Web browsers for Windows XP, Windows 7, Vista and 8.x.
As of January 2024, with Windows 7 now unsupported for four years and Windows XP for nearly 10, the viability of retro browsers, even as a novelty, is shrinking. Thanks to Moore's law meaning that modern sites get ever more complex and the fact that new technolgies like WebGPU and AI-integration are coming, we no longer recommend using the web on any devices older than what is officially supported by the manufacturers. This site will stay up as an archive, but we will no longer be actievly maintaining it.
To install browsers on a fresh install of Windows, transfer the setup or zip file from a newer machine with a USB or CD/DVD-R, or install your virtual machine's guest additions and drag and drop the files. Or you can vist Mypal's website in IE6. It is recommended you install from SP3 for XP or SP1 for Windows 7. A fresh install of Windows 7 needs this update installed to get Windows Update to work. Fully updating Windows 7 will also provide the Microsoft Edge browser (but dosen't get updates past version 109).
One Core API for Windows XP is making progress at allowing newer browsers to run, but is still quite buggy. Also the Windows Vista extended kernel can run modern Firefox up to Version 109 and Chromium up to 109. Windows 7 requires KB4474419 installed to run the lastest version of Firefox. Windows 8.1 still runs most browsers (Chromium based up to v109) at this time but most hardware drivers skipped Windows 8.1 support. It is recommended to use Legacy Update to fix Windows update problems on older Windows versions, although the updates no longer provide defence against security vulnerabilities discovered after the end of support period.
Virtual machines and emulators include Virtualbox, VMWare Player/Workstation, Hyper-V, 86Box/PCem/PCbox, VirtualPC (old), UTM/Parallels (Mac) and Gnome Boxes/QEMU/VirtManager (Linux)
Why use retro browsers? It is all about empowering the retro computing movement, plus the right to repair to keep previously obsolete computers still functioning. Also the amount of legacy software in use means that sometimes internet acceess is required on older computers even if the security situation is less than ideal. Regular back ups of data is required, and using a modern computer for regular use is recommended. File transfers using usb or optical media is safer than trying to download directly. Unfortunatley many networks such as Cloudflare block old operating systems even with the latest browsers, so have a backup newer machine for certain websites. Modern fingerprinting techniques means that user agent spoofing dosen't work anymore either.
Note: This site used to be located at retrobrowsers.com but was taken over by domain squatting scammers after moving from squarespace to neocities. The retrowindows wiki used to be ran by retrobrowsers but is no longer maintained by us
Retrobrowsers, last updated February 3rd 2024