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Choosing your Internet browser is not a decision to be taken lightly, yet it is an issue that very few users give careful consideration to. It’s an ironic fact that while Mac and Windows users will argue over many aspects of their operating systems, they both typically agree that the two default browsers are useless. Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are frequently accused of being slow Faster, Sleeker, Better: How To Switch From Chrome/Firefox To Safari Faster, Sleeker, Better: How To Switch From Chrome/Firefox To Safari Thinking about using Safari on your Mac, but worried you might lose features and bookmarks? Here's a quick guide to comfortably moving to Apple's web browser, without missing out. Read More , unwieldy, and insecure, and these days most people who buy a new computer make a headlong dash to Google Chrome’s download page without further thought.

We’ve looked at the surprising benefits and features of Safari before 3 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Switching To Safari 3 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Switching To Safari It's not easy to switch browsers, but unperturbed, I launched myself into the world of Steve Jobs – iTunes, iWork, iCloud, and, significantly – Safari. Here's what I wish I'd known first. Read More – but what about Internet Explorer? Is it really that bad, or does it offer a viable alternative to Mac owners? Is it even possible to run the flagship Microsoft browser on an OSX machine? Read on to find out…

How to Install Internet Explorer on a Mac

Microsoft haven’t released an official Mac edition of Internet Explorer since version 5.2.3 in 2005, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install the latest IE release Internet Explorer 11 Releases For Windows 7 Globally Internet Explorer 11 Releases For Windows 7 Globally Internet Explorer 11 was just launched with Windows 8.1. It has been available as a Release Preview on Windows 7 for a while, but now Microsoft is ready to roll out the final version to... Read More on your machine.

Whereas it’s possible to use various virtual environments and Boot Camp to get it running, the fastest and simplest way to do it is by using a program called WineBottler. Nonetheless, we’ll run through the two most common methods – WineBottler and VirtualBox.

WineBottler

Like Wine for Linux Can You Run It On Linux? 10 Vital Apps You'll Want When You Switch Can You Run It On Linux? 10 Vital Apps You'll Want When You Switch To help answer your questions, we'll take a look at 10 popular Windows applications and whether you have options for them in Linux. Read More , the software enables you run a range of Windows-based programs on your Mac Running Windows Programs on Your Mac using WineBottler Running Windows Programs on Your Mac using WineBottler Read More without worrying about the hassle of booting multiple operating systems or splashing out on an expensive Windows license.

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You can grab the software from their website and install it in the usual way (making sure to move both the “Wine” and “WineBottler” files into your apps folder).

winebottler

The program is actually very powerful and can be configured to read multiple prefixes and install a wide range of software. Luckily, Internet Explorer is one of the default offerings and you’ll be given an option to download it on the page that you see when you run WineBottler for the first time.

winebottler-ie8

The latest available release is Internet Explorer 8. Select it and click on “Install”, then choose where you want to save it (typically the application folder) – WineBottler will take care of the rest.

Once the process has finished, just launch the newly installed app from wherever you chose to save it and you’re ready to go.

wine-ie8-installed

VirtualBox

VirtualBox, which is developed by Oracle and free to use, lets you run various operating systems in a virtual environment on your Mac What Is a Virtual Machine? What Is a Virtual Machine? Virtual machines allow you to run other operating systems within your current operating system, but why does that matter? What are the pros and cons? Read More .

Firstly, you’ll need to download both the VirtualBox software and its extension pack. You can get them both from Softpedia. Install the software .dmg file first.

virtualbox-mac-installer

Once that’s done you’ll need to run the VirtualBox manager, then immediately close it again. This allows the system to log some necessary information. Next, open your Mac’s “Terminal” app (you’ll find it in the Utilites folder in either your Finder or Launchpad) and paste in the command which matches the version of Internet Explorer which you’d like to install:

virtual-box-ext-install

Internet Explorer 11 Only – Windows 7 image

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS="11" bash

Internet Explorer 10 Only

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS="10" bash

Internet Explorer 9 Only

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS="9" bash

Internet Explorer 8 Only – Windows XP, small Image

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS="8" bash

Internet Explorer 7 Only Windows XP, small Image

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS="7" bash

terminal-mac-ie

It’s worth mentioning that people with older Macs should probably choose a version that uses Windows XP – although it’s old and unsupported it will suffice for small usage, and will be much less of a drain on your system’s resources.

