Internet Security Windows

Which Browser Is Most Secure on Your Old Windows XP System?

Ben Stegner Updated 15-12-2019

A small percentage of people still use Windows XP, even though support for it ended all the way back in 2014. While you should make every effort to jump from this ancient Windows version as soon as you can, you might wonder which web browsers for Windows XP still work.


Even when Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP, most popular software continued to support it for some time. That’s no longer the case, as few modern browsers for Windows XP exist now. Let’s take a look at every major web browser to see what the best browser for Windows XP users is.

Stop Using Internet Explorer

internet explorer 8 not supported on Windows XP

The most recent version of Internet Explorer available on Windows XP is Internet Explorer 8. IE 8 is wildly outdated, and Microsoft hasn’t supported it since the end of Windows XP’s life.

Not only is IE 8 already an outdated browser without modern features and performance, but it hasn’t received any security patches since April 2014 either. Even if you have to use Windows XP for some reason, you shouldn’t use Internet Explorer anymore.

All sorts of modern websites will let you know that they won’t work properly or at all with IE 8. And of course, Microsoft wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 and use Microsoft Edge.


You should also avoid browsers that use Internet Explorer’s rendering engine. For example, old versions of Maxthon and Avant Browser act as shells around Internet Explorer. They provide a different interface but are vulnerable to the same security bugs as Internet Explorer.

Don’t Use Google Chrome Either

Google Chrome on Windows XP Not Supported

While Chrome supported Windows XP past April 2014, its time has passed as well. In November 2015, Google announced that it would drop support for Windows XP in April 2016. The latest version of Google Chrome that runs on Windows XP is 49. For comparison, the current version for Windows 10 at the time of writing is 73.

Of course, this last version of Chrome will still continue to work. You can’t use any of the newest features of Chrome, however. More importantly, this outdated copy of Chrome won’t receive security updates.


Chrome 49 from April 2016 is better than IE 8 from 2014, but it’s still not safe to use. It’s only a matter of time before attackers blow a huge hole into this version, and Google won’t fix it.

Firefox Is Insecure as of June 2018

Firefox Windows XP Unsupported

The situation with Firefox is a bit better than Chrome’s, but Firefox’s time on Windows XP has reached its end too. In October 2017, Mozilla announced an end of life date for Firefox on Windows XP of June 2018.

Firefox users on Windows XP got automatically upgraded to the extended support release (ESR) version. This is a slower-moving branch of Firefox that waits longer to add new features than the normal branch.


Thus, Firefox 52.9.0esr is the final edition of Firefox to hit Windows XP. It won’t see any future updates, including security patches. Again, using an XP browser that was last updated in June 2018 is better than one last patched in April 2016, but both are insecure.

What About Opera?

Opera running on Windows XP

While Opera doesn’t enjoy as big of a market share as Chrome or Firefox, it provides a great alternative to Chrome. It’s available on Windows XP, but is it still supported?

The latest update from the Opera team came in August 2016. This confirms that Opera 36 is the final version of the browser available for Windows XP (the current version is 58 as of this writing). Since Opera is now based on Chrome, Opera 36 conforms to Chrome 49.


A few years ago, Opera claimed that it would still update XP users with security patches. The announcement explained that the team added the security patches from Opera 37 back into Opera 36. However, years later, there’s no further information confirming that this is still the case.

Because of this, we recommend that you avoid Opera as well. Its latest version is years old and there’s no sign that it still gets security patches. It is the only major browser that doesn’t show an error message when you check for updates, though.

Either way, you won’t be able to enjoy the coolest Opera features 9 Opera Browser Tips That Make Web Browsing More Fun Opera offers much more than what meets the eye. There are a host of other nifty browsing features you probably don’t know about. Read More on Windows XP.

Other Notable Windows XP Browsers

We’ve covered the major browsers, but what about lesser-known options that might support Windows XP?

Though it might seem obvious, for completion we should mention two silly-sounding choices. First, though Safari was once available for Windows, Apple discontinued it long ago. If you still somehow have Safari installed on Windows XP, you shouldn’t use it as it’s extremely outdated and insecure.

Second, Microsoft’s replacement for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, is only available on Windows 10. There’s no way to try Edge on Windows XP.

Most alternative browsers have dropped support for Windows XP as well. Pale Moon, a Firefox fork, doesn’t support XP on its latest version. Slimjet, a lesser-known but speedy browser, currently offers version 22 for modern platforms but only supports version 10 for XP users. Vivaldi‘s latest version does not support Windows XP, either.

Maxthon is one other browser for Windows XP that enjoyed support for some time. However, it’s also left XP users behind. The last version of Maxthon to work on Windows XP is 5.1.2, released in September 2017. The current version is 5.2.7.

Maxthon Windows XP

While you might not be familiar with this Chinese browser, it packs a lot of handy features like a night mode, built-in screenshot tool, and a notebook. However, it’s still unsupported for Windows XP users.

You might find other fringe browsers that still support Windows XP. However, you should avoid them. Little-known browsers with small teams behind them offer less guarantee of security or quality, and it’s nearly impossible to call a browser on an ancient operating system truly secure anyway.

But I Need Internet Explorer!

Some people still need an old version of Internet Explorer to connect to certain websites. For example, you might use an internal business website that requires an outdated version of IE. If you must use Internet Explorer for some tasks, don’t use it for everything—open it only to use that specific website and use another browser most of the time.

You can also install the IE Tab Chrome extension, which lets you render pages using IE inside Chrome. Configure IE Tab to always load that old website in an Internet Explorer frame inside your browser and you won’t have to worry about opening and closing IE. However, this tool is not free and still requires using the outdated version of Chrome for Windows XP.

