7 Best macOS Browsers You Can Use
With macOS on your MacBook, you get a very, very capable browser out of the box, the mighty Safari, and for most users, that will be all they will ever need. However, on a Mac, there are a number of other browser choices available that you can use should you wish for a different experience, or have a need that is not catered to by Safari.
So, here are our picks for the best browsers for macOS. Before we get to the actual list, a small disclaimer: you will find a lot of common names in this list, which might even prompt you to ponder why.
The reality is, it’s hard to name the best macOS browsers without these big names, but since they all have their merits and demerits, we will discuss them all one by one. The Safari browser comes pre-installed with macOS and it’s a browser many people love.
In fact, Safari has been the best native browser on macOS for more than a decade. It is highly optimized for Apple’s desktop operating system and is jam-packed with all of the necessary features that would make it your browser of choice out of the box. Safari has gotten minor revamps over the years, is pretty fluid, and optimized to be the least power hungry browser for macOS.
It grabs the top spot on this list because of the nifty integrations and features that are only accessible via this browser.
There’s a well-rounded reading list, a Reader View, Enhanced Tracking Protection for ad blocking and tracking, access to Keychain password management system, and no autoplaying videos – which is a boon.
While all may sound rosy, there’s one major department that sees Safari lag behind. It surely is extensions support as the collection here is not at par with Chrome and Firefox, for that matter.
You’ll find that Safari covers the basics, but doesn’t go too far. Overall, Safari is the best browser for macOS users as it can be opened out-of-the-box without any regrets. Lightweight and power-efficient.
Built-in tracking protection. No autoplaying videos. Lack of extensions. License: GNU LGPL. Comes pre-installed on macOS. I know a lot of you would already be familiar with Google Chrome because it’s the most popular web browser and there’s no denying it.
Chrome has always been a prominent alternative to Safari and it still is because of the familiar experience across devices, data syncing via a Google account, and obviously the abundance of extensions on the Chrome Web Store.
Google Chrome still operates the same way, using a multi-process approach and received a facelift with new Material Theme elements some time back. It places a ton of focus on security and highlights non-secure websites, includes a native ad-blocker for giving you respite from annoying or intrusive ads – not all of them, and has site isolation in place as well to load each website as a separate process for better security.
It will see that a website is not able to steal data from another website. The highlight here, however, has to be the Google ecosystem – all of the apps that keep you tied down and offer a smoother experience. This is coupled with a wide collection of apps and extensions that further elevate its functionality.
This is topped off by Chrome’s pretty solid set of developer tools and inspection console that gives you a detailed look at any page.
Though the beautiful material design and extensive set of features make the picture look rosy, Google Chrome has a major pitfall and that is its power usage. I’ve tried out Chrome on my MacBook Air in the past and while the power consumption may sure have gotten better than we last checked it but it still drains your battery quicker than Safari.
I can vouch for that. This means Google Chrome isn’t really the best browser of choice for media consumption on macOS, however, it’s still ahead of many of its competitors for the ease of use and all the new features that are added regularly.
Powerful and feature rich. Lots of extensions. Great developer tools. Built-in protection against harmful websites. Not very resource-efficient. Engine: Chromium (Blink). License: Freeware (GNU LGPL v2.1). Microsoft recently turned its Edge browser to the open-source Chromium engine to win back some market share from the likes of Chrome and Firefox and well, this new browser from Microsoft has been fairly successful.
The new Microsoft Edge browser brings plenty of interesting features and combines them with great performance. Talking about the features first, there are a lot of them but the ones that stand out have to be the “Read Aloud” feature, which reads articles for you, the “Reading Mode”, “Collections” to save any webpages that you want, and the “Apps” feature to turn any webpage into a web app you can run separately.
Also, since it’s Chromium based, you get Chromecast support and support for Chrome extensions. All of these features are great but I like the fact that Microsoft Edge is very privacy focused. You get the ability to block intrusive ads, set tracking prevention to “basic”, “balanced” and “strict”.
Plus, in my usage, Microsoft Edge has offered great performance. The browser isn’t a resource or power hog like Chrome but even on a MacBook Pro, it performs almost flawlessly, which is a huge boost.
Look, Microsoft Edge on macOS is great, in fact, a lot of people including Akshay from our team have made the switch to Edge but it’s not perfect.
Not all extensions are guaranteed to work, and there are some rough edges here and there but if you ask me, I think Microsoft Edge Chromium is definitely one of the best macOS browsers out there.
Feature rich and speedy performance. Easy to switch from other browsers. Lots of extensions. Support for Chrome Extensions.
7 Best Browsers for macOS Users
Privacy focused approach. Not all extensions work well. Default search engine is Bing. Engine: Chromium (Blink). License: Freeware (GNU LGPL v2.1). Well, here’s yet another familiar name from the world of browsers, Mozilla Firefox.
Well, Firefox has gone through a number of upgrades over the years. Mozilla released Firefox Quantum with a number of new technologies on board, a couple of years back, but now, the browser has matured to just being called Firefox Browser, and well, it’s definitely a great browser for macOS.
First of all, Firefox adopts a multi-process approach similar to Chrome (i.e a new and more powerful engine) to reduce the burden on your system, making Firefox faster than before and I like the fact that even though Firefox is a powerful browser, it’s still lighter than Chrome and definitely not a resource hog.
Another reason for Firefox’s long-running popularity isn’t just stability but also the easy availability of themes and extensions that help perk up the user experience. You’re handed down the power to customize the browser to your liking but the one feature I’ll appreciate the most would have to Firefox’s fast-loading, tracker-free private browsing that would stop websites from collecting your data.
It’s also great when it comes to privacy. Firefox is open-source, collects very limited data, and it blocks ad trackers. The browser also supports all of the regular features like bookmark management, web-form management, a competent editing console, spell checking and site-based security configurations, to name a few.
Firefox is available across a number of platforms and it’s you who can benefit by creating a Mozilla account and using that for a smooth browsing experience across the board.
Fast performance, quick page load times. Power and memory efficient.