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Any advice for a memory-efficient web-browser that runs under Windows XP? (And by memory-efficient, I mean one that uses the least physical memory. I'm running into limitations on my PC.)

Or are there ways to tweak settings on web browsers so they are more memory-efficient?

Opera seems pretty good, at least a lot better than Firefox or Safari.

edit: (just as a note, my particular application for this, is that I am trying to use a web application at the same time both as a user and as an admin. I can't login with both logins at the same time on the same browser because they use session cookies that clobber each other. So I'm looking for a lightweight browser to run the admin functions that come up occasionally while I am doing mostly user work.)

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closed as too broad by random Jul 27 at 23:00

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Google Chrome. I've not put this as an answer, because it's not a scientific answer. –  user3463 Oct 8 '09 at 14:49
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...maybe disabling Flash helps for any browser you're already using? –  Arjan Oct 8 '09 at 14:50
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It's not the most memory efficient browser because each extra process has a memory penalty. –  alex Oct 8 '09 at 14:51

6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Opera sounds very reasonable to me too. There are some tweaks and performance hints available on this wiki page too.

See also this (old) comparison. Every addon and plugin needs memory, so if you get rid of flash, you can save much.

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I found Opera to be CPU-intensive - not to the extent that Flash is in any browser, but I've kept away. Maybe your link warrants another look. –  user3463 Oct 8 '09 at 14:55

You could try an old version of Opera, and turn off images, plugins, javascript etc (unless you need them).

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I've never tried it, but maybe Lynx is a good alternative. The Lynx browser is basically a text-only browser so you can forget about flashy webpages and perhaps even visiting SO/SU/SF with it, but it's extremely lightweight, open-source and very geeky. :-) And because it won't display graphics, but just text, it also has a very small memory footprint.

However, I can't imagine there's still much interest in a text-only webbrowser these days...

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I just tried browsing this site with lynx. Worked really well :-) I didn't try to login though... –  Chris_K Oct 8 '09 at 15:51
    
or links, which i hear does tables better. –  quack quixote Oct 8 '09 at 20:09

Arora could be worth a look as it is designed to be lightweight. It's a webkit-based browser, so speedy at JavaScript work. Recently updated to include flashblock-a-like functionality out of the box.

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Not scientific (/hat tip to Randolph's comment) but I'm having great luck with Google's Chrome on an old Pentium 2 ThinkPad with 288 MB RAM running XP.

My second favorite is K-Meleon which is perhaps more light-weight, but not as fast with the JavaScript stuff which is where Chrome really shines on this old rig.

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Thanks for the hat tip. I've not heard of K-Meleon so I think I'm going to check it out. –  user3463 Oct 8 '09 at 14:53
    
+1 for K-Meleon, However it is Gecko based browser, that one that powers Mozilla Firefox, however it is quite lightweight –  Ram Oct 9 '09 at 4:20

Try Google Chrome. It seems to be very lightweight and minimalistic.

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