Different Modes in Google Chrome for the Classroom

Robert Abraham
PD Account Manager / PD Specialist
News on September 26 2019


Modes in Google Chrome

The Google Chrome web browser offers different modes for users who are surfing the web. In a 1:1 school setting, this is not an issue as each student should be logging in with their individual account. However, if there are not enough devices for 1:1, there will likely be shared computers in the classroom, library, or even the computer lab. Google Chrome offers an option for this setup so students don’t step on each other’s work.

Profile switcher

Chrome offers several modes for keeping your browsing private. Incognito mode, known as “private browsing” in other browsers, has been around for years. Chrome recently introduced their Profile Switcher. This option lets you quickly switch between multiple users, like home and work accounts, or multiple student accounts, without any hassle. Profile switching also offers another option for shared computers called Guest Mode. Guest Mode is similar to Incognito Mode with a few minor differences. Here are the details.

Incognito mode

Incognito mode lets you browse the web without Chrome saving any history information. It basically opens up a new browsing window that’s never seen the internet before. Since there are no cookies, you aren’t logged into any sites. When you close an incognito window, all the information on that session is gone, so you can’t review the browsing history or find cookies. This is a useful mode for a teacher to log into a website and view it as a teacher while opening up an incognito window to simultaneously view it as a student. It is also helpful as incognito mode disables browser extensions so you can troubleshoot add-on issues.

Guest mode

Guest mode provides a blank profile for someone who’s temporarily using Chrome. Like Incognito mode, it doesn’t save any record of the browsing history and doesn’t use extensions. However, in Guest mode, the user can’t change any Chrome settings aside from the search engine. A guest user also can’t see any of the browsing history of the main user. It is ideal for a shared classroom computer as each student can log in using Guest Mode and cannot alter Chrome or any other student’s work.

Here’s the TL;DR

1. A user in incognito mode doesn’t leave browsing history and cookies on the computer, but can still see your existing history, bookmarks, passwords, autofill data, and other Chrome settings.
2. A user in guest mode doesn’t leave any browsing history or cookies on the computer. In addition, they can’t see or modify the computer owner’s Chrome profile.

*Important – Neither of these browsing modes make you invisible on the web. Everyone from your employer to your service provider can see the websites you visit, and can still view any browsing activity.

For more great blogs around technology and technology integration in the classroom, check out the Teq Talk blog.