The fact that browsers can consume a big chunk of your computer’s memory is certainly no secret. Most websites you access run web applications that can take up as much memory as regular desktop apps. So whether you’re running a high-specs gaming PC or a battered laptop, it’s important to manage your memory consumption. Knowing which browsers use the least memory is vital if you want to improve your workflow or simply not to have to worry about your games lagging because your browser is too greedy for RAM space.
That is why we have put together a list of the usual suspects so you know the most RAM-efficient browsers in 2021.
Which browsers use the least memory
Now we are going to talk about the browsers that use the least ram space in order of the most to the least.
Fourth up to bat is Google Chrome, the world’s most widely used browser but that’s not because of its popularity. Chrome is famous for crazy RAM guzzling and if you have a habit of leaving too many tabs open it can seriously damage your PC’s efficiency.
According to our tests, having 10 tabs open will cost your RAM just a bit shy of 1000MBs. Its memory use rises to unbelievable amounts as the number of tabs increases, with Chrome using about 1.9GBs of your computer’s memory for 20 tabs. Chrome is also big on CPU usage so that makes it even more likely to impede your workflow. It’s even likely to interrupt whatever you might be doing at the moment by causing your OS to crash. Despite all its disadvantages, Chrome comes with more features and it has a lot more extensions than other browsers. Also, it looks cool, with a great visual design almost making up for what goes on behind the scene.
Coming in at number 3 is Mozilla’s popular and privacy-minded browser, Firefox. And no, despite the browser’s reputation for efficiency, it can take up almost just as much RAM as Chrome.
When tested with 10 tabs open, Firefox occupied about 960MBs of memory, which is only slightly less than Chrome. At 20 tabs, the number went up to 1.6GB: certainly, a lot even if it is 300MBs lighter. Few users leave 40 tabs open at once, but we tested to see just how much RAM that would take. The answer: if you run 40 tabs on Firefox, it’ll devour 3GBs of your memory, which will hurt the efficiency of just about any computer.
Remember Opera? It used to be a top contender back in the day and in many ways, it still is. Opera is a great browser for older or low-spec PCs since it doesn’t put much strain on the system. Its webpage-loading speeds are within acceptable limits, especially if your computer isn’t exactly on the cutting edge. Let’s see how it did on our tests.
With 10 tabs left running, Opera used 899 MBs of RAM, which is somewhat better than the browsers above. We did expect Opera to perform much better, however, since it’s supposed to be a lightweight browser that trades user-friendliness and features for efficiency. Opera occupied 1.5GBs of memory when we tested it with 20 open tabs and that makes it only slightly better than Firefox.
The dark horse topping our list of browsers using the least RAM space is none other than Microsoft Edge. Gone are the days of Internet Explorer with bugs and exploitations galore; now, with a Chromium engine, things are looking up for Edge. Although not exactly the most popular browser (with only 3.39% of the browser market share), Microsoft Edge has proven to be much better than its reputation would have you believe.
Based on our test results, Edge occupies only 790MBs memory with 10 tabs open, much lower than all the other browsers on our list. Open 20 tabs at once and Edge will take up only 1.2GBs RAM space, which shows great optimization of space consumption.
Even though Edge uses the same Chromium engine as Chrome, it is much more efficient in using memory and as such is the ideal browser in terms of RAM use. Using the least memory, however, does not necessarily mean that it’s the best browser. There are many other factors to take into account when analyzing a browser’s general efficiency.
As we talked about which browsers use the least memory, does the result of our test mean that you should use Edge as your default browser? By no means. A lightweight browser is great but as we said, it’s not all there is to it. You need to carefully analyze the balance of memory use against other aspects like user-friendliness, extensions, CPU usage, loading time, and a heap of other factors. A good browser must protect you against unwanted cookies and trackers, keep you secure against malware and leaks, and of course load your favorite websites without too much trouble. Even though Edge uses the least RAM space among browsers, it may fare less well in other regards.
So, what now? One way to go about improving your computer’s efficiency and thus your workflow would be to stop worrying about how much memory your browser hogs and just go virtual with our affordable Windows 10 VPS plans. Instead of being limited to your own computer system(s), you can just use the bleeding-edge, high spec computers that we provide in all our VPS plans. Run as many applications and open as many tabs as you want without having to worry about your system slowing down or crashing. Whether you run a company with loads of coders and developers or a gamer looking for a better gaming experience, just choose one of our myriad VPS plans and you will never be concerned with your RAM space again.