Should brave release a light version without all the bloat?

I am a big fan of Brave and have used it for years but when I try to recommend Brave to other people the number one complaint that comes back is its too bloated.

Its hard to argue with that statement as the first thing I do is spend half an hour disabling all the features I don’t use when installing a fresh copy.

I do think its great for the people who use it, but for most people who just want a web browser things like Crypto Wallets, Brave Rewards, Tor, Web 3, LEO are actually preventing the adoption of arguably the best chromium browser.

I’m curious what people think about a cut down version of Brave that just focuses on the core features of a web browser

These are all things you opt into and don’t have to use. Sure, capabilities will be built in, but it isn’t bloat and doesn’t hurt performance or privacy.

Seriously, take a look at file sizes. I just checked Chrome vs Brave on my PC. There is a 40 MB difference between them. You how small megabytes are, right? And on Desktop, I have 156 GB used of 1.84 TB…meaning 1.69 TB of free space.

On iPhone, Chrome is 187.3 MB app size vs Brave at 206.7 MB. So again, 19.4 MB difference. That’s petty. In the meanwhile, my iPhone storage is 51.06 GB used out of 128 GB.

Don’t forget, it’s around 1000 KB in 1 MB. Then 1000 MB in one GB. And 1000 GB in 1 TB. So again, space Brave uses is very small. You’re not really going to get any lighter.


Just to be clear I am a fan of Brave and personally have no issues disabling a few features I don’t want but the amount of people that have, when I recommended Brave to them, told me that they didn’t like it and felt it was too bloated with features they didn’t want is considerable. It seems that its the presentation of these features and how they give the impression of a bloated browser that seems to be the problem.

My thinking was that if Brave released a light, just browser experience it would probably massively increase the adoption of Brave over other browsers…


I’m with 9sim9. Bloat here doesn’t mean file size it’s just all the optional crap. I recently installed Brave again and amidst the legit bugs I’ve I was also confronted with “Leo.” The core thing here is a new user fires this up and sees all this sketchy crypto bro crap, an Ai assistant, web3 scammery and just tons of ADHD garbage everywhere (looking at new tab “cards” and such).

For everyone that digs an Ai spying on them and Crypto anything lurking there are those of us that see all this as a massive negative and “bloat.” It’s really annoying to have to install and spend 30 minutes to an hour digging through forum posts and options to hide, disable and remove all this garbage. I mean what am I installing Windows?! As 9sim9 says recommending to lay people it probably comes across more as a spyware scam app which will trigger NOPE UNINSTALL.

While I see Thorium as a far better, faster, lighter chromium based browser Brave really isn’t doing itself any favors by just cramming in all this stuff. If anything there should be some meta option to enable disable ALL Crypto or Ai stuff in one toggle switch…and set to OFF by default.

While I can hear the inevitable “I guess Brave isn’t the browser for you.” remarks I’ll agree but that’s also 9sim9’s point. It could be my (and others) browser, but isn’t. Worse is it used to be my primary browser but it just got worse and worse. Even now I reinstalled and immediately found some big issues with and had to yet again figure out how to get rid of Leo. rm -rf brave.


I wasn’t sure if Brave was aware of how much of a negative reaction I’ve had from people I’ve talked to about the browser, at the very least this post brings attention to perhaps an issue that they may not be aware of.

You’re not the only one. I’ve had a lot of people say the same things to me. I also do IT so when there is discussion of what browser to roll out Brave used to be in the list. Over the years it’s just become like the browser equivalent to the car Homer designs for his brother on the Simpsons.

I recently reinstalled just to have another tor capable browser but the Leo thing was very disconcerting. Never mind the options for it (and many other things) are strewn all over and there is no central way to easily disable stuff like that. Less savvy users just get freaked out and frustrated right away and uninstall…power users or admins just uninstall as fast as possible.

