- An ideal lightweight browser should be able to use little resources regarding RAM and CPU power.
- Safe servers and customizable features are essential aspects of a reliable search engine.
- Our choice for the best lightweight browser incorporates free extensions and a powerful VPN.
- Try all the other less popular options that tested better than many popular browsers.
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 the best options for a lightweight browser 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.
In case you’re a Mac user, it might be useful for you to have access to the best lightweight browsers for Mac.
Who knows, maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for in these programs, that you’ve probably never heard of before.
Sounds good already? Don’t lose your bookmarks when you change your browser!
There are many lightweight browsers suitable for your Windows computer. If you own a low-end or medium-range PC, you can install UR Browser, Torch, Lunascape and Midori.
Apart from these browsers, there are also a few other alternatives that you can use for Windows 10. We’ll list them all below.
What are the best lightweight browsers for Windows PCs?
Opera is one of the best light browsers for Windows, offering an unprecedented number of features and customization tools. Make sure to download the latest browser version or install the latest updates to enjoy the best features available.
Opera uses very few 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 web pages which results in faster loading times.
It offers advanced, privacy protection features such as a built-in VPN to keep prying eyes away. Download this excellent search engine by clicking the link below and enjoy all the benefits.
Explore the Internet in complete safety and at great speed with this high-quality browser!
UR Browser can easily be included in the top 3 lightweight browsers you can install on your device, even though it is not the most lite browser for Windows. It’s fast, 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.
Surf the web and benefit from great speed and advanced security features with an excellent browser!
If you need a lightweight browser for Windows, then K-Melon might be a perfect choice. The software is open-source and it’s designed for Windows operating system.
Regarding the engine, K-Melon uses the Goanna engine that is based on Mozilla’s Gecko engine. Being lightweight, the browser is perfect for older computers that can’t handle modern browsers.
As for the functionality, this is a pretty basic web browser, and it comes with customizable toolbars and context menus.
Other than that, you can create macros to automate certain tasks and save valuable time. Advanced search is also available, allowing you to easily search for bookmarks or perform a Google search.
Overall, this is a perfect browser for older computers, since it requires only 100MB of memory and 20MB of RAM to run, but unfortunately, it lacks many features that modern browsers have.
Other great features:
- Popup blocking
- Mouse gestures
- Multiple bookmarking systems
- Extremely lightweight
If you mainly use the internet to listen to music and watch videos, Torch is probably the browser you’ve dreamt of, making it a viable lightweight browser for Windows 10.
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.
Can’t decide between Firefox, Chrome, IE, or Safari? Well, what if we tell you that you can have all four within one program with this lite browser for PC.
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.
Maxthon 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, login, 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.
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 in 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.
It provides a password manager, 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.
Midori is an open-source browser, that should satisfy not-so-demanding users.
This browser has 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, 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.
Another lightweight browser that deserves your attention is Falkon. The browser is built on QTWebEngine.
The browser has been present since late 2010, and it was called QupZilla, but it was rewritten in C++ using the Qt Framework and it has since changed its name.
The browser is a part of the KDE project, so it already comes preinstalled with many Linux distributions. Of course, the software is available on multiple platforms and you can find it on almost any platform, including Windows.
As for the features, you can find all the basic features available such as bookmarks, history, and tabs. The browser comes with an AdBlock plugin preinstalled, so you won’t have to deal with ads ever again.
Overall, this is a great browser for users who need minimalistic and lightweight software to surf the web. Since Falkon uses its browsing engine, the number of available extensions is limited, and that might be a problem for some users.
- Available on multiple platforms
- Has only the most essential features
- Built-in adblocker
Firefox was first developed as a quicker, safer substitute for the widely used browsers of the late 1990s, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.
It seemed to have slipped down the food chain over time, but it has since evolved and is now highly regarded for its privacy and performance.
Regarding resource efficiency, Firefox is clearly superior to Chrome since it uses less memory and is less taxing on your computer’s operating system. Additionally, very little information about you is gathered on the browser.
You can perform address bar searches, access bookmarks, collect smart search recommendations and history, and do lots more using Firefox.
Additionally, you may customize the settings of the search bar to have greater control over your surfing process and automatically suggest URLs.Lastly, Firefox syncs all your devices, is accessible in over 90 languages and works with Google applications like Gmail and Docs.
