Transferring user profiles from Dev build to Release build

Hey everyone.

I’ve been using Brave Dev as my daily driver for several months now. I’m thinking I’d like to switch to using the slightly more stable Release build as my daily driver, but I can’t figure out how to move over my user profiles (bookmarks, logins, etc) from Dev to Release.

I make heavy use of the profiles feature (I have around 10 distinct user profiles with different logins / bookmarks / themes etc), and I already have different profiles for different things spread out across both builds (I know, it’s messy)

I remember seeing someone mention that you could go into the file hierarchy and copy a directory over from one to the other, but I’m not sure where I would go to do that, or which folders I would copy etc. (I’m on macOS by the way)

I’m hoping it’s as simple as something like:

Brave Dev
----User 1
----User 2

Brave Browser
----User 3
----User 4

Cut and paste User 1, User 2

Brave Dev

Brave Browser
----User 3
----User 4
----User 1
----User 2

But I’m bracing myself for something more complicated.

I’d appreciate any help!

cc @LaurenWags for better assistance on macOS.

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Hey @dacoja

I’d highly advise against moving a profile from Dev to Release. Reason being is that Dev/Nightly especially are getting constant changes. Sometimes this means database changes that Release doesn’t have and won’t work with. In other words, you risk destroying your profiles and corrupting your information. Also note, this might not manifest itself initially, meaning in an update or two when Release gets the version that is currently in Dev and tries to add new information but it already exists in your profile, things could go sideways. I really, really advise against moving profiles. You could export your bookmarks from each profile on Dev and import them into new profiles on Release, but that won’t work for logins.

All this being said, if you’re really set on trying this, you can try the steps below, but I am NOT certain they will work for you, but it’s the best suggestion I can think of.

  1. Close all Brave instances.
  2. Navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/BraveSoftware
  3. Copy Brave-Browser and Brave-Browser-Dev (this step is to preserve everything just as you have them now so in case things go badly, you can put these back and it should be like nothing happened)
  4. Expand Brave-Browser and Brave-Browser-Dev
  5. Under Brave-Browser-Dev you will move all folders that match your profile names to Brave-Browser. You also have a folder here called Default. That is your default profile for Dev version. You will have to move this as well, but name it to something else before moving it to Brave-Browser.
  6. Once your folders are moved, you can try logging in to Release version. Cross your fingers and hope nothing is messed up :grin: Just to reiterate, just because everything is ok at this moment doesn’t mean that in a couple releases things won’t go wrong. I learned the hard way during testing this doesn’t work out all the time. Do backup your information (bookmarks, logins, etc just in case). Keeping the copies from step 3 is a good idea for awhile.

However, if it is, here’s how you undo-what we just did:
7. Close all instances of Brave.
8. In ~/Library/Application Support/BraveSoftware, rename Brave-Browser and Brave-Browser-Dev
9. Copy folders from step 3 above and rename to be Brave-Browser and Brave-Browser-Dev
10. Relaunch Release and/or Dev - verify everything is ok. If everything is ok at this point, you can delete your copies and folders from step 8.

Good luck if you try this out! And for anyone else who comes across this thread, do NOT try this unless you’re feeling adventurous. The potential for this to go badly is great - it is not for the faint of heart :slight_smile:

Best,
Lauren

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We also have an issue logged to have an ability to import from Dev/Beta https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/1357

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Wow, thank you so much for the comprehensive answer @LaurenWags! This is perfect :slight_smile:

And that’s awesome to know @eljuno, thanks!

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