Even if there wasn’t a ton of cruft features the controls and options are so disjointed it’s a time sink/waste to configure anymore. Browsers like Brave or Vivaldi have their options then there are the stock Chome options and nothing talks to each other…You gotta know how to get to the other options and then dig around in whatever stupeed chrome://flags syntax they use and my lord…

Frankly I don’t know what Brave is doing, it’s like they are trying to be Mozilla and drive their user base away. Maybe I’m too old and jaded for this crap…but it is crap. Use Brave…safe, secure…except for the new Ai we added to watch you…cough I mean help you. With Web3 “failnology” for all your trendy web scam needs. I’ll stick to Thorium for a Chrome engine and perhaps revisit Brave again in another 3 or 4 years and see if they’ve just continued to add cruft or finally stopped contradicting themselves.

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That doesn’t happen with Brave. All code is open source and all. There’s no guessing.

No need to have to do all of that. Doing all of that is like saying, “I had to spend time figuring out how to remove my radio, speakers, mirrors, and GPS from my car! Oh, and better remove the Bluetooth and USB connections otherwise they’ll spy on me”

That’s your imagination. You should try actually doing tests and check out performance as has been shared by others. For example, on Thorium’s Github:

Then my own testing:



Doesn’t look like Thorium is quicker, does it? I mean, Motion Mark it might very slightly lead, in these screenshots. But what is interesting is how much results vary for both browsers. That said, Thorium comes with a much larger +/-, where it’s saying give or take basically 10%. Whereas Brave’s has less than 1 % variation. So yeah, Brave seems to be more stable and overall better performance.

Did you not pay attention to how you have to download/install Thorium? Their website is trash and by time you navigate through it, they just bring you to their Github. Then a person is supposed to identify the file and download it, then extract, and then finally run. It’s not a simple installation. EDIT Or get to the mini install and do. Still, not quick or easy necessarily.

Also, you want to talk about bloat. Thorium came with all of these extensions installed! Why would we have things like Google Hangouts installed by default? Want to talk about spyware and all. They have Google tracking you right out of the box.


I am newbie with Brave browser. I have migrated from MS Edge recently (I am addicted to vertical tabs and I found that Brave have it too a few weeks ago) and I don’t feel any kind of bloatware in Brave.

Yes, there are some advanced features, but they are NOT visible on GUI and they don’t bother me anykind. On another hand, I am happy that I can enabled it with one click in the settings.

And in the year 2023 I dont care how much browser use my RAM - I just for curiosity check process manager right now and found that 27 opened tabs takes about 1,7 GB of RAM, what is no problem at all - I have 32 GB RAM (I have disabled RAM saver functionality in the browser).

You can lose a lot of the “bloat” by going through the settings pages line by line and turning things off. This is what I have done.


Your argument is really dumb. First of all it’s about bloat in terms of unnecessary features, not file size, but even then you compared brave to Google Chrome which is known to be bloated and there are many ram eating memes about that browser… and even then brave is still bigger in filesize, making it worse than Chrome.

Also you really should lookup what opt-in means because it doesn’t mean what you think it means. These extra icons that are there by default can be removed by user… that’s OPT OUT. Also even if you remove it, crap like Wallet, Brave VPN,… it’s still present in main menu.

So the answer to question is yes, it really does need a light version, if Brave doesn’t want to lose users who just want a normal bloat free browser that is actually privacy oriented.

I highly suggest you do the same. The argument you’re having is that nobody can build a Starbucks, develop a video game, or anything else. Because if it exists and you see it, then it’s no longer opt-in. The option for you to opt in or opt out is whether you want to use it.

So Brave Rewards will be there, but it won’t show you ads or anything unless you turn it on. Brave VPN is there, but it won’t do anything unless you activate, pay, and use it.

Generally bloat has been used to refer to things like how phones come with a lot of garbage apps on them, which use up space. Some of them, especially brand specific apps, can’t be uninstalled either.

And when we compared Brave to other browsers, Brave’s storage space was about the same as competitors. For example, 187 MB vs 206 MB. When you consider the iPhone that had that is 128 GB of storage. This is 19 MB of 128,000 MB. That is 0.0001484375, which is 0.01484375% of your total storage. One one hundredth of 1% Does that sound like something to complain about?

Just would be a change in phrasing. On this it would be to say the UI could use improvement and would like to be able to hide things not being used. But the catch here is that there will always need to be something just in case you want to activate it in the future. If it’s completely hidden from settings and all, how would you be able to turn it on?