Other useful browser options
Because we decided to include all the available browser options on the market, some didn’t make the cut for the Top 10 list when measuring the rapport between the RAM usage and the actual utilization of the software, but you can see them below:
- Vivaldi – a good browser with a nice UI, but heavy on RAM usage
- Brave – compact UI with good security options
- Pale Moon – very low impact on system resources, but quite useless for everyday tasks
- Mypal – very simple interface and easy to use
- Vivaldi – looks amazing, but considering the features in holds, its RAM consumption is too big
- WaterFox – impressionable UI with loads of good features
- Microsoft Edge – faster than most of the browsers in this guide, but not good enough to fit in our top 10 list
How do these browsers compare when it comes to RAM usage?
As you will see, the table below includes the entire list of browser recommendations from this list and also the browsers contained in the Other useful browser options section.
This will ensure that you will be able to compare and choose a browser that will fit your needs on all counts, including the amount of RAM, CPU, engine build, and user-friendliness.
|Browser||RAM usage||CPU usage||Engine||Utility||UI friendliness|
|Opera||602 - 610 MB||0.7 - 2.0 %||Chromium||5/5||5/5|
|UR Browser||657 - 651 MB||0.8 - 2.0 %||Blink; V8||4/5||5/5|
|K-Meleon||160 - 170 MB||1.4 - 2.5 %||Goanna||3/5||3/5|
|Torch||234 MB||1.0 %||Chromium||3/5||2/5|
|Lunascape Orion||259 MB||2.2 %||Gecko||3/5||3/5|
|Maxthon||290 - 336 MB||2.2 - 3.1 %||Trident||4/5||4/5|
|Comodo IceDragon||304 MB||1.1 %||Quantum||3/5||3/5|
|SeaMonkey||336 - 353 MB||2.2 - 3.1 %||Gecko||3/5||2/5|
|Midori||355 MB||2.4 - 3 %||Webkit||4/5||4/5|
|Falkon||387 MB||2.3 - 3.1 %||Blink||2/5||2/5|
|Firefox||415 - 478 MB||1.4 - 2.3 %||Quantum||5/5||4/5|
|Brave||530 MB||1.5 - 3.8 %||Blink; V8||4/5||3/5|
|Pale Moon||539 MB||1.5 - 2.9 %||Goanna||2/5||1/5|
|Mypal||569 MB||2.6 - 3.1 %||Goanna||3/5||3/5|
|Vivaldi||590 MB||0.8 - 2.2 %||Chromium||5/5||5/5|
|Waterfox||610 MB||1.4 - 1.7 %||Gecko, SpiderMonkey||3/5||4/5|
|Edge||638MB||1.0 - 1.4 %||Chromium||5/5||4/5|
Even if Opera doesn’t consume less RAM than other browsers, when considering the number of features, options, and integrations this software has, it is by far the best option.
Close behind we have UR Browser, which fits into the same category as Opera, offering too many good features not to be included in the list, even though the RAM utilization score is a bit bigger than in the case of other browsers.
How can I reduce memory and CPU usage on Chrome?
There are some tried and proved methods that allow you to optimize the memory and CPU usage on Google Chrome:
- Keep Chrome updated at all times – to do so, click the 3 dots option, hover your mouse over the Help button, and choose About Google Chrome
- Manage the number of tabs you keep open – as in the case of any browser, running multiple tabs open will impact both the CPU and RAM. To avoid having lagging issues, simply close any tabs that you’re not using presently
- Disable any extensions that you don’t use – running extensions in the background can take its toll on the CPU and RAM of your PC, so make sure to keep only those that are in use, and remove the rest
- Use the built-in Task manager to close any processes – can be accessed easily by clicking the 3 dots button, hovering over the More tools option, and choosing Task Manager (Shift + Esc)
- Remove any malware by using the Chrome Cleanup Tool – to use this tool, open Settings, choose Advanced, and at the bottom of the page click the Clean up computer option. Clicking the Find button will initiate the process, and you can choose to Remove any of the results
- Disable the option to run background apps after closing the browser – this will reduce the strain put on your system. In order to reach this setting, open Settings and chooose Advanced. Inside the System section, toggle off the option Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed
- Check the hardware acceleration option – the Use hardware acceleration when available option can be found inside the System section, and it needs to be enabled to reap the optimization benefits
- Restore Chrome back to its factory setting – a useful option both for those who want to reset the browser’s settings for a clean start, and those who are not satisfied with the settings they’ve committed to. To access this section, open Settings, choose Advanced, and click on the Restore settings to their original defaults button. This reset only affects your browser’s settings and will not delete any saved passwords or login information.
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 consider giving some of these tools a try.
A lightweight browser is recommended if you’re using an older computer 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Opera is a great option, but check all of our excellent recommendations in this guide to the best lightweight browsers for Windows PCs.
Opera is a perfect match for Mac computers. See all the alternatives in this article on the best lightweight browsers for Mac.