You could also try changing your user agent Why Changing Your User Agent Is Still Useful Today (and How to Do It) Changing your browser agent is easy to do, but is it still useful? Here are several ways that you could use this functionality to your advantage today! Read More to trick a site into thinking that you’re using IE. However, this won’t work for sites that actually require you to use Internet Explorer.

What Is the Best Browser for Windows XP?

Unfortunately, the Windows XP browser scene is essentially dead. You have no real options:

  1. Internet Explorer is completely dead and you should avoid it at all costs.
  2. Chrome’s latest browser for Windows XP is from April 2016, so you shouldn’t use that either.
  3. Firefox dropped support for Windows XP in June 2018.
  4. Opera has been silent about supposed XP security patch support and hasn’t updated its browser for years.
  5. Maxthon hasn’t received an update for Windows XP since September 2017.

If you really have to use Windows XP, Firefox is the most secure XP browser since it was updated most recently. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a good option. You are not safe running Windows XP because the OS hasn’t received security patches for over five years. Make every effort to upgrade to a modern operating system as soon as you can.

Decided to finally upgrade from XP? Check out the best ways to use your old Windows XP computer How to Best Use Your Old Windows XP or Vista Computer Windows XP has not received security patches since 2014. As of April 11, Windows Vista is following suite. We show you five ways to safely use your unsupported XP or Vista computer. Read More  and how to revive Windows XP on Windows 10 4 Ways to Revive Windows XP on Windows 10 Whether you must use Windows XP software or just have a soft spot for this old operating system, here's how you can revive it inside Windows 10. Read More .

Related topics: Browsing Tips, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Browser, Windows XP.

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  1. Lukas
    January 20, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Hackers don't care about XP as nobody uses it anymore except few who need to use old solftware. Nobody sane use that for internet shopping or banking. This is retro now.

  2. arin
    November 1, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    try mypal browser still supports windows xp

  3. Walt Stratton
    July 4, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Try the UCBrowser. It still offers XP support and has built in security.
    Using a registry hack (Google it) you can still update Windows XP until April of 2019.
    Sure, you are still taking chances. I'm just informing you of several options to think about.

  4. James Howde
    April 30, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    I can't help thinking that somebody still using XP isn't going to be as scared at being told their browser of choice isn't receiving security updates as you'd hope.

    • Grego
      October 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      Yeah, this is a fluff article... every "browser security" article is a fluff article. The reality is that browser security hasn't mattered for decades, what does matter is having a basic filtering list to block known offenders. A browser that leaks your clipboard, lets websites turn on your webcamera / microphone without your permission is "secure" according to w3 standards.

      Security is fluff.

  5. geoffrey
    April 30, 2019 at 12:59 am

    Use cases... Windows XP remains a viable alternative in offline mode. It may even have 3rd-party support for other online protocols (but I haven't looked; don't care) - http isn't the only one available.

    There's still a lot this OS can do without the fat of later versions of Windows and certainly without the spyware built into so many modern systems. I say this as someone who was never a fan of XP but a fan of alternative OSes.

  6. Brian
    April 28, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    I tried Opera and had clamav installed, and I still got a virus that nearly wiped me out. I managed to stop it fast enough and a week of backups and repair programs and it's back like new again. I have computers set aside for testing new software, I should have used them. The virus started with all icons becoming Opera icons.

  7. pete
    January 17, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    opera cheats - it will let you select another browser but will not let you install or use it !
    the selection 'box is 'greyed-out'!

  8. Ernie
    December 27, 2018 at 3:42 am

    Keep your fingers away from MAXTHON Browsers !!!

    Unfortunately, the Maxthon Browser (latest Release, downloaded a couple of days ago), CANNOT be uninstalled from my Windows XP in full, it leaves write-protected WIN Registry Entries, called 'MXService' which cannot be deleted, and it's the first Extension which could not even be disabled in the Windows DIENSTE (german) Section either. I had to re-boot the System into DOS-View, to so use the REGEDIT COMMAND, to get rid of the Registry-Entries, and clean out the System by use of several XP Tools, to get rid of a simple Software like this.

    I found the 'MyPal v.28.2.2' and 'New Moon v.28.3.0a1' Browser to work near perfect, and the 'Serpent Basilisk v.2018.12.15' has some little misses, like opening a new Page in a new Tab, since I found no 'Setting' on such yet. I also completely MOVED my existing Firefox User Data into the Palemoon/MyPal/ Basilisk Directories, to then have all my passwords and links again, and the Basilisk might not has like this, who knows ...

  9. Marc
    September 9, 2018 at 1:30 am

    I tried to install Maxthon. It intalls with it other programs that cannot be opted out. Maxthon interfers with other programs like Mozilla Thunderbird. Maxthon also often freeze, when for example clicking on the "from Internet explorer". Had to uninstall, clean the computer, and go back to a restore point.

  10. Ron Phippen (based in UK)
    August 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Chris, article is from March 2014 - has it been updated (if so, when)? I still run Windows XP (Prof) SP3 and use Chrome as browser. I read / understand all your advice, many thanks, but now at August 2018, with Firefox & Opera now 'retired' for XP users, is Maxthon still ok to switch to? Have there been any fresh news about how long Maxthon's updates or security patches will continue to be sent out? I accept the ultimate solution is upgrade from XP, but that's not going to happen that soon.

  11. Dennis
    April 14, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    What I would like to know is why a lot of web pages have gone out of their way to stop supporting older browsers that they used to support just fine. To stop supporting a browser means that they have to do work and modify their web scripts to that they detect the older browsers and stop working. So if they did nothing at all, older browsers would continue to work just fine.

