Brave Browser had a great tab preview feature, but it is gone now

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 1, 2019
Updated • Jul 1, 2019
Brave, Internet

All modern web browsers make use of tabs so that multiple sites and services may be loaded in a single browser window. Tabs display the page title usually and in some browsers also a site's favicon if it exists.

Sometimes, you may want to check the content of an inactive tab without switching to it, e.g. for a quick check. Some browsers lack support for tab previews, others display only a small thumbnail or minor information when a user hovers with the mouse cursor over a tab.

Brave, a Chromium-based browser, offered a better solution in my opinion, at least for a while as the developers have removed it in the meantime.

Brave would display a full preview of the loaded site of the tab you hovered the mouse cursor over. It almost felt as if you switched to the new tab as the preview occupied the same area of the browser window.

The screenshot below shows the feature in action. The "About Brave" page was the active one, but the mouse was hovered over the highlighted Preferences tab.

brave show tab content on hover

You could move the cursor over multiple tabs and get the content of these tabs displayed. The feature had some limitations: you would only see the active part of a page and could not interact with it at all.

Brave users could enable or disable the feature in the Settings of the browser. The Tabs section, which is no longer available in new versions of the browser, displays an option to "show tab previews on hover".

brave hover on tab switch

If activated, Brave would display the content of the webpage when you hovered the mouse cursor over a tab. You could change the tab preview delay from short to another so that previews would not fire immediately on hovering the mouse over a tab.

New Brave versions come without the feature; a message on Twitter on February 19, 2019 confirms that Brave had to remove Tab Previews when it moved closer to "Chromium". All hope is not lost though, as Brave considers bringing it back.

Interested users may cast their vote for the feature on Brave's GitHub project page.

Google is working on tab previews for Chrome but the company's implementation will limit previews to thumbnails rather than full page previews. Google Chrome supported tab previews on Windows 7's taskbar for a while.

Now You: what is your take on the tab preview feature?

Brave Browser had a great tab preview feature, but it is gone now
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Brave Browser had a great tab preview feature, but it is gone now
A look at a unique tab preview feature that the Brave Browser supported for a while (but has not in recent builds).
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  1. guest said on August 24, 2021 at 12:35 am

    Brave for Android had a similar feature. It is also gone now, but the documentation remains. ?

    “Swiping down on the address bar takes you to a preview of all tabs”

  2. Respect2Glory said on January 2, 2020 at 6:42 am

    I love the previews, but the link hover preview is a security issue. When you right-click on a hacker’s link, it shows the true URL. Please add that feature. Thank you!!

  3. issac said on July 2, 2019 at 2:58 am
  4. John Fenderson said on July 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    “what is your take on the tab preview feature?”

    I have a very strong dislike for “preview” things like that in almost all applications and operating systems. They are invariably always getting in my way, so I disable them.

    1. Anonymous said on October 26, 2022 at 11:05 am

      Probably thanks to this article i have to wait 3 seconds longer every time i open Brave just for the stupid page preview to disappear, i hate you.

  5. Allen said on July 1, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    I expect their metrics told them that not enough people were using it to make it worth keeping, which is unsurprising for both–small number of users and discarding little-used features.

  6. Vistaus said on July 1, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    “Google is working on tab previews for Chrome but the company’s implementation will limit previews to thumbnails rather than full page previews.”

    Oh Google, always reinventing the wheel. Vivaldi is based on Chromium and already has this feature, why can’t they just port that over? Would save them a lot of time.

  7. Lambo-san said on July 1, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    I never really cared for tab previews, but it’s unfortunate it’s gone, because other people probably found it useful.

    1. Elias Fotinis said on July 1, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      I’ve also never cared for popup previews either and have always turned them off, but this particular implementation actually seems much better. I’d love to see this added to Firefox (if we somehow manage to survive the Chromium Singularity, that is).

      1. Lambo-san said on July 2, 2019 at 6:47 am

        If the trend continues where Firefox continues to not support websites properly, or should I say, web developer not bothering to support Firefox in their websites, it’s very possible that Mozilla might give up on Gecko and change to Chromium as their rendering engine.

        They can’t push forever like this. Opera did the same thing and abandoned their Presto engine. I didn’t really care for Presto itself, I just felt like the UI of Opera 12 and prior was (and still is) better than the UI of current Opera. In fact when they were making Opera 14 with Chromium, the UI was pretty good at first (in both visuals and functionality) but current Opera’s UI is one huge mess.

        If Firefox were to switch to Chromium, I’m curious how will they handle the UI. The current Firefox UI still retains some of it customizability from back in the day, although a lot more limited than what it used to be and Chromium’s UI is pretty limited. Even Vivaldi, with its custom-made CSS UI (which breaks on every version update and they have to readjust code) seems limited in comparison to what Opera 12 and Firefox 3.x would allow in terms of customization.

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