognito mode has limitations. If an extension relies on your browsing history to work, it likely will not work. It may be allowed to run in Incognito mode but it cannot force the browser to start storing your history.

When you enable extensions to run in Incognito mode, be careful. If an extension stores information, even it if stores it locally, anyone using the normal browsing window will be able to access it. Extensions do not make a distinction between normal and incognito modes when they store data.

If you only need to use an extension in Incognito mode for a brief period of time, don’t leave it enabled after you’re done working. Disable it again so that it doesn’t compromise your security.

If you want to prevent all extensions from ever being run in Incognito mode, there’s no way to do that. What you can do instead is disable Incognito mode in Chrome.

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