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Chrome for iOS test locks Incognito tabs behind Touch or Face ID

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Chrome for iOS test locks Incognito tabs behind Touch or Face ID

The feature will blur that tab you want to remain private.



No CaptionThomas Trutschel via Getty Images


Google is working to make private web browsing on Chrome for iOS a little more secure by letting you lock Incognito tabs with Face or Touch ID. The update, detailed in the app's beta version for iPhone and iPad, essentially blurs Incognito tabs in the tab switcher so that they remain hidden until you authenticate with either a fingerprint or facial unlock.


It's a helpful little upgrade, especially if like me you have dozens of tabs open at any time. Enabling the feature may also give you some peace of mind the next time someone asks to borrow your phone to use Chrome. 


As 9to5Google notes, the feature may not be available for all beta users just yet. Google has been holding back new versions of many of its iOS apps in the wake of Apple's privacy labels push. Therefore, it's not clear when the update will land, but Chrome 89 is due out next next month. 


Once live, you can turn it on via Settings, Privacy and then selecting "Lock Incognito tabs when you close Chrome." 



Source: Chrome for iOS test locks Incognito tabs behind Touch or Face ID

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Chrome for iOS will let you lock Incognito mode with Face ID



Google Chrome for iOS is getting a new privacy feature that lets you lock your opened Incognito tabs behind your iPhone's Face ID or Touch ID biometric authentication features.


Users commonly browse in Incognito mode when visiting sensitive sites that they do not wish to appear in their browser history. However, if a user leaves their phone unlocked, someone can launch Chrome and view the currently open Incognito mode tabs.


To add additional privacy, Chrome Beta for iOS is now testing a new feature that prevents the browser from displaying Incognito tabs until they are first unlocked with Face ID.

"You can add more security to your Incognito tabs with Touch ID or Face ID. When you return to the Chrome app, your Incognito tabs will be blurred until you confirm it's you," states Google Chrome Beta for iOS 89's release notes.


Once enabled, when you close Chrome for iOS and then open it again, you will now be allowed to see any opened Incognito tabs without first unlocking them with Face ID or Touch ID.

locked-incognito-mode.jpg Chrome Incognito tabs locked behind Face ID

Once Incognito mode is unlocked, you will not have to authenticate again until the browser is closed and opened again.

How to enable the locked Incognito tab privacy feature

Before proceeding, it is important to note that installing Chrome Beta will replace the existing install of Chrome on your device.


To enable the new locked Incognito tabs feature, please perform the following steps.

  1. Install Apple's TestFlight iOS app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. On the same device, visit the TestFlight invitation URL for Chrome Beta for iOS.
  3. When TestFlight opens, agree to the license agreement and install the Chrome Beta. If you are greeted with a message stating that the Beta is full, you will need to wait until a new invite is available from Google's Chrome Beta site.
  4. When Chrome Beta for iOS 89 is installed, enter chrome://flags in the address bar and then search for 'Device Authentication for Incognito.'  When the flag is shown, set it to 'Enabled.'
    chrome-flag.jpg Enabling experimental feature
  5. Now close and reopen the Chrome browser.
  6. When Chrome is opened again, go into Settings > Privacy and enable the 'Lock Incognito Tabs when you close Chrome' setting, shown below.
    settings.jpg Chrome for iOS Privacy settings
  7. Once enabled, when you go to view your Incognito tabs for the first time in a session, you will be asked to unlock the tabs using Face or Touch ID.

To disable this feature, simply go back into chrome://flags and disable the setting.



Source: Chrome for iOS will let you lock Incognito mode with Face ID

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