Best Method to Create a Brave Back-up

What is the very best of way of creating a complete Brave Back-up which contains all my Bookmarks, Settings, Extensions and Extension Settings and 100% of everything in my current User Profile.

I need this to be reliable and want to be able to use it to quickly restore everything back to the way it was when Brave the back-up was created.

I recently purchased a new iMac with the Apple Silicon M3 chip.

My previous iMac was 7 years old and it was using an Intel chip.

I transferred everything to my new iMac via the default macOS Migration Assistant from a Time Machine back-up.

The installed version of Brave was not compatible with the Apple Silicon M3 chip.

The App icon in my Applications had a circle crossed with a diagonal bar superimposed on it. Which I immediately recognised as this indicating it was not an App compatible with this iMac.

I obtained the latest Brave version compatible with the Apple Silicon M3 chip from the Brave website.

I have tried multiple ways of transferring Bookmarks, Passwords, Extensions and Extension Settings to my new installation of Brave, but unfortunately I have had NO SUCCESS IN RESTORING BRAVE.

I have had a very long painstaking task of trying to remember all of my Extensions, Passwords and Bookmarks.

I am still only part of the way through fully restoring brave back to the way it was configured on my 7 year old Intel based iMac.

I NEVER EVER want to have to go through this tortuous procedure again.

I have full Time Machine back-ups of all of Brave Profiles use when Brave was working well on my old Intel based i Mac.

So please can somebody please advise on the best way to create 100% Totally Complete backups of Brave which can be used reliably to restore Brave back to a previous state with everything working 100% correctly.

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I have a Windows 10 desktop.
No need for 3rd party software.

I make a daily zipped copy of …
... AppData\Local\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\User Data
… and upload it as well as saving it locally.

Threre have been a few times when I really needed it.

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@jputting best way overall is going to be making sure to do an Export Passwords to an external drive on occasion. Beyond that, you can likely just copy/paste your profile path over to an external drive. The profile path can be visible at brave://version and would be the \brave-browser folder or the User Data folder within.

The \brave-browser or User Data folder would actually contain your extensions, bookmarks, etc. But issue would be that while passwords would be part of it, they would not be readable due to encryption. Passwords are encrypted based on your OS and password. So if you ever had to restore to another device, you’d be unable to see your passwords as they wouldn’t have the encryption key.

The other way, which is easier but not necessarily entirely reliable due to daily changing code, would be to create a sync chain. This is especially helpful if you have multiple devices (like your iPhone/Android) on there, in which case you can easily generate a code and add a new device. At this point, the bulk of information will sync between devices, though you’ll have individual settings and all to have to change back.


Is there any reliable method of retrieving all my Extensions and Extenion Data/Settings from a Time Machine Back-up on macOS Sonoma?

I have tried creating a new User Profile in Brave installed on macOS Sonoma.

I then went to my Time Machine back-ups and obtained a copy of a previous macOS Application Support>Brave Software file, I found the Default User Profile and very thoroughly checked the contents. I could see the correct folders for Extensions, Extension Rules, Extension State, Extension Settings and many others.

The contents of the Default Profile file was copied and pasted into the NEW Profile I created in the Brave version compatible with my new Apple Silicon M3 Chip.

Unfortunately NOTHING has transferred correctly, I do NOT have my Extensions, Bookmarks, Passwords or anything else from my old Brave configuration.

I am absolutely certain everything I need to fully restore Brave is in that Default user file.

The default folder was obtained from a Brave installation on an Intel based iMac. The Default Profile file is less than 4 days old.

What have I done wrong?, how can I easily fix this and get my Brave fully restored to the way it was configure on my Intel based iMac.

@jputting did you copy and replace the entire folders?

I also want to say I also should have mentioned that usually it’s recommended to replace these folders before you open Brave for the first time on the newer device. So it’s

  1. Copy over the entire brave-browser or User Data folder to an external drive.

  2. Install Brave on new device

  3. Immediately replace the \brave-browser or User Data folders on new device. (Of the two, I generally say replace the \brave-browser but technically supposed to be able to do it with just the User Data subfolder.)

  4. Open Brave on new device and it should have everything that you had before…except for passwords due to encryption as I mentioned before.


If you have ever used macOS, you should be quite well aware that Time Machine back-ups are created using Apple’s Time Machine App which is a default macOS App.

You do NOT need any 3rd-party software at all, you only need a suitably formatted external drive and the setup is quite easy.

I have indeed tried restoring Brave via a Time Machine back-up, but unfortunately with NO SUCCESS.

That said, I’m not sure how things might work as you’re pulling from Time Machine and all. I thought I remembered Time Machine being like System Restore on Windows, where it’s for same device. I have never used a Mac in my life, so limited on knowledge.

If you’re saying instructions as I gave aren’t working, I can tag @Mattches to see if he has any other guidance.