    Twice this morning it happened. I go to log into my comcast account and there is no login button any more. I had to call tech support and get the address to the direct login page. After that, everything seemed to work fine.

    Then I go to to track a package. A message pops up that says I wont be allowed to use their site after April 30, 2018 because I use an older Firefox. I am currently using Firefox 48. There is a newer version out there, but it was way too slow so I went back to 48. According to the USPS site, they want me to have FF version 58.

    I might look into MX5, but being from china, I don't think I could trust it.

    • Ben Stegner
      April 15, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      Web pages don't go out of their way to stop supporting older browsers -- actually, it would be going out of their way to continue to supporting older browsers. Older versions of any browser aren't receiving updates and as the web evolves, they're less able to keep up with the current standards.

      This is why archaic versions of Internet Explorer still being in use for businesses and the like is such a pain for web developers. They want to move forward with new standards, but they have to jump through a ton of hoops to keep supporting ancient browsers.

      If they did nothing then older browsers might still work, but then their sites would become stagnant. If your OS is so old that you can't run a modern browser on it, then it's probably time to upgrade.

      • Grego
        October 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm

        Actually, it's the exact opposite. They DO go out of their way to stop supporting older browsers.

        The reason is jQuery.

        By default, a well structured webpage has "graceful degradation". an a href is an a href, instead they're using features to do the same thing as making an anchor BUT only work on certain browsers.

        I get you've never done web design in your life, but the people who use jQuery are generally the bottom bucket cheapos who don't test their code on multiple platforms. Before, there was a requirement to be intelligent when doing web design.

        Really, it's amazing how much of the webpage will work but a jquery created button won't function correctly. A direct link does work. Supporting OLD browsers is easy. Supporting NEW ONES takes a massive redesign to break what was working before.

        Seriously, take a course in web design. Try understanding how the DOM works. The problem is that they're using jQuery and extremely bad practices (like selecting elements using styles rather than ids). This isn't "evolution" it's just dumbing down webdesign to the point that your webpage was created by someone who doesn't know how browsers work.

        What we're experiencing is a REGRESSION.

        • YeahSomethingHere
          January 25, 2020 at 8:33 pm

          Grego !

          Thank you for this inspiring and upliftin comment..

          This is exactly what Ive been feeling for a long time..

          We experience how young boys with very little experience and knowledge get into powerfull positions of Administration and Developement Online, and build code that has no real rooting in Natural / wise ways of doing WORK..

          Kind regards from Denmark!

  12. DOUG
    March 28, 2018 at 8:57 pm


  13. uni
    March 28, 2018 at 11:27 am is still up to date browser for Windows XP, Chromium 63.

  14. Mike
    March 26, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    I'm unsure how to get online to download a new browser as my IE hasn't worked for months on my XP??

    • Ben Stegner
      March 27, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Your best bet would likely be to use another computer and download the installer for Chrome, Firefox, etc. onto a flash drive, then use that drive to copy the browser installer to your XP machine. Bear in mind that the newest versions of most browsers won't work on XP though.

      It's really best to start thinking about buying a new computer for sure.

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    March 11, 2018 at 6:43 am

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  16. Dick T
    January 29, 2018 at 12:27 am

    I have tried many browsers because all i can get using IE is a msn default web page. Opera will not work on my machine, Slim wont install, Firefox has problems, all others tell a good story, but don"t work.

    The one browser that does its job is Sea Monkeys. The old stable version. At least I can browse web pages like RefDesk, All my Faves, Redbox, walmart, amazon, etc. Slow and choppy, but it works.

    • hamid
      February 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

      pale moon works well also. last stable release v 26.5.0

  17. Arvind
    January 25, 2018 at 12:37 pm


  18. Susan Becker
    January 23, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    I use Firefox and it is giving me errors and says it cannot be utilized. I need in to do W-2's and 1099's in the next couple days. What should I do?

    • cdg
      February 6, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      Firefox doesn't do W-2's and 1099's. If you need to download those forms, any browser will do. If you can't get FF to work, you probably tried to install the latest version, rather than the ESR version, on your XP system. If so, go to the nearest library, or borrow a friend's computer, download Firefox 52.60.esr from, and install it on your computer.

  19. Neville Telen
    November 19, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Firstly, I don't give a dingdang about whether a browser is supported or not, updated or not. I have plenty of security apps, so its a non-issue. Currently using Comodo IceDragon, Whitehat Aviator, SRWare Iron, and Sea Monkey. Plenty of other browsers for XP I have yet to try: New Moon 27.7.0a2, Globus Privacy Browser, Safertech Secure Browser, SecuBrowser 1.0, Free Browser 1.7.38, CyberDragon, Otter Browser 0.9.92, etc.

  20. Jo
    September 18, 2017 at 5:46 am

    Go for Linux and run your Windows XP programs in virtual box, probably would work fine if you have 1gb ram and give 512 to the guest OS. Easiest choice is lubuntu for Windows XP era machines.

  21. renee randall
    July 6, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    vivaldi works

    • Tim
      January 20, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      vivaldi suck. its another chrome clone, he guys did not had the guts to continue with presto engine.

  22. merritt fog
    June 10, 2016 at 7:48 am

    firefox is all you can use

    • CJ Burkey
      June 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Yeah, just tried Opera and Chrome, no luck.

      • CJ Burkey
        June 20, 2016 at 6:44 pm

        Firefox does work.

    • robert
      April 25, 2017 at 6:20 pm

      Unfair that the BIG GUYS can decide what you HAVE TO use and what not. It's all about money. Damn.

