Want Internet Explorer 9 for Windows XP? Try These Browser Alternatives

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browser alternativesGoogle has dropped support for Internet Explorer 8, and they aren’t the only organization to do so. While you can’t use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 without upgrading to a newer version of Windows, there are a variety of modern browsers that still support Windows XP.

Let’s be honest – IE 8 isn’t much better than Internet Explorer 6. Even Internet Explorer 9 offers much better support for HTML5 and other modern technologies. These modern browsers make web designers’ lives easier and give you access to a more modern Internet.

Note that many of these browsers may require the free Service Pack 3 (or at least Service Pack 2), which is available from Microsoft’s website and Windows Update.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome’s latest versions continue to support Windows XP – Google offers more support for older versions of Microsoft’s operating systems that Microsoft themselves do. Using Google Chrome on Windows XP is much the same experience as using it on a newer version of Windows, although the window borders are solid-colored and not transparent. Don’t worry, though – you can install themes if you prefer another look.

If you still depend on some Internet Explorer-only websites, you can use IE Tab for Google Chrome to run Internet Explorer inside Google Chrome for those websites.

For more information about Chrome, check out Browsing at Warp Speed, our free downloadable guide to Chrome.

browser alternatives

Mozilla Firefox

The latest versions of Mozilla Firefox continue to run on Windows XP, too. As with Google Chrome, you’ll get a modern web browser that will continue to receive updates. Firefox on Windows XP still uses the classic File/Edit/View menu bar instead of the single Firefox menu button you’ll find on newer versions of Windows.

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Just as with Google Chrome, you can install the IE Tab extension for Firefox and continue to use some IE-only websites inside your new web browser.

For more information about Firefox, download Tackling Firefox: The Unofficial Manual, our free guide to Firefox.

browser alternatives for windows


Opera isn’t quite as popular as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, but it’s still a good option that also continues to support Windows XP. Opera has always been a fairly speedy browser, which may come in handy if you’re using Windows XP on an older, slower computer. You may want to try all of the above browsers and see which one performs better for you.

Unfortunately, Opera doesn’t offer an “IE Tab”-style extension that can run IE-only websites in a browser tab. if you settle on Opera, you’ll want to launch Internet Explorer 8 whenever you need to use an IE-only website.

browser alternatives for windows

Chrome Frame

If you absolutely must continue to use Internet Explorer 8, but still need access to Google Apps or other modern websites, you may want to install the Chrome Frame plug-in for Internet Explorer. Websites that are configured to take advantage of Google Chrome Frame – such as Google’s own websites – will use the Chrome Frame plug-in to render the website in Chrome’s rendering engine inside Internet Explorer. This allows you to use Internet Explorer but access websites that need newer web technologies.

This isn’t a very good solution unless you only need access to Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and other Google Apps websites. Many websites may require modern browser technologies, but may not automatically use Google Chrome Frame. You may be better off using two different browsers – one (such as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera) for the majority of the web and one for older websites that only work in Internet Explorer.)

Avant or Maxthon

You may also want to give Avant Browser a try. The Ultimate version of Avant includes the Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome rendering engines. With the click of a button, you can change any web page’s rendering engine to the one that works best. If you want to use some websites in Internet Explorer mode, and some in Firefox or Chrome modes, Avant browser may be worth a try. We’ve previously covered Avant Browser in-depth.

Note that you should download the Ultimate version of Avant so you can have access to the other rendering engines – the Lite version of Avant only includes the IE rendering engine. Avant (and the Maxthon browser mentioned below  will use the version of IE on your computer. In other words, if you install Avant Lite on Windows XP, it will just be a shell on top of Internet Explorer 8. All the problems with Internet Explorer 8’s outdated rendering engine will still be present.

browser alternatives for windows

Maxthon is a similar browser that incorporates the Internet Explorer and WebKit (used in Chrome and Safari) browser engines with its own interface. It also runs on Windows XP. We’ve recently taken an in-depth look at the new Maxthon Cloud Browser.

browser alternatives

While version 5.1.7 of Apple’s Safari is also available for Windows XP, Apple is no longer updating Safari for Windows and is instead focusing on Safari for Mac OS X, so we wouldn’t recommend using Safari on Windows.

Are you still using Windows XP? What browser do you use? Let us know which one works best for you!

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12 Comments - Write a Comment


Carlo Vincente

Still have Win XP in a PIII, so I installed Srware Iron, as an alternative for a Chromium based browser, I think the best alternative of all.



I still use Windows XP.
I have left Internet Explorer 8 as many people say it’s not secure (how much is it true???).
Now I use Opera but I complain because of its several drawbacks. I also use Maxthon (Maxthon Cloud Browser) but I don’t see advantages (on the contrary: using Maxthon it’s not possible to disable Java and FlashPlayer, therefore even Maxthon could be considered insecure).



The single menu button for Firefox is available on Windows XP. Turn the menu bar off and you’ll see it.


Noman Fayez

nice … I have learn two new browsers name.

Nikhil Chandak

yup me also
the last two !!


Nikhil Chandak

My best two web browsers – Mozila Firefox and Google Chrome !!


Victor Ong

For windows xp chrome is the way to go! Firefox has become quite heavy and bloated over the past updates, so I’m not using it for now. IE 9 and 10 are HUGE improvements over IE8, so I encourage anyone who CAN use it to do so. I use it as the default browser so links open up in a new window (faster than chrome).


Ashwin Divakaran

My like on Firefox!


suneo nobi

Coolnovo is also a good browser based on Chromium …..



Elan Chezhiyan

As far as XP is concerned Mozilla is the best.
But from Win 7, it is IE 10. It is awsome.
That too Metro view of IE in Win 8 is amaizing.



I use Maxthon Cloud Browser (and Chrome for Timeline Remover in Facebook) and rarely IE8 and Opera. Windows Server 2003. My laptop not too old but I prefer older OS’s, they are faster and cleaner.
And I agree IE10 is really good, I tried it and I like Windows 8 (it’s better than Vista and 7) but Windows Server 2003 (along with XP) – the best.



Opera 12.16, Mozilla Firefox 36.1 and Apple Safari 5.7.1 on Windows XP.
I dosn’t Windows 8 it is modern UI. Useless is Windows 8 Design for PC’s. The old Interface are better.

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