A web browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. An information resource is identified by a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) and may be a web page, image, video, or other piece of content. Hyperlinks present in resources enable users easily to navigate their browsers to related resources. A web browser can also be defined as an application software or program designed to enable users to access, retrieve and view documents and other resources on the Internet.

Although browsers are primarily intended to access the World Wide Web, they can also be used to access information provided by web servers in private networks or files in file systems. The major web browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera.

The history of the web browser dates back to the late 1980s, when a variety of technologies laid the foundation for the first web browser, WorldWideWeb, by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991.

The history of the web browser dates back to the late 1980s, when a variety of technologies laid the foundation for the first web browser, WorldWideWeb, by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991. That browser brought together a variety of existing and new software and hardware technologies.

The introduction of the NCSA Mosaic web browser in 1993 – one of the first graphical web browsers – led to an explosion in web use. Marc Andreessen, the leader of the Mosaic team at NCSA, soon started his own company, named Netscape, and released the Mosaic-influenced Netscape Navigator in 1994, which quickly became the world’s most popular browser, accounting for 90% of all web use at its peak (see usage share of web browsers).

Microsoft responded with its Internet Explorer in 1995 (also heavily influenced by Mosaic), initiating the industry’s first browser war. Bundled with Windows, Internet Explorer gained dominance in the web browser market; Internet Explorer usage share peaked at over 95% by 2002.