Sync misses a ton of browser settings

I’ve installed Brave on another computer and added it to my sync group. After enabling all the categories I use, I saw the extensions were installed, and a few browser settings were also set accordingly. But most settings are left unchanged. I looks like the sync feature is only 50% useful. Being that unreliable, I’m considering dropping it altogether and treating each computer as a separate browser instance. Now I’ll have to manually check and compare everything anyway. Why do I have sync enabled then?

These settings were not updated after adding the browser to an existing sync group:

  • Browser design
  • Toolbar layout (wide address bar, that funny triangle at the right side is still there)
  • Bookmarks bar is still visible
  • Font settings
  • Ctrl+Tab in MRU order
  • New tab page content
  • Content blocker look and feel

Other settings like custom search engines, autofill options or home page URL were correctly set.

Also, some extensions synchronised their settings, some didn’t. Does the extension author have to actively support this? Setting up all extensions needs additional work, making the sync feature even less useful.

I’m wondering why so many settings are missing here. Are they not covered by the sync feature? Will this be added? Did I miss something that isn’t described here?

Some additional “syncable” data types will be added moving forward. However, I’m not certain everything you listed will be included. Sync is specifically for transferring data, not making a clone of a particular browser instance.

Note that other browsers – Chrome included – typically do not Sync the type of data you’re describing either.

If sync isn’t able to keep my browser settings consistent, then I’m afraid I missed the point what sync is actually good for. Please explain “transferring data”. What’s the intention to only transfer some data, without telling me which exactly?

For example, when I enable sync in Visual Studio, it tries to keep all of my settings the same in all instances where I’m logged in with my account. It fails in a few cases, mostly due to Microsoft’s incapabilities to handle localisation, but apart from that, it’s a complete sync of settings and most extensions’ settings. (I believe it doesn’t cover the extensions itself, I don’t use it there.)

BTW, Brave is the first browser I’m using sync with, so I have no experience with how other browsers handle this.

In major browsers, sync doesn’t include the settings. Just the bookmarks, passwords, etc.

All the themes, settings must be done manually in any browser

In the sync tab there is a place to select all the things you want to be synced.

I see where you’re coming from and I understand the confusion, given that you are unfamiliar with typical browser sync.

As far as I know (if anyone is reading this that knows otherwise please correct me), a web browser’s “sync” feature will sync browsing data – that is, specific data types such as bookmarks, passwords, extensions, history, etc. – basically saying “make sure my data from this browser is the same in my other browser(s) instance(s).”

You can think of it like moving into a new house (sort of). When you move to a new house, you pack up all your belongings (this is your “data”) and transfer them to your new home where you unpack and setup. However, you don’t bring along your old houses layout/design. If you want to change the design of the new house – taking out a wall, adding a deck, putting in hardwood instead of carpet – you will have to do that after you get there.


I’ve used Firefox in the past and now I’m currently using Chrome. Both Sync functions include settings. I’ve read Edge also sync settings.

@ItzMeRajat @Mattches
The sync settings let me choose the settings category. This implies, to the inexperienced and naive user (which apparently none of you are), that my user settings in the browser are included in the synchronisation, i.e. appear also on all other instances. This is not the case. Only some of it is included, and I get no indication about what exactly. I tried it out and saw what worked and what not. I’d like to know whether this is intentional or a bug. If it’s intentional, it’s highly misleading.

Extensions on their own are probably more of settings than browsing data, i.e. they change when the user installs something once, not when they navigate web sites daily. The extensions’ data is more unclear, it could be anything, depending on the individual extension. Again, some of their data is synchronised, some isn’t, and it’s just as unclear.

In the end, the settings sync is useless because after using it, I still have to check it manually. I could have done that in the first place, without the additional disappointment of the unmet expectation.

You are wrong.

I had turned on the settings “Show Home Button” and when I installed it on my VM, it didn’t sync that settings.

Worked like a charm for me, you’re doing something wrong then.

I guess you guys had sync already enabled and then changed a setting. I did it the other way round. Does that make a difference?

Here’s what I did (then please tell me what the error was):

  • Install Brave on PC1
  • Make some settings
  • Enable sync
  • Install Brave on PC2
  • Enable sync on PC2 (adding to the group), compare everything, play around
  • Install Brave on PC3
  • Enable sync on PC3 (adding to the group; not playing around anymore, just trying to use it now)

I’m not sure where I could make a mistake there.

If sync can only push changes made later to the other instances, then it’s useless for me. I wanted to rely on this thing to set up everything like I’ve already set it up elsewhere, so I don’t have to go through the full setup on a new computer.

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