That’s it – wait for the file to download (sometimes up to two hours), and run the virtual machine. You’ll be prompted to install the updates and turn on automatic updates, (neither of which are strictly necessary), then you’ll be presented with the Windows desktop along with the version of Internet Explorer than you selected from the list above.

Why Use Internet Explorer on a Mac?

It’s all well-and-good installing Internet Explorer on your Mac, but why should you? What benefits does it bring?

The most obvious benefit is to help synchronise your life between multiple machines. Whether or not you actually like Microsoft’s offering, there are a huge number of people who are forced to use Internet Explorer all day in their offices only to go home at night to their Macs with no way to continue their sessions or easily migrate their data. If you’re one of those people, having the same browser on all your frequently used machines could remove a huge headache.

Secondly, there is the issue of compatibility. Internet Explorer is the most used browser Is Internet Explorer Making A Big Return In 2015? Is Internet Explorer Making A Big Return In 2015? Microsoft no longer has to offer EU Windows users a choice of browsers. Moreover, Microsoft is working on a new browser. Nevertheless, we'll show you how to install your favorite browser without touching IE. Read More on the planet. Despite losing ground to Google Chrome in recent years, recent figures suggest that 48 percent of all devices which access the Internet do so by using the long-standing browser, and that figure jumps to 58 percent when you only consider desktop users.

ie-data

It means there are many websites that were specifically designed with Internet Explorer as their main priority – certainly websites that were published pre-2010, the year the Chrome started its meteoric rise. It’s often the case that IE renders these older sites much more reliably than some of its competitors, and due to its ActiveX technology it’s also often simpler to use it with business-related sites such as Webex or HTML IT consoles like Kaseya.

There is a school of thought that suggests you should always have at least two browsers installed, and whether you choose to make Safari, Chrome, or Firefox your primary tool, there are few better options than Internet Explorer as a backup. Although its reputation remains superficially poor, there is no browser out there that loads Javascript as quickly as IE does, or reliably renders pages as consistently as IE.

Would You Convert to IE?

Would you consider making the switch to Internet Explorer? If not, why not? Perhaps you’ve already installed Microsoft’s browser on your Mac and you use it regularly? If you have, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Maybe you’re of the school of thought that whatever the benefits you won’t install it until Microsoft releases an official native version?

Whatever your situation we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

  1. Petr
    July 18, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Hello,

    first of all, thanks for the article. However, when tried to install IE8/WinXP (as I have limited bandwidth here and this image is much smaller) the process gets stuck here:

    Downloading IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe from http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/C/0/CC0BD555-33DD-411E-936B-73AC6F95AE11/IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe to IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe (attempt 1 of 3)
    % Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current
    Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
    100 16.1M 100 16.1M 0 0 409k 0 0:00:40 0:00:40 --:--:-- 488k
    MD5 check succeeded for IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe
    Copying IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe to C:\Documents and Settings\IEUser\Desktop\IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe
    1 file(s) copied.
    Installing IE

    ... and nothing else happens.

    Can anyone point me to the right direction?

    Also, I would appreciate retrying without actually re-launching the download. Is that possible?

    thanks, Petr

  2. Hemant kumar arya
    February 10, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Awesome post, I really appreciate your way of writing. This post helped me a lot. Few day ago I badly needed IE on my mac then I found a new pretty easy trick. Just just have to install a software winebottler on your mac. Thats all, thank you :-)

  3. Martin
    December 4, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    "Internet Explorer is the most used browser on the planet" statistics are often misleading. Like it or not IE is finally dead (at least it will be soon unless Microsoft own a magic wand). For so many years it was holding the web development back, finally we might breathe again.

  4. jilleduffy
    August 3, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I use a Web portal that is for IE only but it requires VPN access to a remote server. When I install Wine and Winebottler, I can access open sites, but I can't reach the site that requires VPN, even if my Mac is connected to the server. Is there a way to solve this problem so that IE running via Winebottler recognizes I'm connected to the VPN?

    • Jagadish Dhanamjayam
      October 20, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Any luck? I am also facing a similar problem.

  5. Stephen Szilva
    June 11, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    I have two web sites that my company uses. One to log in and track worked time, the other to show survey informaton. they will only work via IE.

    So thank you.

  6. Jey Bee
    May 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Dan, Who "compiled" these Windows OS available on github? Aren't there any license implications when using this Windows OS versions in VirtualBox? Thanks

    • Dan Martin
      October 21, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      Does anyone care to answer this question about the licensing?

