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I have a little Windows 98SE virtual machine I run as a curiosity. I occasionally need to/want to download software to test on it, but the version of IE on it has trouble rendering many modern sites or handling redirects.

I'd like a browser that will run on Windows 98SE and

  • render reasonably modern webpages. I don't expect Acid compliance, but I do expect say, to work enough to be able to download the most recent DX version for the platform
  • not need a load of additional software installation to work
  • handle redirects, PNG and other things we take for granted on the modern internet to work correctly
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Don't, just download with the host and then use a shared folder to copy the information into the virtual machine. Win 98 hasn't been secure, ever, but it's worse since it's been about 10 years since there were any security patches. – user6665 Jul 24 '14 at 15:28
up vote 46 down vote accepted

Opera 9.64

  • Free.
  • Version 10 and later don't run on Windows 98.
  • Version 9.64 was released in 2009 and was among the best browsers back then.
  • You get tabs, mouse gestures, speed dial, URL blocking and countless other features.


Opera 9.64

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That worked perfectly for me. Yonked some additional files itself, warned about needing some files from winME, worked perfectly anyway – Journeyman Geek Jul 22 '14 at 14:13
@ntoskrnl : Some version of Opera 10 work natively for 98SE. – user2284570 Oct 22 '14 at 20:39
@JourneymanGeek, FireFox is supposed to be RAM-low. Doesn't it work better than Opera? – Pacerier Apr 1 '15 at 1:20
Rocket Hazmat's answer vaguely covers that, and opera has better rendering in some cases. – Journeyman Geek Apr 1 '15 at 2:55

There's a program called KernelEx that adds a "compatibility layer" into Windows 98SE (and ME). It lets you run some Windows NT programs on Windows 98SE/ME. (Info on installing KernelEX:

With KernelEX, you should be able to run Firefox 10 ESR, and Opera 11.50[source] (check the wiki link, you might need to run it in "Windows 2000 SP4" mode instead of the default "Windows XP SP2" mode).

Check KernelEX's wiki for more info on what programs you can run.

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Firefox 10 was really really slow on my Win98, I even disabled the hardware acceleration and other stuffs :( – Ray Koopa Jul 27 '14 at 12:04
@DebugErr But Firefox 3.6.28 are running just fine – user11153 Jul 27 '14 at 16:02
Thanks, I'll try it. Too bad it's such an old version :( – Ray Koopa Jul 27 '14 at 16:14
@DebugErr I've only ever tried it on a virtual machine. Never on hardware from that era. – Rocket Hazmat Jul 28 '14 at 18:39
@RocketHazmat me too, but it's slow in VMware – Ray Koopa Jul 28 '14 at 18:47

Have a look at K-Meleon:

  • free and opensource
  • Gecko based
  • available as installer or portable

It runs in Windows 98:

While a Pentium level processor is recommended, K-Meleon can run on 486 systems that meet the minimum RAM requirements. Please consult the release notes for particular versions of K-Meleon.

Users of Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 may have to install Vcredist.exe to get the latest run-time components for Visual C++ applications.

Here it is running in Windows XP:

enter image description here

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