How to Use a 64-bit Web Browser on Windows

64-bit version of Windows don’t use 64-bit browsers by default – they’re still in their infancy, although even Adobe Flash now supports 64-bit browsers. Using a 64-bit browser can offer significant performance benefits, according to some benchmarks.

This article is for Windows users – 64-bit Linux distributions include 64-bit browsers, so you don’t have to do anything special on Linux.

Mozilla Firefox

ExtremeTech found that the 64-bit version of Firefox 8 was 10% faster than the 32-bit version in the Peacekeeper browser benchmark. Mozilla doesn’t yet offer official, stable 64-bit builds of Firefox, though. If you want to run 64-bit Firefox on Windows, your choices are an official-but-unstable nightly build or a stable-but-unofficial Waterfox.

Mozilla offers nightly builds of Firefox for testers – they’re constantly updating and can break, so they’re not the ideal candidate for your primary browser. The Firefox Nightly website lists 64-bit builds for Linux, but doesn’t even mention that the Windows ones exist.

Instead, you’ll find them buried on Mozilla’s FTP site. Look for the “win64” installer.

Waterfox is a 64-bit build of Firefox for Windows. Unlike the nightly version from Mozilla, Waterfox is based on the stable releases of Firefox. It’ll be a more bug-free, stable experience than the nightly builds. It even uses the same profile Firefox does.

According to Mozilla technical writer Jean-Yves Perrier, “There are currently no plan to release a 64-bit release of Firefox for Windows in 2012.”

Internet Explorer

Believe it or not, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is ahead of the curve when it comes to 64-bit browsing on Windows. If you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows, you’ll find a 64-bit version of Internet Explorer already installed and available for use in your Start menu. No other Web browser installs a 64-bit version by default yet.

You’ll run into a snag if you actually want to use the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer as your default browser, though. To avoid confusion for users that might end up accidentally setting 64-bit IE as their default browser and running into plug-in compatibility problems, Microsoft won’t allow you to set 64-bit IE as your default browser.

You can still pin the 64-bit version to your taskbar or add its shortcut to your desktop, though.

If you want to set 64-bit IE as your default program for certain file types – say, .htm files – you’ll need to know its location. The 64-bit version is located at C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe, while the 32-bit version is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe.

Google Chrome

Sorry, Chrome fans – Google Chrome only has a 64-bit version for Linux. According to the Chromium project website, neither Chrome nor Chromium can currently be built for 64-bit Windows.

The upside is that it should only need “a small number of tweaks” to compile for 64-bit Windows. But it appears that no one has done the work yet.


Opera is now releasing 64-bit development snapshots for Windows. These will likely be unstable, so using them as your default browser is a bad idea. Opera advertises out-of-process plug-ins as a new feature that will allow 64-bit versions of Opera to run 32-bit plug-ins.

The development snapshots are branded as “Opera Next” and have a black-and-white logo to remind you of their incompleteness.


Plug-in compatibility has always been the big problem with 64-bit browsers. Compiling a browser as a 64-bit binary is one thing; it’s another to drag plug-in developers along. In the past, 64-bit browsers have lacked Flash and other popular plug-ins. These days, the most popular plug-ins — Flash and Java — now have 64-bit versions. You may not already have them installed, though.

Visit the Adobe Flash Player download page in a 64-bit browser and you’ll be prompted to download the 64-bit installer. It includes a 32-bit version for your 32-bit browsers.

If you use Java, you can download a 64-bit build of Java from the manual download page. The 64-bit build includes a 64-bit plug-in – if you use both 32 and 64-bit browsers, you’ll have to install both Java packages.

Do you use a 64-bit browser? If so, do you see a speed difference? Share your experiences in the comments.


How to Enable Google Chrome’s Secret Gold Icon


You might not realize this, but there’s actually another icon hidden inside the Google Chrome executable file—and it’s a high-quality version of the same logo, but golden. Here’s how to use it.

If you’re wondering how we got the smooth icon you’re seeing above, it’s because thelatest dev channel version switched the icon from the older style.

Enabling the Hidden Gold Icon

All you have to do is open up the shortcut Properties screen and head to Change Icon.

Inside the Change Icon dialog you’ll find a bunch of icons—sadly, the other 3 are low-resolution icons, but you can switch to the gold one from here.

The gold icon looks pretty sweet when you pin it to the Windows 7 taskbar as well…

To pin yours, just un-pin the one you have now, and then swap out the icon in the shortcut, and right-click and choose Pin to Taskbar.

Update: yes, the gold icon is from the Canary build, but most people don’t realize that it’s stored in the executable file for the regular version too. If you want to download all of the icons, including the blue Chromium icon, you can do so from the following link. You’ll need to save them somewhere, and manually choose the icon path in the Change Icon screen.

Download the New Google Chrome Icons [deviantart]

How can We Detect Viruses Without Antivirus Software? Built In Antivirus in your Browser :-)

Most computer experts will tell you that you need antivirus softwares to protect your computer from viruses, but do you really need it? Many people don’t know that their internet browsers provide free protection from internet threats while browsing, downloading software or checking emails. The problem is that this protection may not be enough. Here is how to turn on your browser’s protection, what advantages it provides and why you probably will still need security software.

How to Turn On Firefox’s Protection

  1. Open the Firefox browser on your computer.
  2. In the upper left-hand side of the screen there will be an orange Firefox tab. Click on the tab. This will open a dropdown menu.
  3. Choose “Options” from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on the “Security” tab in the options menu.
  5. A list of options will open. Tick the top three security options.
  6. Click “OK.”

How to Turn On Chrome’s Protection

  1. Open your Chrome browser.
  2. Find the button that looks like a wrench. It will be in the upper right-hand side of the screen.
  3. Click on the “Options” choice in the menu.
  4. Pick “Under the Hood.” This will be in a menu on the left side of the screen.
  5. Tick the box beside the choice that says, “Enable Phishing and Malware Protection.”
  6. Close out of the window. The options will be saved automatically.

How to Turn On Internet Explorer‘s Protection

  1. Open the Internet Explorer browser.
  2. In the upper right-hand side of the screen there will be a “Tools” button. Click on it. This will open a menu.
  3. Select “Internet Options” from this menu.
  4. Open the “Security” tab in the pop-up window.
  5. Tick the “Enable Protected Mode” box.
  6. Click the “OK” button.
  7. Restart Internet Explorer.

Browser Benefits

There are many ways that browsers protect computers. Most browsers will warn you before a suspicious webpage opens to prevent you from going there. This will keep hacker sites from downloading viruses to your computer. Some more sophisticated browsers will also block malware and any automatic software downloads. Pop-ups can spread viruses, so almost all browsers have the option to block pop-ups from trusted sites and known malicious sites alike.

Browser Drawbacks

After turning on your browser’s protection features, you will only have protection from infections that may come from the internet while you are using your browser. This limits the amount of protection you receive.

Anti-virus software can protect every aspect of your computer online or offline. While viruses are predominantly spread through infected file downloads and websites on the internet, they can also be spread through infected detachable drives and infected software.

So, the answer is yes, you do need some type of protection software on your computer. The best defense is to have both browser and security software running while you use your computer, since you can never have too much protection.

Written By Alina Bradford .

Posted By Shan M Saleem.