I'm looking for a minimalist browser (for Windows) to view web apps (web 2.0) pages.

Plain render of HTML and JavaScript. No tabs, no plugins, no bookmarks, no menu, no history, just an address bar. Like a kiosk mode, but not full screen.

  • 1
    Is it okay to give a recommendation for a richer browser with instructions on how to reduce it to what you required? Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 10:06
  • Sure. Let's try!
    – Azevedo
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 17:36
  • I know of several projects that use Mozilla's XULRunner or Gecko to run embedded browsers and there are several tutorials on how to do this. If you're prepared to hack around then you might be able to knock something up but I don't know of any standalone projects that just give you the browser part.
    – ATG
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 23:31

4 Answers 4


Go with XUL Runner by Mozilla. You can easily customize the interface without losing HTML5 and plugins features. It might be a bit complicated it's better than another options since you don't need to compile everything. You can also try this project that encapsulates some XUL things leaving you the easy part: https://github.com/racklin/xulapp-starterkit/blob/master/README.md


Microsoft HTML Help

The hh.exe is the Windows program used to display compiled help, but it can also browse the web without any plugins, tabs, bookmarks, etc.

Just go to Run... (Win+R) and type:

hh http://www.google.com/

It dependent on Internet Explorer settings.

Microsoft HTML Application

There is also mshta.exe, HTA engine which dependent on Internet Explorer. Just run:

mshta http://www.google.com
  • Awesome idea... Don't the URLs show up in the history of IE? Commented May 3, 2016 at 16:20
  • Probably not. I'm Mac user, but I remember this timeless trick when my IE was very slow and keep get infected by malware, so hh worked great to download something in emergency (e.g. AVG or Chrome). Especially useful in places where IE is blocked.
    – kenorb
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 16:56
  • hh.exe seems to choke on anything with JS. mshta Seems to open up a new IE window when I try to navigate to another URL. Commented May 4, 2016 at 1:20
  • It does not work with https
    – Josem
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 8:11

Amusingly enough, the google search app on windows 10 works really well for this - you can find it in the store. You'd need to use the search bar as an omnibar, and I've used a 'local' SE login to test but it works great.

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You can use: WebKit MiniBrowser or Surf Browser. There is also Qt WebEngine Fancy Browser and I am working on Qt Ultralight Browser.

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