I know how incognito/private tab works. But I'm not sure private mode works as expected in this situation: If someone uses Chrome "incognito/private mode" on Android device and plays a video file or views pdf file that is shared on Google Drive (without download), is video stream data or pdf file TEMPORARILY SAVED on device when playing/viewing even incognito/private mode?

  • All data downloaded is temporarily saved on the local device. That's how it plays it.
    – schroeder
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 12:36
  • @schroeder Thanks. I've updated the question.
    – user215422
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 12:50
  • I know what you meant. My answer is the same. It has to have it locally in order to show it to you
    – schroeder
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 13:01
  • @schroeder I feel like what the OP meant to ask is whether the data gets saved on disk. Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 14:09
  • @schroeder Google Drive has internal viewer and one can disable download option. If someone disables download option and uses incognito mode, it's expected that no file temporarily saved on device and everything should be done in RAM. If a pdf file temporarily stored device when viewing, it's strange.
    – user215422
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


Incognito / private modes are simply a way to get a temporary browsing session that starts with no cookies or history. Incognito / private modes (with some variations on implementation) will still allow new cookies to be created and saved, temporary files to be created (including things like PDFs opened in the browser) and the history for that browsing session to be available (in some form) - all of this happens on-disk. Once the session is closed (all incognito / private browser tabs) then all those things associated with the session get deleted.

Important to note here that files that are downloaded, as opposed to viewing in the browser, will persist beyond the incognito / private session.

Note that if using extensions or plugins then those may not respect the intended ephemeral nature of the session and may save data permanently somewhere.

So yes, anything that utilizes temporary data in a standard browsing session will do the same in an incognito / private session, but that data will be deleted when the session is ended.

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