Ads stopped appearing in Brave? Check your version number

13 June 2020

Have Brave Ads stopped appearing for you in Brave Browser? This happened to me recently. The cause was a little unusual but the fix was simple.

I had been using Brave as my main web browser on desktop since the start of the year. One day I realised I hadn't seen any Brave Ad notifications appear for a while - a week at least. Not seeing ads may sound like a good thing, but Brave rewards its users with cryptocurrency for opting in to view ads. So by not being shown any ads, I was no longer accruing any BAT (Basic Attention Token).

The first thing I did was check that my Brave installation was up to date (click on the hamburger menu icon and then select About Brave). It confidently informed me 'Brave is up to date'.

I then looked on the Brave Community website, which has a FAQ entitled 'Why am I not seeing Brave Ads?'. I worked through the obvious suggestions (such as checking that Brave Rewards and Ads were still enabled), before coming across a section that told me the following:

The algorithm that matches users with Ads is designed to find and show relevant Ads, not just “any ad”. Therefore, you may encounter a situation where (assuming other factors are configured appropriately),

You’ve been receiving ads as expected and they seem to have suddenly stopped – you may have been served all relevant ads in the catalog (according to the algorithm). Don’t worry – ads will resume when the catalog is updated and additional/different ads are made available

This sounded like me - so I left it a few more days. But still no ads.

Getting frustrated now, I checked again that Brave was up to date. Perhaps there had been a new release to fix this glitch I was suffering from?

This time I made a note of the latest version number and compared it to the version number in my installation. I was very surprised to see that the latest version was V1.9.80 whereas I was running 1.2.41 - a version released back in January 2020! Not only had my Brave not updated itself, but it was confidently proclaiming it was up to date when that certainly wasn't the case.

Downloading the installer

Brave wouldn't let me manually trigger an update (as it thought it was already up to date!). I had no choice but to download the installer again from brave.com/download and run it. This fetched the latest version without losing any of my settings. (I tell a lie, I had to disable 'Auto-Contribute' as it had mysteriously turned itself back on - but that was it.)

After doing this and relaunching Brave, I began seeing ads almost immediately. A simple fix for a mysterious glitch.

I am not sure whether this is an issue that only affects version 1.2.41 of Brave. Nonetheless, if you suddenly lose your Brave Ads, it is worth comparing your version number against the latest release and seeing whether you need to download the installer again to fetch the latest version. Hey, it might be worth checking now just in case.

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