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The Best Browsers for Windows


Joanna Yuen

Marketing & Content Specialist - 23 Feb, 2024


Windows is one of the most popular and well-known operating systems in the world. Leveraged by 64% of the computer users across the globe, Windows is central to the day-to-day operations of many people. Statistics show that you are likely to use Windows at some point in your personal or professional life. If you want to make the most of this powerful operating system, choose your browser carefully. Different browsers have different features and capabilities, and some are better suited to certain operating systems. There are a few browsers that truly harness the power behind Windows, and we’ll cover them here. Keep reading to learn about which browsers work best in Windows.

Windows: The Basics

Chances are you may already be using Windows as your operating system. If not, you may need a refresher on just what Windows is.

Windows is an operating system similar to macOS or Linux, and currently the most popular operating system in the world (macOS is the second most used). It has the largest market share of operating systems, and is used by individuals and businesses on their desktop, tablet, or console. The original version of Windows was released on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Developed and marketed by Microsoft, there have been several iterations designed for  PCs, tablets, enterprises, and servers.

Just what is it that makes Windows so popular? Most users would point to a few of these advantages.

Better applications

Many users say that the applications available for Windows are more robust than those for other platforms. That’s not to say that Windows has all the best software, because all operating systems have their strong points, but people are often happy with the Windows-based applications. For example, Microsoft Office is a platform that is available for both Windows and Mac users, but it tends to perform better in Windows.


Most people have used Windows at some point in their lives. It also tends to be the typical operating system for professional environments. The fact is that almost every user has at least some familiarity with Windows, while the same cannot necessarily be said of other systems. Consumers will experience increased compatibility and functionality with other platforms they use, along with a smaller learning curve.

Software compatibility

Windows has the largest selection of software available on its platform. That means users get to choose from a wider base of options, which is in itself a benefit. Furthermore, this choice provides a healthy competition that pushes software developers to produce the best programs possible. In a less popular operating system, there are less software options available. In those cases, that lack of competition means some users have to settle for programs that don’t work as well.


Comparing operating systems isn’t as simple as just reviewing price tags. Things like having to retrain users, compatible hardware and feature parity are all factors in the cost. In some cases, users may need to invest in other programs to access all of the features that they would be able to use on Windows. As an example, users may need to invest in other platforms to accomplish all of the tasks that can be done on a Windows system.

Windows tends to be popular across a range of users, including individuals, companies, and other organizations. There are a few groups that tend to use Windows operating system more than others.


Widely used for personal computing needs, Windows is often used by people to do things like browse the internet, use productivity applications, play games or view media. Whether for personal or professional reasons, many people have Windows installed on their PC and it is the main starting point for their digital activity.


Heavily adopted by companies of all sizes, Windows tends to be the default operating system for any business that relies on Microsoft programs. Since there are so many software programs that are compatible with Windows, it's easier for businesses to find the tools they need for various tasks, whatever they may be. Things like document management, project management, collaboration, accounting, and a lot more are all possible on platforms that work well within Windows. The most common example is Microsoft Office, which many organizations use for a variety of functions, from communication to time management.


Because of its wide range of business software applications and robust security features, Windows is often used by enterprise-level businesses. Bigger organizations tend to take advantage of centralized management tools that make it easier for IT departments to manage a larger number of computers within a single company.


Most serious online gamers would agree that Windows is the best operating system for great performance. Windows offers the widest selection of games and that variety is one of the biggest strengths of the program. Windows 10 is the best Windows OS for gaming and offers the highest degree of reliability. In fact, many popular games were developed specifically for Windows, geared toward the hardware and software support that the operating system offers.


Windows offers a comprehensive development environment that is ideal for software professionals. Supporting various programming languages and frameworks, Windows makes it easier to develop and test applications across multiple platforms. Developers who want to develop for both Windows and macOS usually work on a Mac, which can run both.

Related Post: The Best Browsers for Overall Productivity


6 of The Best Browsers for Windows

So, which browser is the most compatible with Windows? What are the features and functionalities that make Windows its most powerful? Here are the six browsers that we recommend using alongside the Windows operating system.