I have tried that method very carefully, I followed every single step precisely and ensured no errors were made via double checking everything you described in detail.

But after desperately struggling with this for almost 4 days, I am still stuck and simply can NOT get Brave restored to the way it was on my Intel based iMac.

I am at my wits end dealing with this, so many, many, many, long hours of tiring work and I still can NOT restore Brave back to how it used to be.

I’m not entirely sure how it works with Time Machine (unless you’re restoring the entire system) but as @Saoiray stated, replacing the entire Brave-browser folder would be the move, not just the User Data portion.

Is it only the extensions/extension settings that aren’t getting properly restored or is it the entire browser?

I have tried doing it both ways.

I also took the precaution of thoroughly uninstalling Brave and reinstalling a fresh copy of the latest version of Brave direct from your website.

I made certain Brave had NOT been opened before replacing the entire Brave Software folder in Application Support on macOS.

Unfortunately replacing the entire Brave Software folder did NOT help, Nothing was restored back to how it used to be.

Uninstalled Brave thoroughly again, then created a new User Profile and copied all the contents of my retrieved Default Profile into it, NOTHING was restored back to how it used to be.

The version of Brave compatible with Apple Silcon M3 iMacs will NOT recognise or use anything from my old Default User Profile.

I have been desperately struggling with this for nearly 4 days now with no success.

If you did this way, would be a problem. I said \brave-browser, not Brave Software. Like to use Windows as an example, C:\Users\saoir\AppData\Local\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\User Data\Default would be the pathway. If you went BraveSoftware, that’s one level too high and can be problematic. This is especially true if they are different versions of Brave or some variation of OS. You just need the user data, which is going to be deeper in, within the \Brave-Browser or User Data portion.

In any case, I’m leaving it to you and Mattches on resolving if that didn’t do it. I just wanted to make sure to point out this one thing in case it might be the dilemma.

I am using macOS Sonoma, In my User Library I do NOT have a file called \brave-browser.

In my Application Support there is only a file called Brave Software. There is NOTHING ELSE.

So please tell me where on macOS Sonoma is this mysterious \brave-browser file located.

If this can be found perhaps a solution to this exasperating problem can be found at last.

If you type in brave://version on your URL bar, it should show you something like below:

You’ll notice part of the way down, it has a part that says Profile Path. This is where your extensions, settings, etc are saved.

I have done that here is what I found:

Profile Path /Users/Jim/Library/Application Support/BraveSoftware/Brave-Browser/Default

This is the exact folder I have been using in my restore efforts all through this expasperating ordeal.

I have also found that using Time Machine back-ups I can restore Brave to the previous state it was in 1 day ago and absolutely everything is restored perfectly.

However whenever I try to restore Brave back to the state it was in when it was installed on an Intel chip based iMac, It simply refuses to restore anything at all.

The differences between the versions of Brave for Intel chip based iMacs and Brave for Apple Silicon M3 seem to be blocking the restore efforts completely.

Right, so you’re seeing it. Earlier you mentioned you moved the Brave Software folder. I was saying you needed to go just one lesser, to the Brave-Browser one below. This is the one you’d copy/paste. Perhaps this is what you were doing, but it just sounded like you went for the folder one level higher which would contain a lot of other information.

Yeah, and this is where I’m hoping @steeven or @Mattches can help guide you a bit better on it. Keep in mind I’m just another user. The instructions I have given have worked for many users over the years, so I know it should work. But if not working for you, then might be more needing looked at by people who have better knowledge than myself. This is why I’ve tagged in two of the support agents from Brave.

For a long time I have used Time Machine back-ups to restore Brave to a previous state in order to remove unwanted configuration changes, because I couldn’t remember everything I tampered with.

I simply restored the entire Brave Software folder located in the iMac Application Support folder.

That was always successful with everything being 100% restored correctly.

I can not understand why Brave will not accept the restored files.

There must be fundamental differences between the Brave for Intel chip based iMacs and Apple Silicon M3 based iMacs .

Hi Mattches,

It is indeed the whole browser.

I specifically mean NO Bookmarks, NO Extensions, NO Extension Data, NO Extension Settings, NO History, NO Passwords.

NOTHING GETS RESTORED back to how it was when Brave was installed on my Intel based iMac.

It just like a fresh new install.

However when I go to Library/Application Support/Brave Software and find my Default Profile, I can very clearly folders for Extensions and when it is opened there is a long list of coded names which I assume is my Installed Extensions List I can also see the correct folders for Extension Data and Extension Settings.

But Brave will not recognise or use any of this at all it is ignored completely.

Please investigate this and try to find some way of restoring Brave back to the way it was when it was installed on an Intel based iMac.

I’m looking into this — to be clear, when you say

What you really mean to say is

Library/Application Support/BraveSoftware/Brave-Browser — right?

Yes that is correct.

Many thanks for any assistance for trying to fix this exasperating problem.