    • Golden Eagle
      September 4, 2017 at 1:44 am


      • Carl Ewing
        October 17, 2017 at 6:27 pm

        Please let me know which browser you end up with that will work properly with Win XP. You can email me directly at carlewing@yahoo(DOT)com

        • Golden Eagle
          October 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm


  23. Ellie Gower
    February 5, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I have windows XP and originally used Internet Explorer.
    I got mesg that it will not be supported and managed to load Google Chrome as my browser.
    I have now been informed that Chrome is also not going to be updating security updates in April 2016.
    I read that I must update windows service pack.
    I am an elderly lady and I have taught myself about the computer.

    Please can someone advise me what I can do?
    Much appreciated.
    Ellie Gower

    • Anonymous
      February 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      i'm 1 of the few that are helping people that are still using XP
      in short you need service pack 3 and you can download that by looking around on Google or the quicker way to do it through windows update and looking to see if you have any updates left .

      you'll also might want a browser that is still supported, Chrome isn't going to stop working though after this date just no more updates.

      for more info you can contact me at

      • Patricia Hayes
        February 24, 2016 at 8:10 pm

        I am confused . when you say service pack three. Are you referring to XP pack 3? Like Ellie I am a senior an not very computer smart. Please advise what I should do. Using XP3 and Chrome presently Appreciate your help.Thanks

        • Anonymous
          February 25, 2016 at 11:05 am

          yes, xp3, (service pack 3) (xp sp3) is the last major update for XP you have it installed, that is 1 good thing already. chrome wont stop working after it has no more updates but it wont get new security updates.
          you said you don't think you're very computer smart.
          ok well what you can do is check that you have the following setup.

          XP has a built in firewall "windows firewall" to help protect it. It should be on and not off. you can access firewall through control panel.
          XP doesn't have Antivirus, you may have to download 1, or you may have 1?

          check remote access invitations is off

          most users don't realise, but they are using the main account in tech word it's the "administrator" "admin" account, it's the most powerful account because you have full control over the computer.
          it's also a security risk, if a virus gets into this account, it can gain the same control you have, but for the wrong reasons.
          first, make sure your XP account you login into and use everyday has a password, make sure it has before you continue.
          then,you want to make a limited user account to use everyday.

    • Al
      June 21, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      @Ellie Gower:

      You can try a wonderful SeaMonkey browser by Mozilla. It's a continuation/resurrection of an older Netscape browser, but updated regularly and which has its own mail client. Easy to use, very light and works flawlessly with XP of all incarnations. You'll love it.
      Go to:

    • Ana
      May 11, 2018 at 5:22 am

      Buy a new computer or just use your xp machine for only writing, listening to music, or playing games. Forget about going on the web. It is way too unsafe. You can get a chrome book for a little over $100 bucks and do a million things more than you can currently do on an xp machine. Or you can get a tablet for about $100 bucks or less and do a million things more than you can do now on an xp machine. Not only can you do much more with either a chrome book or tablet than you can on xp, but you can watch movies and videos, besides search the web in lightening speeds. You said you are an older person. Do you really want to waste so much time in your life waiting for web pages to load? Get a new machine or tablet. You will love it and regret that you didn't do it sooner.

  24. Anonymous
    February 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Lizzie if I write your name right, P4 is fine if you use DEEPFREEZE and not a virus scanner. 512MB is to low, 1 GB is the lowest to ran smoothly on Internet or work around on the computer. Deepfreeze has no weight on the system, with an virus scanner is an P4 unusable. I still has 2 computer ran on Windows XP. Use deepfreeze on 1 computer, the other is stronger and by the way I do not use a virus scanner. But I most say that I work not much on pc, if I search something is it educating and further YouTube or Facebook. I do not click advertisement or search for dating and I'm no were activated in such. iPhone - iTunes and maybe link... The jailbreak issues can be linked to dangerous but so far I have no issues. And now the browsers , today I get a warning from GOOGLE CROME, the stop soon support Windows XP. What pity : hope it does not made problem for YouTube but it seem that I most stop using google chrome. Opera and Firefox or maybe Mozilla seem continuous. I do not know them, I'm was still in confidences with Google Chrome.
    Yes I know I need to look forward, I will soon looking for an also older Windows 7. The second hand stores here in Belgium sells a lot of older laptops with Win 7. I have to much good and paid working software for Windows XP. I do not update them, it works fine as it is. It is made for Win XP. The update are made for perhaps Windows 10 and than have I a lot of problem to remove what takes a lot of work. Clean up the computer and defragment the computer is a day job. My advice, so far my own experiences: deep freeze is paying but it is a fantastic software that ran deep in the basement of the computer. Wrong use can be crashed your computer, but I you do what they exactly advice is there no problem. One the month disable deep freeze and I let it ran without cause Microsoft give still very little updates. Java, do not update, it will gives errors. Just enjoy of the good old system so long it is possible.
    For now disappointed that Chrome says goodbaye but thanks to this article I feel better, there is still a future for Windows XP. Note to end: the neighbor has a expedition office for car accidents, his computers are just last week updated to Windows 7. The computer stores in the city ran still on many places Windows XP. I use a iPhone and this have apps, Windows 10 seem to act as a smartphone, I do not need apps or touchscreen, I'm comfortable with the very clear differences between a computer what a computer most be and an smartphone. I hope made your day and to other people with a lot of knowledge is my question :
    Are there more alternative secure websites for Windows XP?
    Thanks to everyone and Lizzie, search for info about deep freeze, what it does you will be informed from them. The only thing I said about is, you will need external USB sticks or hard drives. Rest you will known. Luc Rik Vl.

  25. Lizzie
    January 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    I use Windows XP at home and I gave a laptop running XP to my Grandma locked down with Sitekiosk so she can easily access her favorite websites and as soon as she logs off all the history is deleted so she can't screw it up. Brilliant!

