Hit enter to search

The Best Browsers for PC


Joanna Yuen

Marketing & Content Specialist - 27 Feb, 2024


Most people get a new personal computer, click on the default browser, and head to their favorite websites. For people who seek out a specific browser, they are likely to pick Chrome (which currently boasts more than 65% of market share globally). However, have you taken the time to install the browser that will work best for your purposes? The right browser can make a huge impact on the overall performance of your PC. Depending on how you use your computer and what you want to accomplish, it might be time to experiment with some new browsers. Here, we are covering the 5 best browsers for enhancing performance on a PC.

How Browsers Impact PC Performance

Not all browsers are created equal, and the one you choose can make a serious impact on how your PC performs overall. The impact of a browser on PC performance can vary depending on things like the browser version, PC hardware, operating system, and the specific websites or web applications being used. Regularly updating your browser and optimizing its settings can help mitigate any performance issues, but here are the main things to watch for when assessing how your browser is affecting your PC:

  • Memory - Some browsers consume more memory than others, and some actually consume a considerable amount. Having multiple tabs or extensions open can lead to high memory usage, which will ultimately slow down your PC.
  • CPU usage - A browser can consume a substantial portion of your CPU’s processing power, particularly when running complex web applications or interacting with media-rich content. You will notice overall slower system performance in these cases.
  • Space - Browsers use temporary files, and those can be stored on your PC. Things like temporary files, cookies, and browsing history that is stored on your PC can accumulate and take up valuable space. This will also affect system performance over time.
  • Network bandwidth - Browsers work by constantly communicating with servers. This communication is necessary to load web pages, download files, and stream media. If a browser is using a large amount of network bandwidth, it will impact other applications or devices connected to the same network. That also means there is less space available for the other machines that may be connected to that network.
  • Compatibility issues - Not all websites and web applications are optimized for every browser, which can lead to compatibility challenges. In these cases, the browser will struggle to render pages correctly, which leads to slower performance.
  • Security - It’s common to target browsers for malware and other security threats. When a browser is not up to date or is lacking in proper security measures, you can expect a slowdown of your PC, or worse, potential malware activity. You also might need to deal with excessive security scans which can be disruptive and time-consuming.
  • Extension and add-on performance - Extensions and add-ons can significantly enhance the browsing experience and be really helpful, but they can also impact performance. Some extensions could be poorly optimized or resource-intensive, which means they will slow down browser performance and that of your overall system. It’s important to choose extensions and add-ons carefully, and only use those that ultimately add to your browser performance, rather than drag it down.
  • Background processes - Sometimes browsers are running in the background even when not in active use. They need to run automatic updates, sync data, and run web apps, which can all happen behind the scenes. Even though you don’t see them occurring, these processes consume system resources and can affect performance.
  • Browser cache - Browsers work by storing cached versions of web pages, which speeds up load times for sites that you visit frequently. If the cache becomes too large or somehow gets corrupted, it is likely to slow down how the browser performs along with overall performance.
  • Settings - There are some browser settings that can impact PC performance. Things like enabling hardware acceleration or adjusting privacy settings can all result in a change in performance. These changes may also be browser dependent. For example, enabling hardware acceleration can boost performance on some systems, while others may experience a compatibility issue which will slow things down.

Related Post: How to Organize Your Mac or PC Desktop Computer


Factors that Can Affect PC Performance

As mentioned, the exact way that performance will be affected - for better or worse - depends on a few factors. Let’s look at the specific things that determine how browsers speed up or slow down your PC.