  7. Gee Deezy
    April 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Author: I believe you, I'm just in shock. Ok, I'm over it.

    • Dan Price
      April 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Glad you got over it so quickly :)

  8. Christopher Brown
    April 23, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Dan,

    I tried to install IE using the Oracle VirtualBox, but I ran into the following error message in the Terminal:

    ERROR: Failed to download http://theunarchiver.googlecode.com/files/unar1.5.zip to /Users/daddy/.ievms/unar1.5.zip using 'curl', error code (18)

    Can you help me with this?

    Christopher Brown

    • Steve
      April 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      I'm experiencing the same error... if somebody has a fix that they'd like to pass along, that would be much appreciated!

  9. Dan Price
    April 15, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Chuck. Agree with some of your points, but the market share data is not out of date. Please see my post above for sources :)

    Dan

  10. chuck
    April 15, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Install IE and make my mac less secure. Hell no. Most people who use a MAC are already enlightened. When u have chrome firefox and opera and many others your points are no longer valid. As for corporations apps running only running on IE was a poor decision. As for that maket share of browsers is quite out of date.

  11. Grant
    April 14, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    IE is required in many work environments, and is used for many other things besides web browsing. In my experience, MOST work environments require it for both hosted applications (websites) and local applications. So this is very helpful when you have Macs running in a Windows environment. One coworker has the setup mentioned in this article, and others are running Parallels in order to use IE, and other required applications.

    Good stuff to know. Thanks for the article.

    PS - Man, do people love to hate IE :)

    • Dan Price
      April 15, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks Grant, glad you found it useful.

  12. David
    April 14, 2015 at 1:58 am

    One could also run IE using Microsoft's modern.ie virtual machines. Just go to "modern.ie" and download then install the VM images. They are meant for testing though and use trial versions of Windows.

    I assume the IE VMs for VirtualBox mentioned in this article are likely related to those modern.ie VM images. Because otherwise, there are licensing issues for running the VMs. When the trial of Windows expires in the VMs, you either live with the limits (e.g. one hour or so before auto-system reboot, etc.) or reinstall VM to restart trial period. Or you activate with your own Windows license.

    So the least hassle option is Wine + IE8 without having to deal with licensing and trial limitations, etc. Thanks for that tip, I didn't know of that one.

    • Dan Price
      April 15, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks for commenting David. Glad I showed you a new trick!

  13. Charlie
    April 13, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Having moved to the Mac since they went Intel, there has not been a time, even for a nanosecond that I'd *ever* contemplated running *any* version of IE, and that goes for the Windows 7 box my household uses as well.

    As for the possible argument of 'migrating' data/personal settings, I've had no problem with Firefox or Chrome, which are installed on both my Macbook Pro and W7 machine.

    Not to mention a built-in ability of OS X Safari (version 7 in my case) called "User Agent" to have Safari act like Chrome and/or Firefox in either Windows or Mac mode, along with two previous versions of Safari, iOS 8 for iPhone/iPad/iPod and IE versions 7 through 10 as a final kicker.

    All that without one installed file from a virtualizer.

    • Aditya
      April 14, 2015 at 1:58 am

      dude, user agent option doesn't make a browser act like other browser say chrome/firefox. It only sends wrong data/modified data to WebServer and nothing else so that server thinks as if you are running a chrome or firefox or any other browser. It doesn't make your browser compatible.

  14. Bud
    April 13, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Why would I even think, let alone consider installing IE on my iMac........what with the monthly bloat of updates and susceptibilities of getting malware and viruses? My Safari ain’t broke and I don’t need to run a historically slow IE on my iMac. NOOOOOO thanks !

  15. Evan
    April 13, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I prefer IE as my default browser, and will definitely make use of this article if (for some reason) I ever started using Mac. How about the pros and cons of using the virtualbox method vs winebottler? I assume that virtualbox would take more system resources.

    Overall, a great article, detailed where it needs to be and concise everywhere else. Again, a great article!

  16. Ed S.
    April 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    IE is the most used browser? Haven't you noticed people on windows machines using firefox, chrome, and others? Plus androids come with android browser or chrome. And you can install firefox easily. IPhones come with safari. And again, you can install firefox and chrome easily. Same with apple computers. It might be the most installed browser. Mainly because you can't uninstall it from windows. And also, many businesses tend to just use what comes bundled. Could you, please, research this better before embarrassing yourself? What are you, a ie-fan-boy?

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