Brave Browser not opening with Windows 10 - 2021

Description of the issue:
Brave Browser was, up until about 12 hours ago, functioning with no problems. When I restarted my computer this evening, the browser no longer opens up at all. It appears in the Windows 10 task manager and creates three instances of itself, then almost immediately disappears.

I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling latest download from Brave itself, as well as disabling the GPU with no effect.

How can this issue be reproduced?

Unknown as this was a completely random occurrence.

Expected result:
Browser should open up and show my previous tabs.

Brave Version( check About Brave):
According to the folder where the browser is located: Unknown if this is the current version.

Additional Information:
There are older threads from 2020 that are not the current version of Brave Browser, nor did advice in those threads work.

1 Like

Hello @TerraCorrupt

  1. close brave and make sure it does not run in the task manager (kill the process if it exist)
  2. create an empty folder where ever you like then
  3. right click on the shortcut of brave then choose properties then go to shortcut tab then edit target by adding
    this --user-data-dir=“location of the folder you created in step 2” at the end of the line

check this image

so it will close to that

"C:\Program Files (x86)\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\Application\brave.exe" --user-data-dir="location of the folder you created in step 2"

the first part could be different depend on your windows

  1. press ok then start brave it will look like if it a new installation
  2. close brave again and make sure it not running in the background
  3. go to the shortcut and right click then properties then go to shortcut tab then remove the flag that you added in step 2 then ok
  4. start brave again

hope that help and have a nice day :slight_smile:

Thanks for your help!

That solved the problem until I got to Step 6, then it decided not to work again. Because I copied the data from the default user folder, I was able to paste it into that secondary location. I put the flag back into the shortcut target and was able to get back to work thanks to Session Manager keeping my tabs.

It developed a different problem now, in that I can’t get URLs to open from third party programs like Skype and Discord without copying them. I’ve ensured the default program is Brave, because changing to another browser causes it to work, but when I switch back, it fails. Is there another flag I can put in the shortcut target?

you welcome

do you mean that brave does not work unless you use the flag am i right?

when the third party url does not work is it while your shortcut set with the flag or not or both?

Correct: If I remove the flag, the browser will no longer open.

Third party URLs will not open in brave with the flag set. Unknown if it will work without the flag, as the browser will not open at all.

let me ask @Mattches to help you with that

his browser does not open unless if he used the --user-data-dir flag

please note that it’s week end so it will take time to get a response

Not a problem! I appreciate all you’re doing to help me. :+1:

1 Like

To confirm – at this point, you’re trying to set your external applications to open links in-browser using Brave, right?

Also have you updated the browser since opening this thread? If not, can you please go to Menu --> About Brave and do so now?


That’s correct. Having the --user-data-dir flag set is the only way to get the application to open on my computer.

Now the issue is setting external applications to open links in-browser with Brave. Currently, Brave is set to be the default application for all URLs and internet links.

I ensured that Brave is now up to date by downloading and installing the latest official version from the website. There has been no change in the issue.

To me this seems like an extensions issue. Can you try opening Brave (however you can), disabling the extension you have installed temporarily, then see if you can remove the --user-data-dir flag flag from the shortcut and launch normally. Also check (whether you can remove the flag or not) and see if Brave opens external links now with extensions disabled.


This changed nothing, unfortunately.

After disabling all extensions, and removing the flag, the shortcut still did not open the browser.

After returning the flag, with the extensions still disabled, Brave did not open external links.

Apologies for the delay, I have been bogged down with work and school.

What type of external links are you trying to open? Also, to confirm, you’re referring to links contained in apps outside of Brave – like Outlook email app or Discord – that when clicked, do not open Brave, right? If so I have a couple of questions:

  • What happens when you do try and open/click on those links? Whats the exact behavior?
  • Do you have more than one browsing profile? If not, can you try creating one and see if using the new profile changes the behavior?

External links from apps outside of Brave - specifically Skype and Discord.

  • When I click the link, nothing at all happens.
  • Changing profiles did not change any of the behaviors.

Is it possible that changing from the 32bit to 64bit caused this problem to occur?

Potentially – do you mean you reinstalled windows and are now running 64 bit architecture? Or did you reinstall Brave using a different architecture? Either way, do they match one another (if your OS is running 64bit, you should be using 64bit version of the browser)?

I always had the 64 bit version of Windows installed. But I recently upgraded Brave browser from 32 bit to 64 bit browser, though I had originally been under the impression that I installed the 64 bit browser. It may have been a coincidence that the change is what caused the problem.

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