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How to back up the Brave browser profile

Brave is a browser heavily focused on privacy, security, and ease of use.  As of its current release, the browser is powered by Chromium, an open-source alternative to Google Chrome.

Backing up Brave
The fastest way to make a backup of the Brave browser’s settings and user-profile information is to use the Tar compression tool in the Linux command-line. The reason? Tar is incredibly fast, versatile, and can be used against the GPG encryption tool for added security.

To start the backup process, close all instances of the Brave web browser on your Linux desktop. The backup cannot happen when it is open, as the profile will have files in use. Once the browser is closed, press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard to launch a terminal window and follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: In the terminal window, use the CD command to move into the ~/.config folder. This folder holds all configuration files for programs on your Linux PC, including Brave.

cd ~/.config

Step 2: Once inside of the ~/.config folder, run the ls command to take a look at the contents of the directory. Look around for the BraveSoftware directory, as this is where your user information is stored.

If you do not see the BraveSoftware folder, you may need to re-install Brave before you attempt to make a backup.

ls

Step 3: Upon confirming that the BraveSoftware folder is in the ~/.config directory, the backup can begin. Using the tar command, create a compressed archive of your Brave profile information.

Please keep in mind that when running the tar command, compression may take a couple of minutes. The speed of the compression process depends on how robust your PC hardware is.

tar -czvf my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz BraveSoftware

Step 4: When the tar command finishes compressing your backup, it will output a TarGZ archive file with the name “brave-browser-backup.tar.gz.” You will need to copy it to the home directory (~) to gain access to the backup file.

Using the mv command, place “my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz” in the home folder.

mv my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz ~/

Step 5: As the Brave backup file is moved to the home directory, there is no longer a need to keep the terminal session in the ~/.config folder. Use the CD command to move home (~).

cd ~/

With the terminal session back in the home folder, follow along in the next section to learn how to encrypt your backup.

Encrypting the backup with GPG

Encrypting the TarGZ backup file is done with GnuPG (or GPG). The reason we’ll be using GPG is that it is easy to use, and works well with the TarGZ archive format. Furthermore, most Linux distributions already have it installed.

In case you do not have the latest GPG installed on your Linux PC, visit Pkgs.org, click on the Linux distribution you use, and follow the instructions to learn how to get it working.

To start the encryption process, go back to the terminal window and follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Run the ls command to confirm that the Brave backup file is still in the home directory.

ls

Step 2: Use the gpg command to encrypt your backup. Keep in mind that when running the encryption command that a strong password is necessary to keep the encrypted data safe.

gpg -c my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz

Step 3: When the encryption process is complete, GPG will output a file with the name of “my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz.gpg.” You will now need to delete the unencrypted backup.

rm my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz

When you’ve successfully deleted the unencrypted version of the backup, the encryption process is complete. Take “my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz.gpg”, upload it to Dropbox, Google Drive, or place it on an external hard drive for safekeeping.

Restoring the backup

On a new installation of Linux and need to get your Brave browser profile up and running? Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, follow the steps below to learn how to restore the backup.

Step 1: Open up the Linux file manager. Place “my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz.gpg” in the home directory, if it’s not there already.

Step 2: Using the gpg command, decrypt the “my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz.gpg” file.

gpg my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz.gpg

Step 3: Use the tar command to extract the unencrypted backup file to the ~/.config folder.

tar xvf my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz -C ~/.config

Step 4: Once the extraction is complete, your Brave browser profile is restored to the ~/.config directory. Now, remove the unencrypted backup file using the rm command.

rm my-brave-browser-backup.tar.gz

When done removing the unencrypted backup, launch the Brave browser to start using your old settings.

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