The argument you’re having is that nobody can build a Starbucks, develop a video game, or anything else. Because if it exists and you see it, then it’s no longer opt-in.

What an incredible strawman argument and a false equivalency :rofl:
Do I own the entire world? No I do not, so no it’s not comparable. I do own my computer, so whenever something is included with a program that I install, it is enabled by default, but I can turn it off, that’s OPT OUT.

Generally bloat has been used to refer to things like how phones come with a lot of garbage apps on them, which use up space.

Not really, that’s only one of examples. Bloat also refers to unwanted features in otherwise useful programs such as a browser. Even back in the day when IE allowed third party toolbars, these were universally considered bloat.

but it won’t show you ads or anything unless you turn it on

There’s an icon in the address bar by default, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t show ads, the fact it’s there by default without me explicitly putting it there, that’s not an opt-it… it’s an opt-out once I remove it. At least on desktop it’s easy to remove the icon… but on mobile you have to go to settings to do so

And when we compared Brave to other browsers, Brave’s storage space was about the same as competitors

But you do not want it to be the same as the lowest common dominator, which is Google Chrome, you want it it be better… If we are going this route, might as well install Chrome :laughing:

can’t be uninstalled either.

like unwanted extensions of brave cannot be removed either, such as Wallet, rewards, vpn, leo,… You can hide their icons, but that’s it… they are still in Brave. It’s exactly the same as your example of preinstalled useless apps on phone that cannot be installed. You can hide them from your launcher and that’s it. Thanks for proving my point

On this it would be to say the UI could use improvement and would like to be able to hide things not being used.

That’s what should be done, instead brave did bare minimum to allow users to hide them from the main interface only. Users should be able to uninstall any unwanted preinstalled extensions, or just make a lite version of Brave.

They claimed this would be a security issue as it would add more ports of entry into attacks by having things able to be installed/uninstalled. Therefore it’s all together as one solid program and not “extensions.”

To be blunt, Brave doesn’t have the staff they need. They can’t even handle existing versions of Brave in the ways they should be doing.

Nah, perhaps phrasing didn’t land as I intended, but it’s nothing of the sort. I’m seeing where you mentioned that you just seeing a button for something is bloat and you have to opt out. That is the same as seeing you noticed a Starbucks and it’s not right, because you choosing not to go there is OPT OUT. People can argue that you have to choose to go to them and order something, but you don’t call that OPT IN.

Or I guess more accurate might be how our car radios often have come with satellite radio as an option. If you want to connect to Sirius, you have to register with them and pay for the services. Otherwise the radio is just a radio, but you have a satellite radio button. So since they have the button you can press, it’s no longer OPT IN but you’re saying it’s OPT OUT?

Both situations is how you’re phrasing your logic.

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Oh, let me add really quick, I’m not saying that as insult or anything. Perhaps some of your arguments on what you consider opt-in and opt-out are right. I might just have gotten too accustomed to how things come these days. I just am communicating on some of the things I’m seeing and trying to differentiate. It can be very interesting to see how perceptions of everyone can differ. Then to try to figure out “who is right” or the best way to handle things.


And sometimes, we have to realize it really is about perception and even though two people arrive at different conclusions, they can both be absolutely correct. It’s kind of like the old meme below:


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This is such an Apple excuse to justify their phones as non-repairable as possible :rofl: Even if there was someone removing brave rewards, leo,… from other people’s brave browsers, it’s not a security risk to not have that :rofl: Besides isn’t Brave open source? If yes, then literally anyone could go ahead and remove the bloat and then compile an “insecure brave” according to your logic :laughing:

To be blunt, It can’t be that hard to remove the bloat that was added over the years and then release it as a separate version? It’s more that they just don’t want to because they make money off these Brave rewards.

It’s not just the button, I mentioned the button because that’s the only thing they allow us to remove. Cmon it’s not that hard to understand that if I do not want a thing to be there that I have to make it go away, that means it’s an OPT OUT.

It definitely was both a strawman argument and a false equivalency. If the Starbucks is not on my land, then that just doesn’t compare to something on my PC which I do own. If I allowed Starbucks to build one of their awful establishments on my property, then yes that would be an opt-in.

