Owning Old and slow PCs doesn’t imply that you can’t explore the web at a good speed. Many browsers require good processing power, which is impossible with Windows XP or other old and slow PCs.
Not all browsers will indeed be compatible with old computers due to fewer resources. However, some browsers are small and provide a great set of features with lower resource requirements.
This article has compiled a list of lightweight resource-efficient browsers that work perfectly for old and slower PCs.
Why Should We Choose The Best Browser For XP?
Microsoft had retired Windows XP five years ago, which implies no security updates or patches. This leaves your computer incredibly vulnerable to attacks while surfing the internet.
The least bit of precaution you can take is to choose a browser that is compatible with the old and slow PC and provide security at the same time.
Secure browsers will allow you to access HTTPS websites. Choosing Chrome to work if your PC has the resources, but Internet Explorer is not the right choice.
Stop Using Internet Explorer For Windows XP
Even after the latest Internet Explorer launched, the browser still hasn’t made it to the best browsers list and is still less preferred than its alternatives.
This was about the latest; however, IE in Windows XP is way older. Also, since the browser comes integrated with Windows, it hasn’t received any patches since Windows XP retired.
Best Browsers For Windows XP
In the article, we will shed some light on how to make your Windows XP internet browsing experience better.
We all are well informed that numerous updated versions of Windows have come after XP, including Windows 11. However, for some reason, we are unable to let our old Windows XP system go.
Here is a list of best browsers for your old and slow PCs which will provide some security (Not complete as Windows doesn’t provide security patches) and use low resources to give a seamless experience:
Top 10 Best Browsers For Windows XP
- Pale Moon Browser
- Maxthon Browser
- UC Browser
- Slimjet Browser
- K-Meleon Browser
- SeaMonkey Browser
- UR Browser
- Otter Browser
- Basilisk Browser
- Opera Browser
1. Pale Moon Browser
Forked from Firefox source code, Pale Moon is a stripped version of Mozilla Firefox that supports Windows XP and Vista.
The browser is lightweight and provides an add-on ecosystem. You can use the classic Firefox add-ons with this browser; however, compatibility issues might occur.
Pale Moon uses DuckDuckGo as its default search engine, renowned for its commitment to privacy and no filter search on the internet.
The RAM requirement of Pale Moon is quite low, just 256 MB. Thus, it can boot quickly and seamlessly on old and slow laptops and desktops with lower specifications.
Using plug-in technologies such as XPCOM, NPAPI, and XUL, Pale Moon can provide support for flash players and good speed without hogging the computer resources.
The browser offers a similar design structure as that of Firefox 3 and older versions. Additionally, the browser was stripped of any unnecessary design elements to make it compatible with older Windows versions.
Although the browser shares many Firefox customization options available for page content, tabs, etc., it does not have any sandboxing capabilities.
The browser was forked from an older version of the Gecko engine and could influence the newer web features that are displayed.
Due to the lack of a sandbox environment feature, you cannot use the browser to create apps. It also diminishes the protection provided by this close-end environment.
Pale Moon is an open-source browser and supports complete themes and all web standards that are in existence.
2. Maxthon Browser
Maxthon Browser is a very popular browser and an excellent option if you use a browser with a large community and user base.
Maxthon browser was launched by the Chinese company Maxthon in 2002, and it has been around ever since.
Since its first launch, the browser has been subject to many data privacy scandals, but it remains popular owing to its awesome features and compatibility for multiple devices.
Maxthon uses a Chromium engine and has received recognition from quality entities such as PC World and CNET.
Chromium engine allows Windows XP to enjoy the full functionality provided by modern browsers on Maxthon using plug-ins.
The browser supports the Chrome add-on library that allows you to install themes and extensions to configure the browser to your preference.
Despite having a Chromium engine, the browser is lightweight and requires only 512 MB of RAM, 64 MB hard drive space, and a 1GHz CPU processor. This makes the browser suitable not only for Windows XP but also for Windows 2000.
Maxthon browser is a multi-platform web browser available for Windows XP users. They can access it on macOS, Windows Phone, Android, Linux, and iOS.
There are many in-built features in the browser, such as an ad blocker that allows the web pages to load faster and consume less RAM.
Maxthon boasts robust cloud synchronization and data backup that allows users to easily sync and access stored data such as browsing history, bookmarks, passwords, and others from other devices on your Windows XP system.
