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What is the Samsung Smart TV web browser?

If you have a Samsung TV, there’s an interesting feature that could save you some time: the ability to browse the internet right from your TV at any time with Samsung’s native browser.

Hopping onto a browser on your TV often requires an additional device (like a set-top box or game console) or some type of screen mirroring. But with Samsung’s Tizen-powered TV web browser, you can go online immediately without any complex workarounds. That means it takes only seconds to look up scores, check acting histories, look for tips on games in Samsung’s Gaming Hub, and more. Here’s everything you should know!

Samsung Smart TV web browser basics

Samsung TV home menu.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Samsung’s Smart TV platform connects to your internet via either Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable connection, a feature you enable during setup. This allows the Smart TV to run a wide variety of streaming apps, including popular options like Netflix or YouTube TV. But Samsung also has its own browser app, which functions like common browsers such as Firefox or Chrome, but it’s on your TV and controlled via your remote.

This method is a little more cumbersome than using a mouse and keyboard, but you still get many browser benefits on your TV screen without needing to switch to a computer. That’s helpful if you want to look up a quick YouTube video to share with friends, settle an argument by checking the official sources online, or look up quick tips to help with a game, etc. The browser is free to use and doesn’t require any setup.

Accessing the Samsung Smart TV web browser

A Samsung TV menu.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Most Samsung TVs have a web browser built right into their menu. You can access that menu at any time by pressing the Smart hub or Home button on your remote.

The browser has a globe or globe-like icon (depending on your Samsung TV interface) and is typically titled “Web” or something similar. If you don’t see it on your home screen, go to the Apps section and look for it there.

Tips for using the Samsung Smart TV browser app

A web page on Samsung's browser.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • You don’t need to use your remote for navigation if you don’t mind a little extra work. A wireless keyboard and mouse can connect to your TV to provide a more traditional browsing experience. The downside is that finding a place for that keyboard and mouse in your home theater can be a little difficult.
  • The three primary tabs in Samsung’s Smart TV browser are Featured, Most Visited, and Bookmarks. Featured is an easy way to access a quick Google search or a video platform like YouTube or Facebook. Most Visited and Bookmarks are only useful if you spend a lot of time on the Samsung browser, so you’ll probably get the most out of the Featured page when beginning.
  • You can search directly from the top bar that says Enter URL or keyword to save a little time. When you select any search box with your remote, a digital keyboard will pop up to use.
  • The Smart TV browser also has a settings menu that you can access from the top-right icon. Here is where you can customize how tabs and toolbars appear or enable a picture-in-picture mode to watch TV while browsing, among other options. It’s definitely worth a visit.
  • You can also use either Google or Bing search engines from this browser, just in case you have a preference.
  • If you want to watch a specific event, it’s better to download an app that carries that event, like YouTube TV or Sling TV, rather than try streaming from the web browser.
  • You can’t have many browser tabs open at once using this app; it’s a good idea to stick with just one tab at a time.
  • Some website elements may not work properly due to Samsung’s Tizen operating system, especially certain HTML5 features, so don’t expect the full range of functionality that you would get from a computer.

What if my Samsung TV doesn’t have a web browser?

Use the search function to find Samsung's browser.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s unusual, but you can simply download the browser app. On the Home screen, select the Magnifying glass section to begin a search, and type in “web browser.” This should bring up Samsung’s web app, which you can select and then choose to Install.

Samsung Smart TV web browser troubleshooting

If the web app is freezing or crashing, try a little rebooting. Unplug both your router (assuming you are using Wi-Fi) and your Samsung TV. Wait for a couple of minutes, then plug them both back in. Let your Smart TV reconnect to the internet, and then try again.

We would usually recommend checking your browser app for any updates, too, since updates can often bring bug fixes and optimization. However, Samsung doesn’t manage its browser updates that way, and you can’t initiate updates on your end. Instead, Samsung rolls them out automatically, so just make sure your TV is regularly connected to the internet.

Samsung Smart TVs should also have a way to reset the Smart Hub. Go to the Home screen and look for the Settings option, followed by Support, and then Self diagnosis. Here you should be able to choose Reset smart hub. If you are asked for a PIN, consult your manual or enter all zeros.

If a website isn’t loading, then give it a little time. Some websites just won’t play nice with Samsung’s browser. Try navigating to another site to see if it loads properly.

Can I use a different browser on my Samsung TV?

It’s possible, but you’ll need an additional device. Samsung’s own browser is currently the only browser supported on its Smart TV platform. You can’t download Chrome or Opera the way you can on a computer or smartphone. The only solution is to attach an accessory that offers a different platform and use that instead of the Tizen interface. If you attach the latest Google Chromecast, you can use the built-in Google TV platform, which supports the Chrome browser. If you use a Fire TV Stick from Amazon, you can use browsers like Amazon Silk. One big exception is Apple TV, which doesn’t support Safari.

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