Which browser will make your battery last longer in Windows 10?

If you are a mobile user with a Windows 10 laptop, tablet or 2in1 device, you may want to know which web browser to use so that you get the maximum battery time possible. To learn which web browser uses the least battery power, we have compared all the major browsers on three separate Windows 10 devices, both old and new. Here’s what we have learned:

How was the testing performed?

We used three different devices for our testing, all with Windows 10 installed:

  • ASUS ZenBook UX305F, which we reviewed here. Our model has a 13.3" touchscreen with a 3200x1800 resolution, a dual-core Intel Core M-5Y10 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 5300, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 256GB SanDisk SSD. The device is powered by a 45 Whrs polymer battery.

web, browsers, battery, time, autonomy, savings, energy, Windows 10

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Our model has a 12" touchscreen with a 2160 x 1440 resolution, a quad-core Intel Core i5-4300 processor clocked at 1.9 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 4400, 8 GB of DRR3 RAM and an SSD made by Samsung, with 256 GB storage space. The device is powered by a 42 Whrs lithium-ion battery

web, browsers, battery, time, autonomy, savings, energy, Windows 10

  • Toshiba Portege Z20t-B, which we reviewed here. Our model has a 12.5" touchscreen with a 1080p resolution, a dual-core Intel Core M-5Y71 processor, running at 1.20GHz with Intel HD Graphics 5300, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and an SSD made by Toshiba, with 256 GB storage space. For our testing, we used only the tablet, without the keyboard dock and the tablet is powered by a 3 cell 36 Whrs lithium-polymer battery.

web, browsers, battery, time, autonomy, savings, energy, Windows 10

With the exception of the Surface Pro 3, all are new devices which have been used only for testing purposes, for a couple of days. The Surface Pro 3 is an old device that has been used on a daily basis, for more than a year.

On all three devices, we installed the latest versions of all the major web browsers, available at the time of our testing: Firefox 41, Google Chrome 46, Opera 32, Microsoft Edge 20 and Internet Explorer 11. All the web browsers used their default configuration, without any add-ons or toolbars installed.

We used the Balanced power plan on all three devices but we modified so that it never turns off the screen and it doesn’t put the computer to sleep until it runs out of battery. That's because we wanted to simulate a non-stop browsing session on all devices.

To measure how long the battery lasts, we ran the Peacekeeper battery test.

We ran the test two times on each browser, for each device. We then calculated the average battery time obtained by each web browser, on each device. Here are the results:

The results on ASUS ZenBook UX305F

On the ASUS ZenBook UX305F, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge were the uncontested winners. The power savings were huge when comparing these browsers with Google Chrome, the worst performing browser in this test. We managed to get almost one hour of additional battery time.

web, browsers, battery, time, autonomy, savings, energy, Windows 10

The results on Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Our Surface Pro 3 has been used regularly for more than a year and its battery is no longer top-notch. A new device will definitely last longer than this one.

However, even here, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge managed to deliver almost one additional hour of battery time, when compared to Google Chrome.

web, browsers, battery, time, autonomy, savings, energy, Windows 10

The results on Toshiba Portege Z20t-B

Toshiba Portege Z20t-B comes with an additional battery in its keyboard dock. However, we did not use that dock because it would have taken way too long for the battery to get depleted.

Therefore, the results you see below are obtained when using only the tablet part of this device.

On Toshiba Portege Z20t-B, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge were again winners. However, the differences from other browsers were smaller than on the other two devices we have tested. Still, we could save up to half an hour when using Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge instead of Google Chrome.

web, browsers, battery, time, autonomy, savings, energy, Windows 10

The winners are: Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge

As you have seen in this comparison, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are your best options when you need to save battery. Your savings vary depending on your device and how intensively you use each browser. In our testing, we saved anywhere between 30 and 59 minutes when using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge instead of Google Chrome.

Now that you have seen the results of our testing, don’t hesitate to share your opinion with us. Do you agree with the results of our testing? Which browser do you prefer to use when on battery power and why? Do you consider Google Chrome a power-hungry browser?

Let the debate begin in the comments below.

About the Author: Ciprian Adrian Rusen
I love technology and I work in IT for more than a decade. I am the co-founder of Digital Citizen and its chief editor. Alongside my work as an editor, I am also an author. I have written and published 7 books, most of them about Microsoft products and technologies. They are translated into more than 12 languages. In 2014, I have been recognized by Microsoft for my technical expertise and involvement in the community with the title of Microsoft MVP - Windows Consumer Expert.