The browser also provides screen capture, autofill, multi-tab manager, and smart address bar. One of its features is multi-search, which allows XP users to input keywords in the search bar and simultaneously receive compiled results from various search engines.
3. UC Browser
Widely known for its mobile version, the UC browser provides excellent support for desktop devices. The browser is compatible with Windows XP and is updated to the latest version.
The browser is frequently updated with new security features with each browser upgrade. This proves that the UC browser does not take your security lightly.
The latest version of the UC browser features the identification of malware and viruses and clocking them before they get a chance to affect your system.
The video function feature provided by the UC browser facilitates easy to download and streaming of videos without much interruption. It is extremely helpful as most of the downloaders available in the market do not show support for video downloading on Windows XP.
UC browser comes with a built-in ad-blocker that can help keep the irritating ads at bay while you are browsing the internet.
All in all, the browser is designed to provide a smooth browsing experience similar to its mobile version alternative. Also, the browser has an economic data consumption which is another plus point to make it your default browser for old and slow PCs.
4. Slimjet Browser
As the preferable alternative to Google Chrome, the Slimjet browser offers everything a user needs of a browser at a speed comparable to Google Chrome and Firefox.
Slimjet is a tabbed multiple-site web browser developed by FlashPeak Inc. in Austin, Texas. The browser was built concerning the popular and fast Blink engine.
Slimjet browser does not require your computer to have very high resources. It can work well with low specs computers or laptops and provide quick browser startup, responsive UI, and a shorter loading time.
The browser offers an in-built YouTube video downloader where you can download YouTube videos directly to your hard drive in any resolution and format. You also have the option to extract mp3 files from the downloaded video files.
The download manager of Slimjet offers an impressive speed using multiple parallel connections. This feature allows us to download files up to 12x times faster than the average download rate. You also have the choice to pause and resume the download mid-session without having to start it again.
Slimjet browser includes support for other media-related functionalities such as online video recorder and photo salon.
Online video recorder allows us to record any dynamic content on the web page and save it in the local drive. Photo salon will enable you to edit the photos, including frames and filter effects.
The browser comes with an in-built ad blocker so that you don’t have to install one from any third party for this purpose.
Another amazing feature provided by Slimjet is that it allows users to integrate their social media (Facebook), which is helpful for older people.
Slimjet is an excellent web browser for Windows XP that offers a customizable toolbar, plug-in and extension store, auto form filler, and language translation.
5. K-Meleon Web Browser
Incorporating the Firefox Gecko engine, the K-Meleon web browser has been in the market for over a decade. The web browser offers an excellent UI design that is comparable to Firefox. It also provides similar customization options for toolbars, hotkeys, and menus.
K-Meleon is a great choice for outdated Windows XP PCs that allow browsing the internet in style. Even though the web browser does not offer the extensions like Firefox, you can still get away with lots of handy plug-ins, including ad-blockers, customization options, themes, pop-up blockers, etc.
K-Meleon is super quick on Windows 95, XP, Vista, and other Windows versions predating Windows 7. It requires a minimal RAM of 256 GB for smooth performance.
Due to the web browser being lightweight, you can include any customizations you like using the variety of elements provided by the web browser.
Since Windows XP systems usually have low specs, it is recommended that you don’t add too many of these extensions on your web browser and keep it as clean as possible. Doing this will reduce the web browser’s impact on your processor and provide you with a more seamless experience.
The browser allows you to change the toolbar, menus, buttons, and skin of the browser. It enables you to make not only visual changes but also usability changes to make it more utilizable.
K-Meleon can easily run on various antiquated desktops and laptops. However, the browser does not get updated often, which is a drawback from a security perspective.
6. SeaMonkey Browser
Developed by the same Netscape Communicator that developed Mozilla Firefox, SeaMonkey is open-source software that combines web browser, news client program, and email software.
SeaMonkey internet suite, including the web browser and other software, is compatible with Windows XP SP3 and above.
The software comes with ChatZilla, web development tools, HTML editor, and an IRC client. These tools are extremely helpful to corporate users, web developers, and advanced users.
Based on XUL architecture, the SeaMonkey web browser has a traditional interface that will remind you of internet web browsers in the early days.
The SeaMonkey browser comes with a slew of modern features that helps you navigate and access the internet easily. The users can extend the web browser’s functionalities by using add-ons.
The browser supports tabbed browsing, which allows users to stop worrying about opening one web page at a time. SeaMonkey offers a session restore feature that allows users to restore the session from wherever they stopped or got aborted due to a rare browser crash.