If the radio has bunch of buttons that doesn’t serve the functionality of a radio, but instead it’s used to open a subscription service, that by definition is bloat in it’s physical form. It’s a forced opt-in to have these buttons present advertising those unwanted features… If I chose to take the radio apart to remove these buttons and fill the holes with 3d printed blanks, then that’s also a forced opt-out

As for your other reply and it’s edit, yeah you are definitely used to the sad reality of how things come these days, so to you its normal, to have extra buttons and menu options for features added in recent years. You for sure got used to companies dictating what your user interface should be like, so you are blinded and you don’t see the monetization and other features that users never asked for as bloat. There’s still people like me who want to customize and personalize our browsers. Extensions are great… when we choose to have them, but they are usually bad when they come included with browser, especially if they cannot even be removed.

I think most browsers are bloated in some ways, that are the features, that user will not use. Some bloat could be hidden or turned off, some not. I 100% agree Brave has many unneeded bloat, but how do you see light version? Something like Focus or DDG? We allready have light browsers, who even uses them? After all, spending 30 minutes to setup a browser is way easier, than maintaining two different versions.

I’m new to Brave, coming from Arc, and my expectation was that Brave would be lighter weight. Instead, I have to deal with navigating around around all of bloat features. I will never use a web3 feature but I have to navigate around it in settings. At least give me the option to disable the entire UI in flags or something.

Leo, Web3 etc I’m sure have value to some. For many of us they are just annoying bloat that we have ignore or use a different browser.

Firefox started off as a very lightweight browser where all additional features were supposed to be added as plugins or extensions. Instead Mozilla decided to bake in a bunch of “native” features to the point the Firefox became unusable. I’m disappointed that Brave is following the same path.

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We allready have light browsers, who even uses them?

About as many people as they do Brave which is an alternative to Google Chrome.
As I said before I do not know what’s the point to switch from Google Chrome, which is a bloated browser, to Brave which is also a bloated browser?

After all, spending 30 minutes to setup a browser is way easier, than maintaining two different versions.

It’s not easier… to the users and if devs wanna be lazy without annoying users, they can at least disable these features by default… which is how it should had been… Maybe add a setup screen that shows up on first start, that will allow anyone, who wants the bloat, enable it all back with a click on button.

Brave has cool features though. Awesome AdBlocker, Forgetful Browsing, Fingerprint Protection, Scripts control per site, etc.

I would even agree if they could disable features you can not use at all. My region do not support neither rewards or VPN, why are they in menu than? They are there to monetize Brave, but they are not even supported for me, disable them?

Maybe it’s because I’m on MacOs & not Windows / PC, but all this drama over a free browser with optional features is ridiculous. Use it or don’t. Enough already with this non-issue.

Most of the people who seem to have issues with Brave are busy doing the absolute most by downloading countless extensions & engaging in features they don’t have to use. I keep it real simple using Dark/Night Mode, Speedreader, & Strict Privacy settings. That’s it. No extensions, etc.

Imagine the undue stress of having to visit settings, read (the horror!), & toggle off anything you don’t want. I never have to do that, except for ALL website privacy notices, any new online accounts, & any new smartphone. That process is just part and parcel with technological autonomy. Make your own choices for how you wish to use a multipurpose tool. Don’t ask for a spork to be more like a knife.

OP is coming across as a lazy luddite having a bad day. I rebuke the passive-aggressive call for attention. The internet is nothing if not good for the opinions of the ungrateful who in this case wouldn’t know a wireframe if it formatted itself across their face.

This is what OP sounds like… I’m hungry, feed me! Thanks for feeding me for free, but I actually hate the way you cook, even though I’m glad I’m no longer starving. Can you give me some food that I don’t have to masticate? It’s hard to will myself to focus long enough to bother doing that. I know this is a restaurant, but since my nearby hospital also serves food, so can you give me an IV drip? That would be even better. Thanks, but also, no thanks.

You do you, but don’t complain about having to map out what that is for yourself. Life is hard sometimes, but you’ll never be able to outsource it completely. Nor can you expect everything to be uniquely tailored for your life. You can’t have autonomy without also taking responsibility. You get what you don’t pay for.

Here endeth today’s life lesson. Good luck.