Microsoft Edge

The default browser for Windows 10, this browser is built on Chromium, the same open-source project that powers Google Chrome. Offering a clean and modern interface, users say Edge provides smooth performance and seamless integration with other Microsoft services. The experience of all-Microsoft programs tends to be more smooth than using unconnected platforms. Essentially, Edge was designed to work with Windows operating system, so most other browsers will have a hard time comparing.


An innovative browser that goes beyond just accessing the internet, Shift was designed to increase productivity. Using Shift, users can stay logged into separate emails and web apps you have multiple accounts or profiles for simultaneously, without the need to log in and out. This can help users to organize their work and better manage time for all of their digital activities. Recently called “the best browser of 2023”, it offers several features that are highly compatible with Windows and will make all of your tasks easier and faster.

Google Chrome

One of the most widely used browsers in general, it’s highly popular with Windows. Known for fast performance, a user-friendly interface, and an extensive offering of browser extensions, Chrome also integrates well with other Google services. Additionally, Chrome integrates well with other Google programs and offers automatic syncing across devices.

Mozilla Firefox

Another browser that tends to be popular with Windows, this option focuses on privacy and security. Offering a customizable interface, a wide range of extensions, and robust privacy features like Enhanced Tracking Protection, Firefox is also known for efficient memory usage and fast page loading speeds.


This operating system is lesser known, but it’s gaining popularity among Windows users. Featuring a sleek and customizable interface, a built-in ad blocker, and a free VPN service, Opera offers some unique features. For example, the feature called Opera Turbo compresses web pages to improve page loading times, particularly on slower internet connections.


It would be remiss not to mention this privacy-focused browser built on Chromium. By blocking third-party ads and trackers by default, it provides a faster and more private browsing experience. Brave also has an innovative built-in ad rewards system, where users can earn cryptocurrency by opting into ads that respect privacy. Brave also integrates a native VPN and privacy search engine, and is a good option for internet browsers who have a lot of sensitive data or are particularly interested in  today’s privacy concerns.

Related Post: The Web Browser Built for Power Users


Factors in Choosing the Best Browser

The browsers we mentioned all offer a combination of speed, security, user-friendly interfaces, and plenty of features and extensions. That being said, the best browser for you is going to depend on things like your personal preferences, browsing habits, and unique needs. Here are some things to consider as you calculate the best browser to use with Windows.

  • Availability - It’s natural to take into account which browser options are most available and used the most. Is there a default option that comes with your PC (for example, Windows or macOS)? Sometimes the simplest option is the best, and it makes sense to work with what’s already there.
  • Compatibility - As mentioned, different browsers work differently for different systems. It’s important to research which browser will maximize overall performance given the platforms you already use. For example, Safari is often highly regarded when it comes to Mac systems, while Chrome is great for Windows XP and Vista. If you need support for HTML 5 or other specific functions like a built-in Flash player or robust PDF reader, you’ll want to make a list of those requirements and see which browser is aligned with those options. Additionally, give some thought to the regular software or tools that you use every day. Which browser is most compatible with those platforms?
  • Page load times - Load time refers to the speed with which a web browser retrieves, presents, and traverses information resources from one point to another. It’s a key point of performance and a slow load time is problematic for a number of reasons. Extensive research has shown repeatedly that a fast load time is paramount to a positive user experience. To avoid a frustrating browser experience, make sure to focus on load times as you choose a browser.
  • Security - Protecting your identity, preserving your private data, and keeping communications secure are essential in today’s digital landscape. Some browsers claim to help with these aspects more than others. Browsers have different security features and a different schedule for updates. You can also research security breaches and see which browser has experienced the fewest. Depending on how important security and privacy are to you, these factors may weigh more heavily on your decision.

The Benefits of Using Shift as Your Browser

When you choose to access apps in a browser, the browser you use can make a huge difference. We recommend using Shift because it truly powers the performance of so many applications and platforms that you use every day. As you seek to make the most of Instagram or other social media accounts, make it a point to install Shift first. In addition to encouraging peak performance across social media tools, the Shift browser offers the following:

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.

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.

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As you start looking into browsers that can boost performance, make sure to consider Shift. It’s the only browser that integrates all of your web applications into one seamless online experience. For those who spend time each day logging in and out of different accounts or managing several tabs within their browser, Shift will save massive amounts of time. Download Shift today and see how much difference it can make in your online performance. Whether you are a Windows user or not, Shift can help you to be more productive in all of your online endeavors.