Last year we discussed that, while mobile devices were becoming increasingly popular for people to make standard transactions, there is still a place for desktop browsers. In fact, we noted in early 2020, desktop browsers were specifically still being utilized in areas such as travel and e-commerce. Desktop browsers are still popular, so we’ve identified the top browsers in 2021.

Per, as of April this year, 48.76% of the total web visits are currently mobile, and 51.24% are coming from desktops. But, with how unprecedented last year was, it is useful to see how consumers expanded the ways they used various browsers as well as provide some information on the introduction of Microsoft Edge in early 2020. 

We continue to stay up to date with popular trends so we can anticipate and be prepared for effective and relevant QA testing. Read on to learn more about what are the most popular desktop browsers of 2021. 

What browsers should you target for development and testing?

To answer this question as accurately as possible, it requires knowing who your users are and where they are located. Depending on the location of your user, the browser and desktop operating system will be different. Always bear in mind that while you design and develop an application, a new browser version might come out by time you launch it.

As of April 2021, about 67.53% of worldwide users on desktop browsers utilize Chrome. Followed by 9.86% on Safari, 7.96% on Edge, 7.79% on Firefox, 2.65% on Opera and 1.68% on IE. But, there are some significant things to note from this data. While worldwide data shows more users on Safari, European users tend to prefer Firefox after Chrome utilizing Chrome at 62.09%, Firefox at 11.74%, and Safari at 9.74%. Overall, Chrome became the most used browser in 2012 and has been utilized most ever since. 

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Browser Market Share

In North America, Chrome still holds its popularity at 61.25% of users on desktop and 41.74% on mobile. Similar to last year, Safari comes in first on Mobile at 50.78% and second on Desktop with 16.78% of the users. Alternatively in Europe, Chrome holds the highest amount of desktop and mobile usage at 62.09% and on Mobile with 60.48% of users. (StatCounter)

Microsoft Edge

While Chrome still remains the most popular desktop browser, Edge is growing as a popular alternative. This could partially be attributed to the diminishing support of Internet Explorer on Microsoft accounts. In fact, as of August of 2021, Internet Explorer will no longer be supported by many of its own services officially announcing Edge as its replacement. Edge, which uses the same code as Chrome, was released in early 2020. It is compatible with all supported versions of Windows and macOS.

This new version of Edge is updated around every 6 weeks and according to, one of the main differences between the older version of Google Chrome and the newer version of Microsoft Edge, is that Edge has a built-in tracking prevention feature as well as a pop-up blocker. StatCounter shows that Microsoft Edge has grown from a 0.57% market share in March 2020 to 8.03% by March 2021. For more information on Microsoft Edge, you can find it here

Bar chart of the most popular desktop web browsers in H1 2021; in order from post popular to least: Chrome (67.22%), Safari, Edge, Firefox, Opera, IE, Edge Legacy, and Chromium (0.04%)

Testing on Chrome 

In short, Chrome is still the most popular browser used on desktop and when it comes to testing it isn’t easy to test absolutely everything, so it can be helpful to have a reduced list of browsers that encompass the majority of your users. If you are curious to know about mobile app testing as well, visit our other blogs from this year. 

In the animation below you can see how Chrome has grown over the years for both Mac and Windows users. Now Chrome is used by a majority of users on all platforms, especially Android.  

If your company is looking to build a website or working on a desktop application, reach out to us today so we can connect you to someone on our testing team!

A podcast microphone on a table in front of an open laptop recording the voices of two women whose arms are visibleAn M1 iMac on a circular white table with an iPhone on a phone stand next to it. The iMac is open to the Google Chrome Extension page.