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Working Online: Web Browsers

This LibGuide answers many frequently asked questions about how to have the best experience when accessing and working with online materials.

Finding Resources

What Software Do I Need?

Recommended Operating Systems & Web Browsers

These are the only operating systems and web browsers that the Library recommends and is able to support. Using other browsers, or using earlier versions of these four, may produce unreliable results. 


Your PC's operating system should be running at least Windows 7 SP1, Home or Professional edition, and no earlier version. If you are using Windows 8, we highly recommend upgrading to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.

Apple OS X

Your Mac should be running at least OS X v.10.9, "Mavericks." 

Updating Browsers

You should use very recent versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome for Windows or OS X or Safari for OS X. That is, you should use these versions or higher: IE v.10Firefox v.40Chrome v.45; Safari 9.1.

  • Use Microsoft Update to update your Internet Explorer for Windows.
  • Use the Get Firefox site to obtain or update Firefox for either Windows or OS X.
  • Use the Google Chrome site to obtain or update Chrome for either Windows or OS X.
  • Use the Safari Update site to update Safari for OS X. 

Tablets and Smartphones

In most cases, the interfaces for all the research services the Library provides have been written for use on current tablets and smartphones. While every possible device and combination of operating system and browser have not been tested, you should be able to use recent Windows, iOS, or Android devices without any problems or lack of functionality. As is true of any computer, OS and browser combination, the more recent the version, the more likely you are to have a good working experience.