    • Lizzie
      January 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Also the laptop has 512 MB RAM and a P4! Wouldn't get modern OS to run well on that

      • Anonymous
        February 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm

        a clean install of XP would do it more good than anything!:)

      • Matt
        December 20, 2017 at 1:11 pm

        I would add some more ram and if it can take it a solid state drive, which is (faster) than a standard hard disk drive. at booting shutting down and loading files maybe do a clean install of xp on that?

        • Ben Stegner
          December 20, 2017 at 3:35 pm

          Spending the money on more RAM and a new SSD for an XP machine is pretty much a waste. I'd recommend just putting that money towards a new PC instead.

        • Matt
          December 25, 2017 at 12:56 am

          Hi Ben,

          i was thinking more towards someone who doesn't do much, so an upgrade wouldnt be in their interest unless theres nothing that can be done other than buying a new pc as (you pointed out)

          im testing a netbook out for a family member, its a low powered atom so not meant to be fast, the ssd alone let alone ram has made a noticeable change, i have downgraded it back to XP , the start menu would lag with 10 as the drivers that come with it arent optimised with the newer os. ive tried surfing, copying photos etc all really quick.

  26. Anonymous
    November 7, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Try Maxthon Cloud browser. It's a feature rich browser and the latest version supports Windows XP.

    • merritt fog
      June 10, 2016 at 7:51 am

      yes, maxthon will work too

  27. Anonymous
    September 23, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I have Windows XP and was using IE8 up until about 3or 4 years ago when it was acting up and a friend suggested I use Mozilla Firefox. I switched to Firefox and it has worked great until about six months ago when it started to freeze-up A LOT. I keep getting "Mozilla Firefox Not Responding" messages and have to log-off to get it to unfreeze. The frequency is happening more and more lately so I'm looking to switch again. Any suggestions???

    • Anonymous
      October 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Uninstall and reinstall Firefox. And depending on how old your install of XP is, you might need to reinstall the OS. It'll run like a brand new computer again if you do that.

    • Golden Eagle
      September 4, 2017 at 1:53 am


  28. Ruby Bailey
    February 17, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I have a Dell desktop which is about 9 years old and still works great. I am still using XP and want to know which browers I should use and which I shouldn't use. I have AOL which I use to browse but I think that is through IE and is very slow. I downloaded Firefox but for some reason it isn't connecting. I would appreciate any information someone could give me. Thanks.

    • Anonymous
      February 6, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      what version of IE is it?the latest is 8.

      Firefox isn't connecting? could you be a bit more specific?

  29. Annette
    January 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you so much for your help. My computer froze up when I tried to log in to firefox on news years eve 2014. I downloaded the firefox update and immediately, my system no longer worked. I have xp. After reading your website I downloaded google chrome and opera. Everything is working great. It looks like a have a couple of more months before i have to upgrade.

  30. Better With The Butterfly
    September 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    If you want to "get rid of" IE entirely, you can always use the program nLite on a fresh XP disc image. I use XP Mode on Virtual PC in Windows 7 and have it set to "disable access to this program" via Set Program Access & Defaults. But you can customize the image before you reinstall the OS, add drivers specific to your machine, add updates, even add preinstalled third-party programs via add-on .cabs ( has a great list of premade ones) using this versatile little tool.

    As an extra precaution, you should also stop using Windows Media Player (and you can disable this from installing in nLite), simply because it's another program that forms a core component of the OS. It's less vulnerable than IE, obviously, but still good to disable for extra hardening purposes. Also, no need to bother with bloated WMP anyway for listening to music and watching videos, when free VLC or K-Lite Codec Pack with Media Player Classic works just as well. VLC even lets you watch online videos from Youtube, and can even be set up as a streaming server on a dedicated box. It's really the Swiss Army Knife of media tools. The only thing I'd love to see it do extra is act as a portable-device manager (iTunes replacement) and burn discs. For that, there's Foobar2000 or Winamp, which I love too in place of Bono's bloated iTune$. But I digress.

    Chris, has MUO ever done a writeup on nLite? I'd love to see it dusted off for the "XPocalypse" because it's still as useful as ever!

  31. Graham
    August 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I'm still using XP because I have so much money invested in software which won't run on anything later.

    Autocad LT and Cadstar are just two of the packages I use daily and both want over £1000 for a Windows 7 upgrade which I can't justify now I'm retired.

    I'm not using anything for commercial purposes, but I can't afford to lose access to the work I've done in the past.

    I'd been using Firefox for several years with no problems, but changed to Chrome a few months ago when they announced the end of support to coincide with the death of XP, rather than during 2015 as previously announced.

    Now I'm getting messages that Chrome is no longer supported on XP, but can't find a way to re-install Firefox which I preferred.

    I'm sure there are ways to get old software to run under W7 or 8, but I don't like the new user interface and I'd also need to upgrade my hardware to get either of them to run, so it's all a bit of a dead-end.

    All I want is a simple browser to give me access to my emails and to shop on ebay, I don't use the internet for anything else...

    Once again, the Microsoft cartel is using its' commercial leverage to screw money out of the innocent.

