Home » Browsers » What is a Web Browser and What are Its Features

Browser, alternatively referred as web browser is a software program created to make it possible to present and search content on the World Wide Web. A browser is a mean to present pieces of content, including text, pictures, and videos when you enter the address of a particular website or search the web page using a specific keyword. Using hyperlinks a web browser show all the content classified with Uniform Recourse Identifiers (URLs). Since the inception of the internet, many web browsers have come and gone and today there are a few big players in the market.

List of current Internet browsers who have the largest user base across the world:

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Apple Safari


Below a few links are given from where you can download a different and respective browser.

Browser Official Download Page
Google Chrome google.com/chrome
Mozilla Firefox mozilla.com/firefox
Opera opera.com
Apple Safari apple.com/safari

When you first open an internet browser, it will typically load your homepage, but it may also open the last opened page if you changed your browser settings or all of the tabs that you had opened before closing it last time.

Toolbar to get around in a browser

To help you in finding your way around the Internet, each browser has a navigation toolbar. Browser developers have been changing the navigation for long as soon as any they find any new feature or change to add on or make. These changes change the appearance and functionally of the software program to make sure that users get the easy browsing experience. However, it is never likely to happen that the toolbar is going to lose the address bar and navigation arrows.Browsers

Overview of browser menus, bar buttons, and functions

Many Internet browser buttons and options have either been done away with or moved completely over time, therefore, a few options listed below may not be immediately visible on your browser program.

Important Tip: Pressing the Alt key on your keyboard brings hidden options in certain browsers.

Settings (Menu)

Today, almost all modern web browsing programs have moved features and advanced options in the upper right or left-hand corner of your browser window. The menu button in each browser is different: For example, Chrome uses Chrome settings button, Firefox uses Firefox menu button, Internet Explorer uses IE tools button, and Opera uses Opera settings button.

Back, Forward, and Refresh (Reload)

Clicking on the back button takes you to the previous page from the page you are currently viewing. Usually, this button is represented by an arrow pointing to the left.

The forward button moves a page forward and it does so if you have used the back button earlier in a particular tab. A browser will show a forward button gray of you have not gone back.

When you browse the Internet, the browser’s cache collects the data. Means, it stored some or all parts of each data page that you visit on your browser. This feature is a very useful feature as it helps in downloading each page quickly if users have visited the same sites earlier also. However, sometimes to get the latest version on some sites like a news website, you may need to refresh the page. Users can use the Refresh button to reload a page that has failed to load because of an issue.

Important Tip: To refresh the page from the keyboard, press the F5 key or Ctrl + R.


The majority of modern web browsers have removed the stop button which was meant to stop a web page from loading. However, you may perform the same function may by pressing the Esc key.

Home and Search

The Home button returns the users to their default web page. Homepage is the same page that loads when you first open the browser.

Earlier, the Search button was used to execute a search on the text found in the address or URL text field or open a user’s default search page, but now browsers have a feature called an Omnibox, which is a search feature built into the address bar.


It is a function used to see the browser window a full screen. If you use this feature, it will temporarily remove the address bar, toolbar, and buttons. Often, you may toggle this view mode on and off by pressing the F11 key on your keyboard.

History and Favorites (Bookmarks)

History is a feature that allows you to see the pages you have visited previously since the browser history was cleared or created last time. All that pages that you have browsed are stored in your Internet cache.

Important Tip: The shortcut key for history for most browsers is Ctrl+H.

Favorites (Bookmarks) is the folder where you can store websites or pages that you want to visit frequently. You can choose any of the websites as favorite if you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer and in other browsers, you may find this feature known as bookmarks or a hotlist.

Font (Size), Zoom, and Print

Though this button no longer exists now, but it was used to increase and decrease the size of text. Now, this option is covered by the zoom feature.

On modern browsers, you can increase or decrease the size of font and images by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing + or – key to zooms in or out. Press Ctrl + 0 (zero) at the same time if you want to reset the zoom function to its default size.

There is no button any longer available for this feature, but you may access this feature by pressing Ctrl + P on the keyboard or through the main settings menu.

Mail and Edit

Today, both these option no longer found in browsers, but earlier mail was used to open a user’s preferred e-mail program and edit was used make changes in the webpage you are currently viewing in an HTML editor.

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