- Using as little computer resources as possible, in particular, CPU and RAM power is essential if you want to avoid lag issues.
- But not all software solutions are designed and created equal. Some will hog your computer memory all the time, while others will try to optimize how much resources they access and use.
- More solutions for having a great experience are found in the PC Optimization section.
- If you want to read more about browsers, visit our dedicated hub.
Opera, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, these are probably browsers the majority of you use. Indeed, these browsers are probably the best ones on the market right now, we can’t argue with that.
However, as the industry is massive, there are a lot of lesser-known options, that some users might consider using.
Although these obscure browsers aren’t as attractive, and as popular as the big names, they surely have something to offer.
So, if you want to jump out of your comfort zone when it comes to browsing the internet, and try an alternative for your everyday browser, you might be interested in using some non-commercial web searchers.
We’ve prepared a list of, in our opinion, the best lightweight browsers that you might want to try. You’ll see what are the advantages and disadvantages of these browsers, and where they are compared to the main stars.
Who knows, maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for in these programs, that you’ve probably never heard of before.
Note: These browsers are listed in no particular order.
Sounds good already? Don’t lose your bookmarks when you change your browser!
What are the best lightweight browsers for Windows PCs?
Apart from these browsers, there are also a few other alternatives that you can use. We’ll list them all below.
Opera is a fast and lightweight browser designed for Windows 10 computers. Make sure to download the latest browser version or install the latest updates to enjoy the latest features.
Opera uses very little computer resources allowing you to free up more RAM. The browser does not hog your CPU or RAM and this will make your computer visibly faster. Even if you install plenty of extensions, Opera won’t tax your computer as much as other popular browsers out there.
This browsing solution has a few aces up the sleeve that allows it to speed up web browsing without draining your PC’s resources. For example, the turbo mode compresses website data for faster loading. The built-in ad blocker and tracker blocker remove ad and tracking scripts off webpages which results in faster loading times.
It offers advanced, privacy protection features such as a built-in VPN to keep prying eyes away. They also have a version of the browser designed for gamers, so that they can squeeze every bit of power from the PC.
It’s called Opera GX. And it’s loaded with features. If that’s too much for you, it’s ok. Download the regular version by clicking the link below and enjoy all the benefits.
OperaLightweight on your resources but powerful enough. Download Opera and see for yourself.
UR Browser can easily be included in the top 3 lightweight browsers you can install on your PC. It’s fast, it doesn’t load unnecessary ad and tracking scripts and also protects your data privacy.
UR Browser doesn’t put a strain on your computer resources. This makes it the perfect choice for limited hardware configuration systems and old computers.
This Chromium-based browser is actually an all-in-one browser. It comes equipped with a built-in VPN and integrated virus scanner, as well as a privacy-focused search engine.
It is worth mentioning that you can download files four times faster with UR Browser. The files you want to download on your computer are split up into smaller chunks and then downloaded simultaneously.
UR BrowserInstall UR Browser for fast downloads and quick browsing. Many other features are available as well.
Midori is an open-source browser, that should satisfy not-so-demanding users.
This browser has a solid pack features, but also consumes fewer resources than some of the mainstream browsers, which can seal the deal for some people.
Some of the most important features of Midori are HTML5 support, bookmarks, RSS support, a spell checker, anonymous browsing, etc.
Speaking of HTML5, here is a list of the best editors on the market. You’ll become an expert on the matter!
It also ships with some additional options, like tabbed browsing, the ability to change privacy settings, font/display settings, and startup settings.
Speaking of privacy settings, Midori uses DuckDuckGo (a search engine that doesn’t collect or share user info)as its default search engine.
Of course, you can change this later, if you want to switch to a mainstream search engine.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about Midori is its simple user interface, which will delight all lovers of the minimalist approach.
The browser is very light, so it should be very easy for you to get accustomed to it. Its user interface consists of the search bar, the bookmarks bar, a few usual buttons, while content takes the majority of space.
So, we can call this browser Firefox’s younger brother, even though the two browsers are not related.
First and foremost, Comodo is a security company, so you can’t expect a browser built by them to be insecure. That’s, of course, the biggest advantage of the Comodo IceDragon browser. Surely security is not the only thing this browser offers, as there are many useful features for better browsing.
When it comes to features, Comodo offers the same options as Mozilla Firefox, including the same menus, extensions, and add-ons, and more. So, if Firefox is your primary browser right now, you’ll be more than familiar with using IceDragon.
Now, let’s talk about this browser‘s biggest highlight – security. IceDragon uses Comodo’s own DNS servers when converting URLs to IP addresses.
According to the company, Comodo claims that its DNS servers are actually more secure and faster than others.
Another great feature of IceDragon is that it runs in some kind of its own virtually created container.
That means the browser has no contacts with your system, therefore potential harmful software cannot be downloaded and installed on your computer.
There are some additional security features, like the ability to scan if web pages are secure, crash reports, performance reports, and more.
Vivaldi is probably the most known unknown browser, that accomplished this feat for a relatively short period of time.
This browser might be attractive to users because of its solid performance, and reliability. It uses Google Chrome‘s engine, but consumes far less memory, which is definitely a plus.
But, perhaps the biggest advantage of this browser is its customization ability. Users are able to choose themes for the browser, tab arrangements, take notes, and even schedule themes to change automatically.
When it comes to performance, Vivaldi is not behind its bigger competitors. On the contrary, it even achieved better HTML5 test results than Mozilla Firefox.
Of course, the browser still has some minor flaws here and there, but these are barely noticeable.
This browser irresistibly reminds of the ‘old’ Opera, mainly because the two browsers use the same engine.