    • Anonymous
      June 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Graham, if you get to read this, could you be so kind to post an update on what system you are currently running and if your opinion on Microsoft has changed (neg or pos) since? I'm dying to know :)

    • hamid
      February 18, 2018 at 9:00 am

      yes. moreover, i have hardware that have no drivers for newer operating systems. if i want to use my digital camera, i have to use xp. and besides, i like the xp camera wizard, as well as kodak's picture and fax viewer. i've also imaged good copies of xp so i can reimage a pristine desktop. i built a bleeding edge desktop in 2004 using a 4400+ processor, and with the latest addition of a gtx 750 ti my system runs like a top

  32. shit
    June 1, 2014 at 2:41 am

    i use opera or mozilla until the whole cpu blows up Boooooooooooooooomm

    • hamid
      February 18, 2018 at 9:02 am

      your operating system is most likely corrupted. reinstall the os, then use pale moon, sea monkey, or as suggested, maxthon

  33. shit
    June 1, 2014 at 2:40 am

    i use windows 3.1

    • grr
      November 2, 2017 at 11:45 am

      You are even better than me! - I use Win 95.

    • hamid
      February 18, 2018 at 9:05 am

      no, you don't. at least not for any productivity purposes. i still have my 1992 pc running 3.1, but it's on the shelf and hasn't been started for about a decade or two

  34. Audrey L.
    April 3, 2014 at 4:16 am

    thank my friend for giving me this info. He knows i switched to Google Chrome, and Firefox about 2 yrs ago. I have had problems with IE and that is why i switched. It would not and will not act right. Always saying "Not responding", it really irritated me, so i will just close it out. But the problem i have with Google is Buffering during trying to watch a video. Any ideas? Keep me up to speed please. I have a refurbished desktop PC, given to me by the Multiple Sclerosis grant program in late October of 2010. So i cannot complain to much. Thank you.

  35. G D Richardson
    April 2, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Rob H. Thanks for the comment. Maybe at 87 I am just too old to change
    that much. I tried using the mouse/keyboard setup, but found it too fussy.
    Regarding XP, I have found among my friends that they are unlikely to
    re-jig their programs to move off XP, but seem to be looking more to Linux.
    I have already started my move!

  36. Don Rich
    March 31, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Strange that everyone expects XP to die! I have been in five different professional offices in the last week, and everyone of them is using a system based in ..GUESS WHAT... MICROSOFT XP!!!
    I think Microsoft is going to find it harder to kill off XP than they think.
    There is no way I want to fuss with windows 8 or 8.1. They are a mess. And why should I want to ditch a perfectly good 24" screen in order to buy a touch screen and have to reach across my desk to operate it? And don't try to tell me I should get a laptop instead!
    Both my laptops are going into Linux!

    • Rob H
      April 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      @Don Rich: Just to be clear, you don't need a touch screen for Win8. It is touch enabled primarily for tablets but works fine on a normal desktop with normal keyboard and mouse, even if you had a desktop touch screen I doubt if you'd use it much, in that situation mouse/keyboard remain the best option.
      I don't like Win8 largely because it looks different and there's a learning curve but the underlying operating system is good.

      • Rocky Shoreline
        December 23, 2018 at 10:16 am

        Win 8.1 (and I presume 8.0 is the same) demands that the computer owner ("user" from the point of view of software developers who seem to believe THEY own your computer) demands that the user set up an "account" and it includes a "store" app which the "user" cannot delete.
        I don't and won't ever buy things directly from Microsoft, and therefore have zero need for an account or to buy things in their "store" app. I detest the dumbed-down ugly squares and have installed the Classic Shell program to harmonize my desktop view with my XP machine's desktop view.
        Now, Firefox has betrayed its customer base - desktop computer users - not just by gutting itself and installing Chrome as its engine, but also by demanding users create an "account," following Microsoft's lead in ignoring customer preferences and needs.
        On my Win 8.1 I can use Epic Privacy Browser and Brave as well as Opera and Firefox, so I'll be using Firefox less and less as Mozilla ramps up the pressure to create an account.
        It's all about tracking and databasing, then selling every tiny detail of your life. It's big business until We the People stand up and assert that WE OWN our lives, and we're NOT for sale.

  37. Rob H
    March 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    For as long as I can remember MSIE has behaved differently to other browsers. In the dim and distant past web designers sometimes even added a note to web sites saying: "best viewed with [browsername]" at first pointing them to MSIE as it was the de-facto "standard" but later to more up to date and feature-rich browsers. Indeed MS used their "embrace and extend" approach to try to corner the market by adding "MS only" features to the HTML specification like the notorious MARQUEE tag. They even went so far as offering web designers a free bundle of expensive development software on the condition that the web sites they built incorporated some of those MS only features.

    Later designers would include "browser detection code" in web pages so the HTML code could adjust to match the browsers capabilities (that kind of feature is still used sometimes if the designer wants to use the very latest HTML/CSS features, not yet incorporated in all browsers). The need for browser detection was invariably necessitated by MSIE compatibility issues. Often the best approach was to design for MSIE, then the site would often be OK in other browsers too but still needed to be tested with them and possibly fixed. The other way round, develop using Firefox/Chrome/Safari and test on (various versions of ) MSIE would almost guarantee problems.

    Although MS have made efforts to catch up, if a web site doesn't work on all browsers, MSIE is the most likely to be the one where it fails. Not just that but because there are old versions of MSIE around web designers may need to make sites compatible with those as well as new versions ( with hidden codes in the page like: meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=7"). Another problem with MSIE is that although new versions may have fewer differences in how they display pages as compared with other browsers, newer versions may not work on older versions of Windows or older hardware. MSIE11 was originally Windows 8 only but then released for Windows 7 too. Prior to Win7 you can't have MSIE11.

    Another issue is that MSIE is closely integrated with the operating system, a consequence of which is that I have a commercial program that runs fine on Win7 with MSIE10. But then, whether MSIE11 is in use or not (it just needs to be on the PC ) the application program malfunctions.
    Recently I was building something using Google Maps programming interface (API) and noticed something was wrong but only when viewed with MSIE. Looking in the API support forum I found other people had hit the same issue and there were postings saying "When will Google fix this?". Now that's what's odd, surely the question should be to Microsoft "This feature works in all browsers but MSIE, when are Microsoft going to fix it?".

