Internet Explorer For Mac
So, I finally got to switch to Mac recently and I couldn’t be happier about it, but there is one big problem: I work as a web designer and that means testing things in everyone’s least favorite browser. I needed Internet Explorer for Mac.
I was hoping that it would be as easy as downloading something from Microsoft’s website and maybe paying a registration fee, but it turns out that they don’t even make Internet Explorer for Mac anymore.
So what’s a girl to do?
Well, in this case, I went and asked the internet for all the ways to get IE working on a Mac (and there were a bunch!) and played around with them all until I got it to work. Since I’m willing to bet most people don’t want to spend all that time researching, it seemed like a good idea to share my experience with you all.
First off: are you sure you want Internet Explorer For Mac?
If you’re looking for Internet Explorer for Mac because you recently switched operating systems and it’s what you’re familiar with, I strongly recommend picking a different browser instead. Getting IE to work on Mac is a lot harder than learning a new browser. Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera all work on Mac without any messing around, and they have the added benefit of being generally less buggy and more secure.
If you need IE for testing websites, to use corporate network applications, or another specific technical reason, it’s worth the effort.
Method One: WINE
WINE, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, is an acronym for WINE Is Not an Emulator. WINE is a Windows emulator. Yeah, I don’t get the name either. The fastest way to do this is to download Wine Bottler, pop it in your applications folder, install IE (located under “Install Predefined Prefixes”) and go. You can get Wine Bottler here:
I’m not a huge fan of this method because WINE has some stability problems and may display things differently than a normal IE install. Remember: beta = buggy.
Method Two: Old IE for Mac
Microsoft did create an Internet Explorer for Mac, but they stopped supporting it back in 2005. It’s still available here, even though there’s no support.
This is really the worst option as far as I’m concerned, because you’re stuck with IE 5 or older, which no one uses anymore. Google has officially stopped supporting up to IE 6 already, so I wouldn’t bother messing around with an even older, buggier version of the browser.
Method Three: Virtual Machines
This involves some messing around in the terminal, but if you’re willing to take the risk, it’s the best option available. First, you need to download VirtualBox (here https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads).
Then, launch the terminal by going to Utilities in the Applications folder. Now, you should decide ahead of time which versions of IE you want installed. If you want 7, 8, and 9, you’ll need three separate virtual machines. Once you’ve got that figured out, copy the appropriate code from below and paste it into the terminal and hit return.
Install just Internet Explorer 7
curl -s https://raw.github.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS=”7″ bash
Install just Internet Explorer 8
curl -s https://raw.github.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS=”8″ bash
Install just Internet Explorer 9
curl -s https://raw.github.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS=”9″ bash
Install all three
curl -s https://raw.github.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | bash
Depending on your internet connection and how many versions of IE you chose to install, it may be a little bit before this finishes downloading. Once it’s done, you can launch VirtualBox and boot Windows and IE. Just click the “Start” button to boot the Windows virtual machine. (If you installed multiple versions, they’ll be labeled IE7, IE8, and IE9, just select the version of Internet Explorer you want to run.) The Windows admin password is “Password1″.
These are 30 day trial versions, after which you either have to delete them or register your copy of Windows.
So, in case you didn’t get the hint, I’d recommend anyone serious about getting Internet Explorer for Mac go the Virtual Box route. It’s stable, it’s free (for a month, at least), and you’re sure to get a user experience that’s identical to a regular IE install.