Brave browser gets unofficial ARM64 support for Surface Pro X

Brave Browser Arm64
Brave Browser Arm64 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Privacy-based Brave browser has been recompiled for ARM64
  • Though unofficial the work is being passed on to the Brave team.
  • Windows 10 on ARM could soon have a third native web browser.

One of the neat things about browsers based on the open-source Chromium project is anyone – with the right skills and time – can recompile a browser. That's the case with Window MVP developer Jeremy Sinclair who has effectively merged Microsoft's ARM64 Chromium libraries with Brave.

For a refresher, Brave is one of the latest Chromium-based browsers to hit the market. Launching officially in November 2019 (see our review) the team behind Brave is focused heavily on privacy and security. Brave has built-in ad and tracking prevention and other features that make it attractive to those who prefer something familiar but different.

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Sinclair recompiled Brave (version 1.6.33) with ARM64 libraries so that it can run natively on Windows 10 on ARM PCs like the new Surface Pro X. Sinclair shared the files with us, and indeed, it not only runs but is exceptionally fast too.

While this build of Brave is not yet for the public, the good news is Sinclair is passing on his work to the Brave team. Considering most of the work is now done, there is a good chance an official version could be made available in the foreseeable future. We'll, of course, keep following the story.

For now, there is still Microsoft's new Edge browser compiled for ARM64 and even Firefox has a version in testing (opens in new tab). Ironically, Google itself has still not budged on making a version for ARM64 despite having the code available.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I thought there are ARM-powered chrome books.
    What type of GChrome do they run?
  • Nope, there are no ARM64 Chomebooks or rather, Qualcomm-based ones (there were a few MediaTek-based ones early a few years ago, but nothing new IIRC). Issue with Google and not opening up everything to Qualcomm for whatever reason.
  • Yes there are ARM powered chromebooks. I believe MediaTek Chromebooks are still being released too. Daniel's Nope is misleading here. Not that it's relevant. We're talking about ARM on Windows.
  • I specifically referred to no Qualcomm ones though - the one that is important due to the actual good processing ability, not older Mediatek, which aren't LTE-enabled AFAIK.
  • Brave stepping it up, I like it!
  • The power of open source. People with the initiative (and skills) can recompile software themselves. Dolphin emulator, a popular GC/Wii emulator, was also recently ported to Windows 10 ARM64. It also serves to prove to people that the whole "ARM isn't a real platform wah wah wah therefore Windows 10 on ARM will fail" argument is pure and utter BS.
  • Man if only edge looked like this. Tabs on top! So clean.
  • This is how Edge looks.
  • "Google itself has still not budged on making a version for ARM64 despite having the code available." Classic Google. The user base isn't big enough to force their hand but ARM really needs Chrome before people will take it seriously. Sadly. Me I'm an Edge and Firefox user anyway.
  • Great news. Windows on ARM has a good chance of success.
  • This is all very interesting. But would it be really available for the general consumer to purchase? Or does it need to be crowd funded, as all the previous Windows running prototypes?