As a lot of people aren’t satisfied by how Opera looks and functions now, Vivaldi could be the solution for core Opera fans to actually get back to what they used to love.
Vivaldi is still relatively young, which means many improvements can be done.
So if the team behind it continues to do a good work, we might end up with even better, more competitive browser in the future.
SeaMonkey is an open-source web browser, that has been around for more than 10 years. This is probably one of the most versatile browsers you can find on the market, because it offers much more than just regular web browsing.
SeaMonkey features its own built-in email client, a built-in chat, and even allows you to develop some simple web pages with its built-in editor.
This might come in handy if you want to keep all your services at one place, run fewer tabs in your browser, and therefore save more resources.
Besides providing some basic features you would normally get in any web browser, SeaMonkey also has some additional abilities, like a password manager, mouse gestures, voice interaction, customizable toolbars and the ability to restore sessions.
Since this is an open-source browser, basically anyone with some knowledge in coding and will to work on the browser can do so.
Because of that, SeaMonkey doesn’t seem to be the most stable and reliable browser out there, as users might notice occasional performance issues.
But if you want to save some time by having everything you use on a daily basis in the same place, and at the same time consume less energy and memory, you should give SeaMonkey a try.
Maxthon Cloud Browser is another highly versatile browser that contains some features that you can’t even find in the major competitors.
It features a built-in ad blocker, a screen-capture tool, Night mode, Reader mode, RSS feed reader, a note pad, and several more features. It even comes with its own multi-account password manager, called Magic Fill.
Another great thing about Maxthon is that it uses its own cloud services to sync users’ data between devices.
While this isn’t an unusual sight with the major browsers, not many ‘smaller’ players can brag about this feature.
To make Maxthon sync your data on all devices, you need to create an account on its cloud-based service, Passport, log in, and you’re good to go.
Maxthon also sports an unusual user interface for the majority of browsers. It features a toolbar placed on the left side of its window with buttons for Favorites, Downloads, RSS feeds, and notes.
Just like Lunascape, Maxthon is also a multi-engine browser, as it can use both Internet Explorer’s Trident, and Google Chrome’s Webkit engine.
Can’t decide between Firefox, Chrome, IE, or Safari? Well, what if we tell you that you can have all four within one program.
That’s exactly what Lunascape Orion is all about – having Trident (Internet Explorer), Gecko (Firefox), or WebKit (Safari and formerly Chrome) all bundled into a single browser.
You can set one engine to be used every time you open Lunascape Orion, but you can also switch engines any time, simply by pressing a button.
This could be extremely useful if a certain web page is not supported in one browser, so you can always switch to another engine, and access the page.
It can be very practical, indeed, but some people say that its performance can suffer because of that. The browser appears to have a very poor performance on some computers, and that’s basically its biggest problem.
Besides the ability to switch between three different engines, Lunascape Orion all features of a standard browser. You can save bookmarks, look for URLs, and it even supports RSS feed.
Brave Browser is another reliable browser that won’t sell your personal data to advertisers.
The browser blocks ads, tracking scripts, and cookies, so you can rest assured that all your browsing sessions are private.
Brave allows you use Tor right in a tab. Tor not only hides your history, it masks your location from the sites you visit by routing your browsing through several servers before it reaches your destination. These connections are encrypted to increase anonymity.
Regarding the supported extensions, Brave can work with almost all extensions from the Chrome Web Store.
The browser also has a built-in password manager so you can rest assured that each website is using a unique and secure password.
If you mainly use the internet to listen to music and watch videos, Torch is probably the browser you’ve dreamt of.
This customized browser is based on the Chrome rendering engine and has many features that will make managing and playing various media sources easy.
Torch has a built-in YouTube-based streaming service called Torch Music. This page allows you to easily access your favorite songs on YouTube, and have them all in one place.
Besides YouTube videos, the browser also gives you access to more multimedia content, from other sites.
What some users are going to like the most are Torch’s built-in download options. Namely, this browser has a built-in button for downloading YouTube videos, as well as its own torrents downloader.
So, if you want to download your favorite music video, or some file from a torrent, you basically don’t need to install any additional tool.
We have to warn you to be careful when downloading online content, because you can easily get into legal trouble, so it is advisable to only download ‘legal’ stuff.
When it comes to the user interface, you shouldn’t have any problems using this browser. Besides the main zone, where website content is displayed, Torch’s UI also has two drop zones on right and left.
The left drop zone is used for sharing content, and allows you to basically share anything you select to social media and other channels (videos, text, images, etc).
The right zone is where the search bar is, along with some additional browsing options.
This concludes our list of the best lightweight browsers for Windows. As you can see, each one of these programs has something unique to offer and is definitely worth your attention.
We know you probably continue using your current web browser even after reading this article, but you can at least think about giving some of these tools a try.
In fact, if you’re using an older computer, using a less-known web browser is actually recommended, because it can save you precious megabytes of memory.
What do you think about our picks? Do you have something to add? Tell us in the comments below.
FAQ: Learn more about browsers
- Is Opera a lightweight browser?
Opera is a lightweight browser that uses very little CPU power and RAM. The browser is very well optimized, and it first removes unnecessary webpage scripts to speed up page loading rather than hogging on your computer resources. You can install it even on low-specs PCs.
- Which Internet browser uses the least RAM?
Many independent tests confirmed Opera is the browser that uses the least RAM on computers. Check this article for more lightweight browsers.
- Does Chrome use a lot of RAM?
Chrome is a browser know for causing high memory usage on computers. The browser relies on separate processes and prerendering to load webpage faster but all these require additional memory. There are some extensions used to speed up Chrome.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in October2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.