When I have one Chrome window open and it is in "Incognito" mode, and then click on a link in a text file in TextEdit, it has always resulted in the opening of a new tab in the Chrome incognito window.

Suddenly last week this has changed and it opens a new Chrome window which is not Incognito.

Is there some setting in MacOS that determines this that could have been changed without me knowing it? Or is it a silent update to Chrome that's the cause of the change? Or something else?

TextEdit with links

1 Answer 1


This was an intentional change introduced in Chrome 68 to bring the macOS behavior in line with that of Chrome on other operating systems. Prior to Chrome 68, links opened externally would open in an Incognito window if one was open, which was the opposite of the behavior on other platforms (e.g., on Windows, external links would always open in a non-Incognito window). This has been discussed at length in this Chromium bug report thread, as well as on the Google Chrome Help Forum.

Essentially, the old behavior was deemed incorrect by the Chromium team and Chrome 68 "corrected" this discrepancy. There appears to be no way to revert this change within Chrome. However, one workaround is to drag an external link into the tab bar of an Incognito widow, which will open the link in that window.

  • Thank you for this articulate and well-sourced answer. I didn't know links were click-draggable, so I learned something new today!
    – uhoh
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 16:05
  • This has been working correctly for a while, and now it has been "fixed" again recently :/ diff Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 16:50

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