SeaMonkey features a smart location bar that allows users to search for web pages they have previously visited quickly.
The browser comes equipped with standard modern web browser tools such as security settings, multi-language support, toolbar customization, and more.
SeaMonkey web browser also offers an Add-ons management feature to support extension installation and a Data Manager feature to act as a central management interface to manage permissions, store site-specific data and passwords, manage cookies, and more.
The pop-up blocker feature offered by the browser can block ads and trackers. SeaMonkey boasts an active developer community that keeps the software up-to-date.
7. UR Browser
A perfect choice for older web browsers, the UR browser is a highly versatile browser offering many modern features to help you get a smooth surfing experience on the internet.
UR browser comes with a UR browser application store that allows you to choose a good antimalware tool compatible with the browser. It is important to have an antimalware tool in your system to protect yourself against online threats.
The UR browser loads web pages quickly on your old PC with Windows XP compared to any other browser. Also, there are no trackers or ads loaded. Ads and cookies slow down the browser and are more prevalent on old computers. This issue does not occur with the UR browser.
UR browser considers the online protection of its users very seriously and offers them a series of options that will help you filter access to your online data.
The browser ensures that any dangerous websites are successfully blocked on your PC so that they can’t install any malware.
The browser comes equipped with automatic HTTPS redirects and a built-in virus scanner to block any online attack that may target your computer virtually.
The browser offers three levels of privacy to optimize the browser based on different degrees of security – low, medium, and high.
Low Privacy: If you are accessing a website that you trust, low privacy allows the website to show ads. You can use this privacy level to load the sites which aren’t otherwise loading correctly on other privacy levels.
Medium Privacy: This level of privacy is recommended for everyday use. It allows you to create a balance between privacy and user experience, thereby allowing you the most freedom.
High Privacy: This level of privacy allows you to be as anonymous as possible, i.e., not share any data with untrustworthy websites.
UR browser does not share your data with Google and allows you to search on privacy-friendly search engine Quant. UR comes with a built-in ad blocker and VPN that fully encrypts your connection. The browser will enable you to appear as a different user on the internet using privacy.
8. Otter Browser
Michael Dutkiewicz created the Otter browser as an alternative to the Opera browser. Otter is one of the best web browsers that you can install on Windows XP.
Opera had reportedly switched from the Presto layout engine to Blink and Webkit engine. This news wasn’t appreciated by its users and gave way to the Otter browser.
Otter Browser is an open-source web browser used on every platform from Linux to OpenBSD, macOS, and RISC Operating System.
It is based on QtWebKit and QtWebEngine with modern features and comes with a fully integrated desktop environment. It is built to resemble the early versions of Opera.
Otter has been around since 2014 and has been receiving from its dedicated user and developer communities. The browser is not tied to any corporate entity and can maintain its presence due to the modular model.
Otter browser is for advanced users as it allows users to replace components with their preferred designs. But it is good for anyone who owns an old and slow Windows XP PC and wants to pour some life into it.
The browser is extremely committed to its user’s privacy and uses DuckDuckGo as its default engine. It comes with in-built content blocking tools that prevent cookie tracking and ads from being shown on any website.
The browser also has various useful features such as a password manager to store and save passwords, speed dial, and URL completion. It also contains other features such as an add-on manager, bookmarks, spell check, and customizable GUI.
Otter Browser is a perfect alternative for users who taste old-school Opera browsers but require modern capabilities and improved security and privacy features.
9. Basilisk Browser
Basilisk is an open-source XUL-based web browser that is free for users and is an excellent alternative for old and slow Windows XP systems.
Basilisk was developed by the same team that developed Pale Moon. However, unlike Pale Moon, which is past its development phase, Basilisk is still in beta mode, i.e., it is still under development.
If you want to give the browser a try, feel free to download and install it on your Windows XP PC. Since the browser is still under development, advanced and regular users can install it as long as they don’t mind occasional defects and crashes. You can use other stable browsers from the list of options provided in the article.
Basilisk is a lightweight browser that comes with a 45 MB installation file. The browser is easy to install and is compatible with the 64-bit Windows XP Operating System. You won’t face any troubles while installing it on your low specs old and slow computer.
Basilisk browser is built using the goanna engine, similar to Mozilla Firefox, showing close resemblance. Both browsers share a similar interface and backend code, making it easy for new users to navigate the Basilisk browser.
