Mac Classic

Connectivity problems on classic Mac OS

Almost all modern websites are now inaccessible to early Mac OS internet browsers and likely won't load anything. This is due to modern web standards advancing which were never present within these browsers at the time they were released. Another problem is that modern websites are typically served via the HTTPS protocol which is incompatible with most browsers, rather than the less secure HTTP protocol. For further reading, see HTTPS and why it's a problem for early Mac OS.

There's still hope!

Websites that have been designed with older browsers in mind, or sites that have remained live since before the early 2000s are accessible on these browsers.
There has been an effort to compile a directory of modern and existing websites that are accessible to older web browsers. See the Sloop Web Directory.

Which Browser should you use?

Classilla was the last web browser that received recent updates and was maintained regularly until 2021 by Cameron Kaiser. The only downside to using Classilla is that it is resource hungry and requires later Mac OS versions. Classilla requires a G3 Processor, 64MB ram (minimum) and Mac OS 8.6.

Internet Explorer 5 is the next best browser for older Mac OS systems. During it's time IE5 had excellent support of web standards and was the go-to choice for internet users. IE5 uses minimal system resources and runs on Systems 7 - 9.2.2.


Jürgen Witte

16 June 2022

Hello, I'm running Mac OS 10.6.8, which is the latest system for my hardware (a mac mini & and a mac pro notebook). For browsing the net I use the last compatible version of Opera (25.0), and alternatively I sometimes also fall back on Firefox 48.0.2. Though my dated hardware is running perfectly, I found no browser version on the net, that allows access to the latest "modernized" versions of more and more websites. Is there anybody out there, who did develop an up to date browser for all of us, who believe in working with appliances, as long as those are working fine. Maybe, during your research you came up with a solution for this problem also.

Greystash - Admin

22 June 2022

Hi Jürgen, sorry for the delayed response. I've been in the same situation as you and still use Snow Leopard often. The best browser I have found is Nightly which is a modified legacy version of Firefox by ParrotGeek Software. Nightly will load the majority of modern websites with no issues. Unfortunately development was discontinued last year but it's still totally usable. Otherwise I would recommend TenFourFox (which was also discontinued last year), and then Leopard WebKit.
Please send another message through if you come across any other browsers which are still maintained. Good luck!

Steve Smith

13 June 2022

Wonderful article and resource. I'm very glad my iMac G3 can be used for more things now. I have nostalgia eyes for OS9.2 for certain games. Thank you.

Greystash - Admin

13 June 2022

Thank you and thanks for visiting! I have an article in the works regarding the iMac G3 that you may be interested in, I should be able to get it out this week so stay tuned :)


01 June 2022

WoWoW Thank you :) ! - Irene Clamshell

Greystash - Admin

10 June 2022

Thanks for stopping by!

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