    I know the question is about which browser is the most secure option for XP users, and one thing we can definitely say is there is no version of MSIE for those guys but perhaps the question should be wider - if you're on XP security is going to become more and more of an issue now. A more secure browser is a help but which security suite maker is going to put sufficient effort into XP support to compensate for MS dropping it?

    Anyway, the bottom line is: help your less technical friends and family move to a better browser, i.e. Chrome or Firefox. Even after all these years and Google Chrome adverts on TV and in the press a quarter of users are still suffering the problems MSIE brings about. We need to drive MSIE down to such a low percentage of users that MS give up on it or else start to take the issue a lot more seriously.

  38. Donovan
    March 31, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    You did not mention Comodo Dragon. This is actually the very, most secure browser available for Win XP. It is actually Chrome on some serious security and speed steroids. Incorporate the free secure DNS that it also offers, and you are good as security can be on XP.

  39. Bud
    March 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Another good reason as to why I dumped MicroSUCKS a few years ago !!! It has become like the old car made in Yugoslavia and called the YUGO.........a piece of junk !!!

  40. eselma
    March 31, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    "It’s easy to say upgrade, buy a new computer, but when money is involved, it’s not always that easy. A lot of people continue to use their older systems simply for the fact they cannot afford to run out and buy another. "

    Yes. My mom (78 YO now) uses a computer that previously had... Win98 SE. Of course, I installed Linux on it. Runs fast and safe (no viruses during the last 8 years) and she deals with the usual apps, email and browsers. So, no need to be a hacker to use Linux nowadays.

    March 31, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    What about TOR?

    I think that this is the real Most Secure browser.

    ps. i hope you take the no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, as an answer to spam check (taste of humor).

    Thank you.

  42. Terry Hollett
    March 31, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    It's easy to say upgrade, buy a new computer, but when money is involved, it's not always that easy. A lot of people continue to use their older systems simply for the fact they cannot afford to run out and buy another. The Billionaires who run the software/manufacturer companies, it's easy for them to say upgrade because they don't live in the real world.

    Anyway back to the subject at hand, I vote for Opera 12.16 or lower as the most secure because I have yet to see a toolbar that can install themselves on a early version of Opera. The newer Opera works very well on XP systems but it's built after Chrome and I've had to help clear out more hijacked Chrome browsers over the years. I'm assuming the new Opera will follow suite.

    I've fixed a few computers in my time.

  43. Wayne M
    March 31, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the information and comments. It helps people like me who came to computers late.

  44. Davin Peterson
    March 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    How do we know that Microsoft won't provide updates to IE8 anymore? IE8 comes Windows 7. My office just upgraded to Windows 7 and will still have IE8 as they did not upgrade Internet Explorer. But, we also have Firefox installed.

  45. hiteckee
    March 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Maxthon seems to work for me, very much like Chrome and with many built-in features of Opera.

  46. A G B
    March 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I Use OPERA20, CHROME33, And IE8, By This Order.

    Everyone Of Them 3 Has Better Features Than The Other 2.


  47. Bart
    March 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

    why don't you guys talk about PaleMoon browser, very steady browser.
    Well, I am on win 7 now, but my office is 2003, and that is gonna be obsolete very soon too.. So I use Textmaker and Open office.
    But on the Linux thing, I think I might switch my Linux Mint to Zorin OS

  48. Josemon M
    March 30, 2014 at 4:07 am

    XP is dying and people are going to migrate from Windows XP , so what you say considering other new operating systems like Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Ubuntu ..

  49. xyz
    March 30, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Chrome is resource hog. Opera also runs on chrome like engine. Firefox is best option.
    @MUO Stop using png images. That is the main reason why I don't come to this website.

    • Bruce E
      March 31, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Why stop using .PNGs? They are very efficient for web use (it's what they were designed for) and all current browsers support them. Do they cause problems for you because you are using an outdated browser?

    • Bruce E
      March 31, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      For secure browsers, WhiteHat Aviator should be one of the top contenders. It is based on Chromium, uses DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, opens in Incognito mode by default, blocks third-party cookies by default, has several security-related plugins installed and activated by default, does not "phone home" for any reason, blocks tracking elements, blocks internal address space, referrers don't leak across domains, limits information sent to Google, and runs in a sandboxed environment.

    • xyz
      April 1, 2014 at 2:15 am

      @Bruce_E It's not that my browser is outdated or what. It's because they take ages to load. They have unnecessary heavy size. PNGs are only good for text screenshots but I've seen most of the images here on MUO. MUO in its one article contains lots of images and if all are png the page just don't load and I hate to wait it to load. JPG on the other hand are quick to load. I don't know about their relativity to websites, they are designed for web or what. JPG do as good as PNG. Also I've heard a fact that for real life images JPGs are better than PNGs as JPGs shows more realness than PNGs. PNGs are only good when there is lots of text which "needs" to be read. For images in this article, they are small first of all, text in them is not important. So JPG could have been better. That screenshot with FF logo is 106 KB in png and 37 KB in jpg and still looks good. Also jpgs are good for limited bandwidth users.

      I don't want to be offensive but MUO website is kinda heavy (My main target is it's login system. A big heavy pop-up with further loading of Login fields). For the same reasons I never use G+. It is also full of PNG images and the crap GIFs.

