- Browsers and search engines have changed the world forever helping us find the information we're looking for in just a few seconds.
- If you want to improve the browsing speed of your old, low-specs PC, check out this list of the best browsers that use very few resources.
- To make your good-old PC a tad snappier, you can visit our PC Optimization section.
- Also take a look at our Web Browsers Hub to learn how to get the most out of your browsing experience.
Google, Opera Software and Mozilla have dropped Windows XP and Vista support for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox.
As such, you can’t run the most recent versions of those browsers on antiquated laptops or desktops with those platforms.
Even if Chrome was still compatible with Windows XP, that browser‘s heavy RAM usage will stretch more outdated PCs’ system resources to the limit.
Thus, Google Chrome is not an ideal browser if you use an outmoded personal computer.
Speaking of RAM usage, we recommend installing a monitoring tool to manage your computer resources more efficiently. This handy list will offer you everything you need.
There are, however, a number of more lightweight alternatives to Chrome that will not hog system resources. They are streamlined browsers that are more system resource-efficient.
Most of those lightweight browsers also remain compatible with Windows XP and Vista. These are some of the browsers that are ideal for old, slow PCs.
Opera, UR Browser, K-Meleon, Midori, Pale Moon, or Maxthon are some of the best browsers that you can install on your old PC.
They don’t require a huge amount of computer resources to run properly. This is a major advantage when talking about old computers. If you want to learn more about these browsers, then read on.
What browser should I install on an old PC?
Opera is perhaps the best browser to use on your old Windows 7 computer, especially now that Microsoft officially ended support for the OS.
Old low-specs computers don’t pack as much processing power as modern machines equipped with the latest processors.
Opera is aware of this fact and optimized its browser to consume as little computer resources as possible.
With Opera, you can enjoy fast browsing speeds on your old PC thanks to its built-in ad-blocking feature.
Blocking ads means preventing unnecessary scripts from slowing you down, but you may also click Manage exceptions to whitelist those websites that shouldn’t be subject to ad-blocking.
We all know that computers running old operating systems are favorite targets for hackers. Even so, Opera has got your back putting your data security and privacy first.
Some key features that Opera brings to the table:
- Adblocker that loads webpages up to 90% faster
- Free VPN included
- Keyboard shortcuts instead of pointing and mouse clicking
- Tracker blocker that prevents data collection
- Intuitive and distraction-free browser experience
Important note: Keep in mind that Opera officially ended support for older Windows operating systems, including XP and Vista.
Please don’t install Opera on computers running Windows XP or Vista to avoid technical glitches.
The browser only supports Windows 7 and Windows 10 and you can install it on your 5-year-old computer or more without any problems.
OperaOpera is optimized for old PCs. Try it out and you’ll enjoy a built-in ad-blocking feature and increased security.
UR Browser is a highly versatile browser that’s perfect for old computers. It packs a plethora of modern features that will help you to quickly and safely surf the Internet.
This browser loads webpages faster than any other browser you used on your good old PC.
If it happens that your PC has Windows XP on it, get one of these antimalware tools that will work excellently with the UR browser.
UR Browser doesn’t load any trackers or ads. As you all know, ads and cookies often slow down your browser. This issue is even more prevalent on old computers.
Protecting your online data is paramount for UR Browser. The tool offers you a series of options that allow you to filter who has access to your online data.
UR-Browser also makes sure to block dangerous websites that may install malware on your PC. Automatic HTTPS redirects and the built-in virus scanner will block virtually any cyber threat that may target your PC.
To sum it up, here are the main advantages of using UR-Browser on your old PC or laptop:
- Your personal data is not shared with Google
- The browser relies on privacy-friendly search engine Qwant
- Built-in ad blocker
- You appear as a different user on the Internet
- The built-in VPN fully encrypts your connection
UR BrowserIf you still use an old computer, the UR Browser is an ideal choice. Third-parties won't be able to profile you.
K-Meleon has been available for more than a decade. This is a Mozilla browser that incorporates Firefox’s Gekco engine.
The browser’s UI design is comparable to Firefox, and the software has extensive customization options for its toolbars, menus, and hotkeys.
Although you can’t add Firefox extensions to K-Meleon, this software still has plenty of handy plug-ins.
K-Meleon is also a super quick browser that runs on Windows 95, XP, Vista, and other platforms that predate Windows 7. The software has a recommended 256 RAM system requirement.
As such, it can run on plenty of antiquated desktops or laptops. Keep though in mind that K-Meleon doesn’t get updated that often.
Midori’s developers have designed this software to be a streamlined alternative to more bloated browsers. While Midori packs less in than alternative browsers, it weighs in at 37 megabytes.
In comparison, Firefox requires 200 MB hard drive storage. Thus, this is a decent browser for outmoded PCs.
Midori does still incorporate the latest web technologies. The browser supports HTML 5 media codecs and CSS 3.
Midori was also developed with a Webkit rendering engine that ensures its in the same league as Chrome when it comes to browsing speed.
The browser doesn’t have a huge repository of extensions but does include several add-ons that further enhance the software.
Pale Moon is a browser forked from Firefox’s source code. This is a stripped-down version of Firefox that runs on Windows XP and Vista.
Pale Moon requires just 256 MB of free RAM and it’s optimized for modern CPUs.
So this browser is even more system resource-efficient than Fox, and it will run fairly quickly on low spec laptops and desktops.
Pale Moon has a very similar UI design to older Firefox 3 versions. Many of Firefox’s add-ons are compatible with Pale Moon.
Furthermore, Pale Moon has its own exclusive add-ons. The browser also shares many of Firefox’s customization options for tabs, page content, etc.
Maxthon is a highly rated browser that is growing in stature. Maxthon’s ss homepage boasts that the browser has a 670 million user base.
Maxthon’s system requirements amount to a 1 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, and 64 megabytes of hard drive space.
The browser is also compatible with Windows 2000, XP, and Vista as well as the latest platforms; so it will run smoothly on most desktops and laptops.
Maxthon includes some tools and options you won’t find in the big four browsers (Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Edge 14, and Firefox).
It includes a built-in ad blocker that you can remove adds with, which also reduces page tab RAM allocation.
Maxthon has extensive cloud synchronization and backup options so that users can seamlessly sync data across devices.
In addition, the browser incorporates software shortcuts; and Maxthon uses can also capture snapshots with its built-in screenshot tool.
The latest Firefox versions might not support Windows XP and Vista anymore. However, this is still the best browser for slightly outdated Windows 7 desktops or laptops with 4 GB RAM.
Mozilla claims that Google Chrome hogs 1.77x more RAM than Fox.
Firefox is more resource-efficient than Safari, Chrome, and Edge, which ensures you can run more software alongside it.
Firefox also has loads of add-ons you can enhance the software with.
Those add-ons include tab managers, ad blockers, and other extensions that you can strip down website page content with, which will further reduce each tab’s RAM usage and boost browsing speed.
It’s undoubtedly one of the best browsers for add-ons, and Fox also has extensive options for customizing the UI layout, theme, and navigation bar.
Those are 7 of the best browsers for laptops or desktops with less than 4 GB RAM and CPUs with lower clock speed specifications.
These browsers are compatible with a wider range of Windows platforms than most software, and they won’t hog a huge percentage of system resources even on outdated desktops and laptops.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.