Many streaming websites (Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, etc.) will leverage DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology to block or restrict access to Copyright protected content. Brave requires a specific component to be installed in order to view this content.
What is DRM?
Digital Rights Management (DRM) code sometimes runs as a browser extension. It’s used to control the use, modification, and distribution of copyrighted material, especially audio and video content.
What is Google Widevine?
WidevineCDM (Content Decryption Module) is a DRM component used in Chromium based desktop and Android browsers. It is used to decrypt, decode, or enable playback of DRM protected video content. Widevine is disabled in Brave by default and must be explicitly installed before it can be enabled. It is a browser extension — owned by Google and loaded from Google’s servers — used by many websites to load audio or video content. When you visit these websites in the Brave Browser, you may be asked to enable Google Widevine. Brave does not own — and cannot inspect — Google Widevine.
Widevine only needs to install and run once to be enabled across all websites that would require it.
Note that if you do allow Google Widevine, the following will happen:
- The Widevine extension will be installed in the Brave browser
- You will agree that Brave is not responsible for any losses or damages in connection with your use of Google Widevine
Widevine is disabled by default after installation. You can enable it on most platforms by following the instructions below. For instructions on Android, please see here. If you are on non-x64 Linux, please see this page.
Widevine can be enabled or disabled at any time by toggling of the component in
→ Settings → Extensions → Widevine):
Note that if you visit a website before enabling Widevine, you will see a prompt notifying you to do so before you can view the content. If you decline to enable Widevine when you see this prompt, you can still enable it any time in Settings as described above.
Selecting Allow in the prompt above toggles the Widevine option in Settings “On” while selecting Block in the prompt will keep Widevine disabled until it’s changed in Settings.
Why can't I stream online content, even with Widevine enabled?
If you’re trying to stream online content and the site throws an error message regarding Widevine or DRM content, you may need to uninstall, then reinstall, WidevineCDM component. To do this simply visit the component in
brave://settings/extensions and toggle this option “Off”, then back “On”. Be sure that you relaunch the browser any time you are prompted to do so. Once toggled back “On” and the browser is relaunched, refresh the page you’re attempting to stream from and try again.
You can learn more about WidevineCdm and view documentation on our Github.