    • Bruce E
      April 3, 2014 at 4:46 am

      @xyz: PNG uses lossless compression and JPEG uses lossy compression. When the image is edited, the JPEG version loses clarity with every subsequent editing session. It does not support transparency which can be important with some web designs. The size difference on a broadband connection results in such a small difference in load times that it should not matter to nearly all users. Unless you are using DUN, loading the images is pretty much insignificant.

      One of the biggest parts of load times for MUO is PunchTab (the login system we use) and there isn't much we can do about that short of moving to another login/reward system which doesn't fit our needs.

  50. Enes I
    March 29, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Install Lubuntu or Linux Mint and enjoy the freedom of OpenSource and Linux as well .

    • xyz
      March 30, 2014 at 1:10 am

      That is really not a good option. I've used Linux OSs before and first time users better avoid it. You find everything hard to do. Never user friendly.

    • Enes I
      March 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

      You're right. But for geeky users Linux is the best option. For people who love computers, tech and constant learning., even when that is not so easy. Ofcourse everyone prefer simplicty, sometimes I get really tired of that commands in Linux. :D

    • dragonmouth
      March 30, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Linux is only hard for those who don't want to learn new things. Were you born knowing Windows? FYI, first time computer users cannot tell the difference between OS/X, Windows and linux desktops unless you tell them.

      My Aunt Matilda is totally computer illiterate but she uses Mepis Linux. Of course, she does not do any administrator tasks. As for the rest, no special expertise is needed to click on an icon, whether it is a Windows, Linux or an OS/X icon.

    • xyz
      March 31, 2014 at 11:24 am

      @dragonmouth Were you born knowing Windows? Yes. Windows is around me since I was a child. Linux can only spread at large base only when it overcome these limitation: 1) make it like you don't ever require Terminal to use. At forums, people should hardly say you to type a command. 2) Release a version without bugs. You hardly can find a Windows version which has a bug capable to annoy you OTOH every Ubuntu since 12.04 I've seen (including Lubuntu) always has some annoying bug. 3) Have "really good" alternatives to Windows softwares for Linux for eg. IDM, FastStone Image Viewer, Sumatra etc.

    • Bruce E
      March 31, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      @xyz: Let me be the first to call you out as a liar. You were not born knowing Windows. Nobody was. It is just the first OS you learned. There is a difference. For example, you were born "knowing" how to breathe. It is not something you needed to be taught. It is not something you learned.

      Regarding point 1: Yup. In Linux support forums, you sometime need to use the terminal to fix a problem. And if you go to Windows support forums, you will frequently see instructions like "open an elevated command prompt and type:" so you are doing the same thing as opening a terminal session and using sudo to execute a command with root access. So there are things that can't be fixed in Windows through the GUI either. Most Microsoft FixIt tools are simply PowerShell scripts that are doing the same types of things that they cannot tell you how to fix with GUI tools because they don't exist as well.

      Point 2: Have you heard of Patch Tuesday? Microsoft is simply fixing bugs - and sometimes creating more. So a bug-free operating system is pretty much out of the question for anything. Also look at Windows 8/8.1. The entire "Start Screen" is a major bug that annoys me every time I have to work on one of those systems.

      Point 3: There are very few Windows programs that are not easily replaced in Linux - QuickBooks, Photoshop (although The GIMP comes close), an email client that allows full integration with Microsoft Exchange for those that require it, and full gaming support from the major industry houses.

  51. Paul Harris
    March 29, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    On an older Dell computer, I use Comodo Dragon, a derivative of Chrome.
    I also use it on my main laptop, an Asus/ win 7.
    My cleaning utilities are always finding crap from Chrome/Firefox/IE and removing it.
    It finds nothing left by Comodo.

  52. diexp
    March 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    If you are still using XP, its about time to get rid of it and upgrade to a newer version of Windows.

    • Chris H
      March 30, 2014 at 9:47 pm


      (Or Linux, or Mac, or Chrome OS, or whatever -- just use something that's still supported and modern!)

    • Davin Peterson
      March 30, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Some websites such as Google/YouTube do not support IE 8 anymore.
      The only reason to use IE 8 was for Windows Updates. With support ending April 8, their is no reason to use IE 8 anymore.
      Microsoft may have deliberately stop making newer versions of IE 8 for XP, so people would upgrade to a newer version of Windows.

    • Zoran N
      March 31, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Why to pay for new hardware/software, when old is working excellent?

    • Mark Hansen
      April 1, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      XP - Greatest ever.
      Everything else is sub-par sans security aspect. But as I'm going to switch computer soon, I'll be changing to Windows 7 ultimate. I'm not going to be overly fond of it, though. And this is not just some random anti-change perspective. I have plenty of experience with other OS. Working with Win 7 at work, I have used a laptop with Win 8 a bit for some time now (though sparingly, but I'm not impressed) and I've tinkered a bit with a few different versions of Mac OS over the years.

    • Marie
      April 16, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      I have been using Google Chrome for the past year in a half. I have no problem, except i do use the IE to view videos without buffering.

    • interesantas
      January 8, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      really? what if drivers are not available for win7 etc?

    • George
      April 9, 2015 at 3:01 am

      Why? Do you work for Microsoft??

    • Tony Oresteen
      December 12, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Not if you have hardware that is not supported beyond XP. I have recording & SCSI hardware that the last drivers are for Win XP. Going to Win 7/8/10 would break my software & hardware.

    • Rocky Shoreline
      December 23, 2018 at 10:31 am

      Although your comment reflects the prevailing sentiment among software developers, it is arrogant and insensitive to the needs of the "users," those people whose expenditures keep you employed.

      American business used to run on the maxim, "The customer is always right." Not since Bill Gates corrupted the budding American software development industry. Still, it might pay you to consider your customers' actual needs before flippantly prescribing how they spend their money.