What is a web browser?


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What is a web browser?

A couple enjoying the internet whilst out in their garden

What's coming up?

A web browser is a program, or application, that lets you access the internet. Computers, tablets and smartphones all come with a web browser installed.

In this activity, you'll examine what a web browser is, and how you can use it on your device.

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What a web browser does

A web browser is a program that lets you access, or browse, the internet. It lets you search for, view and interact with web sites from all around the world.

A computer screen displaying a web page from the ABC
A computer screen showing the logos of four of the most popular web browsers, Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Safari

Different web browsers

There are different web browser programs available, and which one you have will depend on your device. Look for a program named Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome or Safari on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can learn more about how web browsers that come with devices work and how to use them safely in our Understanding web browsers course.

Starting your web browser

To start the web browser, find the icon of the web browser on the screen of your device. If you are on a laptop or desktop computer, click on it. If you are using a smartphone or tablet, tap on it.

A window will open, ready for you to start exploring the internet.

 A computer screen with the Edge logo highlighted
A close up of a smarthphone showing a Safari logo


You've completed the What is a web browser? activity.

With the browser open, you're ready to start exploring, also known as surfing or browsing the internet. Now you need to know how browsing works, and we'll tell you all about it in our next activity, Web addresses and links.