The Brave Browser is an excellent alternative to Chrome, sporting useful built-in features like an adblocker and anonymized Tor browsing. In my tests, it was almost as fast as Chrome, and, if you change some settings, you can make Brave even more private.
But Brave also has some hidden features that can significantly improve your browsing experience: Enable them, and you can paste in blocked fields, save your laptop’s battery, and even access a reader mode. Here are five hidden Brave features you should definitely know how to use.
Remove tracking information from URLs
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When you copy links online, you may note many URLs have some tracking information following the actual link. This garbled text allows websites to figure out where you clicked the link (desktop browser, Android app, etc.) and understand how you arrived at the desired page. Those sites may or may not need this tracking information, but you have absolutely no reason to be carrying that with you when you simply copy a URL.
Brave has a great feature that deletes these tracking parameters when you’re copying links. To use it, right-click on any link in Brave and select Copy Clean Link. Unfortunately, it can’t get past tracking via shortened URLs, such as bit.ly links.
Paste in forms that disable it
Some websites are notorious for blocking copy and paste in their forms. This is promoted as a security feature, but in reality it only gets in the way of usability. If you find such a form, you can right-click it in Brave and select Force Paste to get around that restriction.
In some cases, sites will disable right-click too. You can install an extension like Enable right click to get past those annoying right-click blocks.
Easier access to archived webpages
When you open a dead link in Brave, you’ll see a helpful prompt asking if you want to visit the Wayback Machine to check for an archived version of the page instead. You can do this manually too, but the prompt in Brave makes this a one-click operation.
Save your laptop’s battery life
Brave has a feature that prolongs your laptop’s battery life, sure to delight traveling workers everywhere. It’s called Energy Saver, and you set it to kick in automatically once the battery percentage falls below a certain threshold. Energy Saver limits background activity by the browser and reduces visual effects such as smooth scrolling.
To enable it, click the three-lines menu in the top-right corner in Brave, and open Settings. You can click the Settings tab in the left pane and under Power, enable Energy Saver. Below this, there’s an option to automatically enable Energy Saver when the battery is at 20%, and another that triggers Energy Saver the moment the laptop is unplugged. Pick the one you want and the browser will do the rest.
Read articles without distractions
When you open any article in Brave, you can read it without distractions using the Speedreader feature. This is the equivalent of a reader mode, and makes it easy to focus on text. To use this, go to Brave Settings > Appearance, scroll to the bottom, and enable Speedreader.