Basilisk browser provides:
- Advanced graphite font shaping.
- XUL/Overlay Mozilla-style extensions.
- NPAPI plug-ins.
The browser comes with several features that were discontinued on newer Firefox versions. The browser’s UI contains:
- The Mozilla Firefox classic title bar and menu.
- App menu.
- Bookmarks toolbar with default homepage.
Basilisk also offers a wide array of useful features, including a clear and understandable interface that allows web pages to be easily viewed on the browser’s User interface. The browser also comes with an add-on manager that provides extensions to extend the browser’s functionality.
10. Opera Browser
Who hasn’t heard of the Opera browser? Opera is one of the best browsers to use on your old PC with low specs and Windows XP OS.
Opera browser is advantageous for old PC users who are not well-equipped to handle the high demanding tasks. It consumes a handful of computing resources that do not burden the PCs.
The browser provides ad-blocking features that enable Opera browser users to search the web swiftly. Ads consume page loading time, and ad-blocking prevents the ads, thereby reducing the page loading time. You also have the option to whitelist websites to prevent ad-blockers from getting activated on them.
Opera browser comes with a built-in VPN that ensures that hackers cannot track your IP. It also allows users to access region-restricted content freely.
Opera is of supreme consciousness of its user’s privacy. Old operating systems are the biggest attraction for hackers, and the browser provides added privacy and security features to users to protect against these attacks.
Many features make Opera the best choice for users with computers at most five years old. You can get an ad blocker that speeds up page loading by 90%, a free VPN for added privacy, handy keyboard shortcuts to reduce the use of mouse and keyboard, an intuitive and focused browser interface, and a tracker blocker to protect you from data collection.
However, it is noteworthy that Opera is not accessible on Windows XP and Vista. It has officially ended its maintenance for the browser and can be accessed on Windows 7 and 10 and later versions.
How Can I Update My Browser On Windows XP?
You can update any browser on Windows XP through the control panel.
Step 1. Search and open the Control Panel.
Step 2. Navigate to Windows Update Utility.
Step 3. Click on the check for updates link given on the left navigation pane. Make sure your computer is connected to the internet.
Step 4. Pick the updates you wish to install and install them. You can install all of them.
Can I Install Google Chrome On My Windows XP?
You can install Chrome on Windows XP; however, you will be left with no security updates since the browser has stopped its maintenance for Windows XP and Vista.
It is not recommended to work on a system that isn’t secured. Windows XP does not have support from Microsoft, and using Chrome as a browser that has pulled the support for the Operating System will not be a good combination and will bear security risks.
How Do I Keep Windows XP Running Forever?
We understand your love for the old Windows XP software and know that you want to keep using it in the future. Listed below are some advice you can follow to keep using the browser:
1. Keep the software on your computer up to date.
2. Before installing any new software or drive, make sure that it is virus and malware-free.
3. Do not use Java for web browsing.
4. Use a dedicated antivirus to provide some protection.
5. You can use Windows XP on a virtual machine for enhanced protection.
6. Switch browsers frequently and don’t stay online.
7. You can make a day-to-day account and use that.
What Can I Do With An Old Windows XP Computer?
If you have a Windows XP computer and don’t know what to do with it, here are some tips to help you out:
1. You can convert the machine into a home security hub.
2. You can replace it with a new and better PC.
3. You can use it as a gaming server.
4. If possible, update it to Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.
5. You can ditch Windows XP and switch to Linux OS.
6. You can use it as a personal cloud.
7. If you are a web developer, you use a Windows XP computer to host websites yourself.
8. You can use the system to build a media server.
How Do I Update My Windows XP Home Edition?
Although it’s not possible that you might see any updates as Microsoft has pulled the support for Windows XP, here’s how you can update Windows XP Home Edition:
Step 1. Boot your computer normally and log in with your credentials.
Step 2. Click on the Start button and navigate to the All Programs option.
Step 3. Click on the Windows Update button.
Step 4. Now click on the Express button. Allow the Windows Update Utility to complete its execution and scan your computer for the list of available updates.
Parting from an old computer for newer versions is significantly difficult for those who rejoiced at Windows XP.
However, as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are no longer compatible with Windows XP, you must look for the best web browsers for Windows XP operating system.
In this article, we have listed the best web browsers for Windows XP, such as K-Meleon Browser, SeaMonkey Browser, Slimjet Browser, etc., lightweight, consume less RAM, are compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit systems, and come under the category of a secure browser.