Note: This is a brief explanation of how Brave Sync should function for users who are unfamiliar with or unclear on what to expect from Sync.
What does it mean to “Sync” my data?
Brave Sync allows you to synchronize your browsing data across all of your devices. This way, you have access to the same bookmarks, browsing history and other data regardless of which device you are using.
It also makes adding or removing data easier by automatically syncing those changes to each device so that you only have to make the change once, instead of making the change on each individual device. For a deeper understanding of the internal Sync mechanism, please see:
Understanding Sync Behavior
When you add devices to a Sync chain, Brave Sync will initiate automatically. When this happens, information from each device will merge. Then, changes in any device will propagate and sync to the other devices and data will be the same across all devices for the synced data types.
You can toggle the type of data you’d like to be synced in
Settings → Sync. If a data type is toggled “on”, it will both receive data updated or changed from other devices on the chain, as well as send data updated on the device to other devices on the chain. Observe the examples below:
In the image above, Example 1 shows a Sync chain with three connected devices, configured to Sync all data types. A change is made to Bookmark data (a new bookmark was added) in Device 1, which then propagates to both other devices on the chain. Likewise, if a change in bookmark data on Device 2 (a bookmark is deleted), that change is reflected on Devices 1 and 3.
In the examples above, we considered each device to Sync “all” possible data types. However you may want to only Sync specific data between devices so that only those data are propagated when a change occurs. For example, you may want to only Sync bookmarks and passwords, but no other data between devices. You can do this by disabling the desired data types on a device, after-which that device will not receive that data from, nor will it send that data to other devices on the chain. We show another example of this behavior below:
In Example 3, Device 2 has the Bookmarks data type toggled “off”. Now, when a change in bookmark data is made to another device ( a bookmark was added to device 1), Device 2 does not receive this data and the change is not reflected on the device. Further, example four shows that if a change in bookmark data on Device 2 is made (a bookmark was deleted) the other devices on the chain do not receive it.
Sync vs Import/Export
Syncing data is not the equivalent of importing or exporting data. Importing or exporting data is typically a one-way, isolated event. That is, data is transferred in the state that it’s in from one device/location to another and stops once the transfer is complete. Further changes made to that data on either device are not reflected on the other.
This is inherently different from Sync, since all devices on the chain are synchronized and will have the same state. However, you can “mimic” a data import by Syncing your devices once, then either disabling all syncable data types or simply leaving the Sync chain once data is synchronized.