  • Hardware - Your system consists of several elements, such as a processor, memory (RAM), and graphics card, and all of them can affect how well a browser performs. Insufficient hardware resources could result in slower browsing speeds and overall system performance. On the other hand, a streamlined hardware set up will help browsers to work more quickly.
  • Internet connection - The speed and stability of your internet connection can make a huge difference in how web pages load and what happens in your browser. If you have a slow or unreliable connection you may experience delays in page rendering which affects browser performance.
  • Version of browser - It’s important to update your browser as recommended, because outdated browsers won’t have the right performance optimizations and security updates. Keeping your browser updated ensures that you will experience the latest improvements along with any bug fixes that have been implemented. If you fail to update your browser, you will no doubt experience some performance issues.
  • Tab number - Having multiple tabs open within your browser can not only strain your system resources, but lead to slower results. The more complex the web content contained within the tabs, the more likely this is to be true. Closing unnecessary tabs will help to improve browser and PC performance. It’s also a good idea to implement some tab best practices in general - you can learn more about how to best manage tabs on our blog.
  • Offline access - Exactly what you are doing with your browser will obviously have some effect on how the system overall works. Some web pages or applications can be accessed offline if the proper resources have been stored in a browser cache. This is what allows people to view previously visited pages even when they don’t have an internet connection. However, the amount of resources that have been cached can take up space, and the amount of communication necessary between the web pages and the server can also slow things down.
  • Cache content - Caching is necessary to load online files that you have accessed before and want to access again. However, if your cache becomes too large or corrupt, it can slow down browsers and impact performance. Clearing the cache regularly or adjusting the cache settings can help maintain optimal performance.

Related Post: Too Many Tabs Open? Try These Browser Management Tips


The Best Browsers for PC

It’s important not to take your browser for granted. While it can be easy to just use the browser that is the default on your device, it’s important to do research about what you actually want or require from a browser. Because the truth is, browsers are designed differently and many of them were built from the ground up with specific, user-friendly features in mind. Narrow down your options by reviewing the speed, privacy, and user experience of  the main browser offerings.

You have plenty of options when it comes to a browser, especially on a PC. Beyond merely displaying web content, varying levels of privacy, security, performance, and efficiency combine with unique functionality to create the ideal browsing experience on your PC.


Offering complete access to all of your online accounts, Shifts allows you to connect everything you need at a given time and present it all in one cohesive view. Using Shift’s dedicated spaces, you can keep personal things separate and only access your work-related accounts during your actual working hours. Shift connects with other apps that you’re likely to use, like Slack or WhatsApp, easily. Furthermore, Shift has made a point of developing enhanced security through advanced authentication protocols and encryption. You can also count on:

    1. Centralized workspaces where you can access multiple email or other app accounts all in one place, without the endless logging in and out.
    2. A personalized browser experience using different themes, layouts, and notification preferences, so you can use your digital tools in the way that’s best for you.
    3. The ability to create custom workflows or integrate with other productivity tools like Trello.

Microsoft Edge

Created using the Chromium engine, this Microsoft platform combines the performance optimizations of Chrome with specific, unique features. Users say it offers improved power efficiency and functionality like Sleeping Tabs that are meant to reduce resource usage. While compatible with a wide range of websites and web applications, Edge works best with other Microsoft products - which is great because most PCs tend to run on a Windows operating system. In addition, Edge benefits from these features:

    1. The same engine as Google Chrome, which means it offers some of the same optimizations that makes Chrome great, but with additional enhancements.
    2. The best integration with Windows 10. As mentioned, Edge was designed to operate seamlessly with other Microsoft products, so it works well with the Windows operating system.
    3. Smart copy - Edge offers a “smart copy” feature that allows users to copy content from websites while retaining the formatting and structure. This allows for more efficient copy and paste functionality.

Google Chrome

This popular browser is known for its speed and stability. Utilizing a multi-process architecture, efficient JavaScript engine, and hardware acceleration, the browser delivers fast and responsive experiences. Many users like Chrome because it offers a wide range of extensions along with integrating well with other Google products. Here are some of the specific things that make Google Chrome a powerful browser for your PC:

    1. Multi-process architecture - We mentioned this above, but what it really means is that each tab runs as a separate process. This design is helpful for improving stability and isolating processes, which prevents a single tab or extension from impacting the overall browser experience.
    2. Chrome’s JavaScript engine is designed to be highly efficient, and users say it offers a fast and responsive web browsing experience.
    3. One of the best things about Chrome is that it is part of Google’s larger suite of products, which means it integrates seamlessly with programs like Google Docs and several other important extensions.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is a privacy-focused browser known for robust performance and fast page loading. Built on a Quantum engine, Firefox uses parallel processing to distribute tasks across multiple CPU cores. All of that means the performance is more reliable and quicker than many other browsers. This browser also prioritizes low memory usage and includes automatic tracking protection for advanced privacy and a better browsing experience.

