Preface: A warning for parents

If you want to protect your kids, disabling Incognito mode is usually not enough. If your kids are under age 13, it's wise to use a good filter to block the YouTube app and website altogether. You can then switch them to YouTube Kids.

To prevent late-night video viewing, and to avoid the late-night reluctant messaging problem: At night, you can take away your kid's laptop. And you can configure a bedtime for her phone and tablet. This will also make it harder for her to secretly use Facebook and games overnight.


The official YouTube app for Android includes an feature called "Incognito mode". I'd like to prevent myself from using this mode, in order to discourage myself from viewing risqué content.

I'm logged into a Google Family Link "child account". Family Link has automatically disabled Chrome's incognito mode. Unfortunately, the YouTube app's incognito mode still works fine.

My phone is not rooted. Please assume that, if necessary, I'm willing to root it.

My options

I assume my options include:

  • To downgrade to an older version of the YouTube app, from before the feature was rolled out.
  • To disable the app altogether. (If I still want to watch YouTube, my only remaining options will then be to use a web browser or a third-party YouTube client app. The website works quite well in both Chrome and Firefox Mobile. Maybe some of the third-party apps work equally well; I haven't yet tried many of them.)
  • Or to contact the Family Link team with an enhancement request.

My question

Do I have any options other than the three options mentioned above? For example, can you offer me some instructions for modifying the decompressed YouTube .apk file contents, or can you suggest some other options?

  • YouTube is a part of stock OS and if you want to permanently disable features, device needs to be rooted to even explore the possibility // Crafty kids can circumvent easily the options you listed out - Google will tell them. Some app like Family Link may be a better option. I haven't used it or need to but this link, which I happened to see yesterday may help in setting it up - androidauthority.com/google-family-link-how-to-1067082/amp/…
    – beeshyams
    Dec 26, 2019 at 9:03
  • 1
    Family Link can't merely block the YouTube app's incognito mode. All it can do is disable access to the official YouTube app altogether, which is a much more coarse-grained solution. Dec 26, 2019 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


Same situation as yours, but one idea click on my mind. I have one temporary solution:

  1. With the help of Family Link app, incognito is disabled in Google Chrome and Google Search app.

  2. using Family Link, block the original YouTube app so that your child/brother can't use original YouTube app.

  3. With help of Chrome, open YouTube website, and install YouTube icon using "add to home screen" option present in Chrome. In this YouTube, no incognito option is there, so our motive is complete to safe monitoring of YouTube.

  4. Instruct your brother/son to use this app for YouTube.

Another option may be paid apps.

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