Improve Active Tab Visibility

I know the active tab is slightly lighter than the other tabs but where the tabs reside at the top of my screen (on different machines/screens), the tabs fall into a dim area that makes the reduces the contrast between the different tabs. This makes it very difficult to identify the active tab (I’ve accidentally closed the wrong tab on many occasions).

Part of this is likely due to a user’s screen brightness settings (if I max out my screen brightness, they are easier to distinguish), however, I keep my brightness a bit lower for reading comfort and reduced eye strain and some screens are just dimmer based on manufacturer design. I also noticed how prone to reflection the screen is impacts visibility (it seems screens with a reflective surface make it even harder to notice the active tab contrast).

I took some screen shots but they don’t do the lack of contrast justice as the screen shots look pretty good but in reality the difference is really hard to notice on my screen:

An obvious solution would be to further lighten/darken the active tab to increase the contrast with other, inactive tabs. Another possible solution is to highlight active tab similar to how the url/search bar is highlighted with an orange border when you click in it:

Another possible solution would be to only show the ‘close X’ in the active tab (much like after you open 16 tabs: only the active tab has the close X). However, this comes with a down side: users would have to activate each inactive tab to close it rather than just hitting the X on inactive tabs.

Finally, when searching here for an answer, one other suggestion was to turn on the experimental “tab groups” in brave://flags. I tried that but it doesn’t really help: tab groups are highlighted but the active tab within the group is still hard to distinguish (plus adding things to each groups is kind of clunky as you have to right click in the group itself - it would be better if you could lick a “+” within the group or ctrl+T would open a new tab in the active group rather than another ‘default’ tab).

This issue was raised here. Despite several new posts to the thread, we noticed it wasn’t populating in the feature request category’s active/recent discussions list (resulting in it being kind of hidden) so we decided to start a new thread. cc: @AlainK and @dragonlord666.


As an aging person with deteriorating eyesight, this issue alone is tempting me to abandon Brave entirely…that is the level of frustration it gives me :cry: :

I have windows using a dark theme, with a Grey Dark background, and Seafoam teal as the other color. These choices make it rather bad for the active tab. It’s worth checking your windows colors if you can improve the tab’s colorings.

I am using the Linux version and, having just switched from FF, I absolutely second this request. I also use a lower screen brightness setting than most but even so this problem is frustrating me a lot. For me, the problem is much worse in a private window, which, for some reason by default uses a different colour scheme than a regular one, similar to the first picture in OP.

I agree that the active tab should be highlighted more but I will just take the opportunity to add another suggestion: You could also, to some extent, grey out the icons/titles of all the inactive tabs to further help distinguish the active one.


@141 Thanks for your tip. I am on MacOS with Dark Theme. Sadly the active Brave tab does not pick up the highlight/active color, which IMHO it should. Most other Mac Apps do that.

I noticed that too. On both Brave and Vivaldi I have them using windows colors. Vivaldi uses a much lighter shade for the active tab, while Brave doesn’t go as light.
I enabled all these flags:

Now I can choose colors on the brave://settings/manageProfile page. I found a pairing that works better. Sadly, the color picker won’t let me choose both colors.

I’d like to say I’m looking for the same solution, it’s almost impossible for me to tell which tab is active and I’d like to be able to change the color of the tab if that is possible OR if that can’t be done then maybe the size of the active tab could be changed to 1.5-2.5x the width - OR if it could be made taller, possibly extending up into the title bar, that would make it much easier to find as well.

I can’t state just how much a pain in the axx it is in the current state and it’s almost enough to make me switch back to previous browsers.

I wonder if there is some kind of addon that could either be made or an existing one that could be used. I would think there should be a way to do this with extensions and it might be much faster than waiting for Brave to get around to this.

You can use any theme from Chrome’s store.
e.g. I use this (When the Night Falls (multicolored 3; 720p)