    1. Low memory usage - Firefox has made substantial improvements in memory management. You can reduce memory consumption and improve performance, particularly when multiple tabs are open.
    2. Built-in tracking protection helps to block unwanted ads and trackers while leading to enhanced privacy.
    3. The Firefox Browser automatically blocks known third party trackers, social media trackers, crypto miners and fingerprint scammers from collecting your data.


Opera has a reputation for being feature-rich while emphasizing speed and efficiency. Its proprietary Turbo mode compresses web pages to reduce data usage and improve load times. This makes it ideal for users who have to deal with a slower internet connection. Opera also has a built-in ad blocker and battery saver feature which can extend the battery life of PCs. Here is a bit more information about Opera’s unique features:

    1. Turbo mode - This mode compresses web pages before they are delivered to the browser, which can be really impactful when dealing with slower internet connections.
    2. Battery saver - One of the more popular features of Opera, this function reduces the power consumption from the browser, which will prolong laptop battery life.
    3. The built-in ad blocker not only speeds up page loading times, but prevents the loading of ads or other unwanted content so you have more control over your browsing experience.

Related Post: Mastering Browser Features to Supercharge Your Day


Shift: The Ideal Browser for PC Performance

We might be a bit biased, but we believe Shift is the ultimate browser for productivity. That’s because it was originally designed as a productivity tool, with features meant to streamline work processes and help you to stay organized. Here are a few of the benefits of using Shift as your browser.

Improved work/life balance

This might seem like a stretch, but really, marketers or other professionals who manage multiple accounts can seriously benefit from using the Shift browser. Should you forget to toggle between accounts,  you might post to the wrong account. Or, you would need to constantly go back and forth between personal and work accounts. Using Shift’s dedicated spaces, you can keep personal things separate and only access your work-related accounts during your actual working hours. The rest of the time, it can all be out of sight, out of mind - which is ideal for professionals who want to leave work at work.

Complete access to all of your email accounts

Connect all of your Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365 accounts and manage everything from one centralized window.

The ability to use all of your favorite apps

WhatsApp, Slack, Messenger—we have everything you need to get it done. Browse our Apps Directory, connect yours, and switch between them easily.

Chrome extension connections

Use all of your favorite Chrome extensions like Boomerang, Grammarly, and so much more. You can browse our app directory to see all of the Chrome extensions that integrate with Shift.

Easier tab management

Access the web from inside Shift. Manage your tabs and organize them by account for a better browsing experience.

Expanded search capabilities

Save time and find exactly what you're looking for across any of your Mail, Calendar, and Drive accounts. This is extremely helpful for streamlining search and keeping what you need right at your fingertips.

More focused browsing with Workspaces

Create a Workspace for strictly business and another for weekend plans— with entirely separate tabs, apps, and bookmarks. Workspaces are a focused collection of platforms and accounts. Create a custom Workspace with the exact tools you need to be efficient online, including apps, extensions, bookmarks, email, and more. Workspaces allow for more collaboration and focus which makes you even more efficient online.

Related Post: The Best Browsers for Overall Productivity


If you want to ensure that your PC is optimized, consider which browser you’re relying on. While there are multiple browsers out there, they are all designed differently and can help to empower - or decrease - the overall performance of your device. Shift is an innovative browser that helps users to get more done online - because it was designed with productivity in mind. It’s the only browser to integrate all of your web apps into one seamless online experience. Download Shift today and see how much better your PC can perform.