Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just moved to the Mac after years and permanently moved my PC out of my life at home. I am a graphic designer who builds web pages. I code pure XHTML pages with div layouts. But whenever you keep to web standards, you have to check out how it works on the most commonly-used browsers.

On the Mac, my default browser is Firefox (Chrome and Safari are also installed). But I cannot see the result of how my pages look in IE.

On a Mac, is there any way to test web designs on IE?

(IE for Mac is not supported by Microsoft any more, so I didn't download it. I've received several suggestions to use Boot Camp, but I don't want to install Windows.)

share|improve this question
As IE behaviour would differ with OS I think you have no choice but to use Windows - also you will have to test in several versions of IE you will need to use. – Mark Jan 3 '11 at 13:08
There is a particularly good answer here:… – Will Apr 20 '12 at 19:50
up vote 16 down vote accepted

I understand you don't want to install Windows. However, thats what all Mac-users at our company do (with vmWare fusion).

share|improve this answer
Other virtual machines include Parallels and also the free VirtualBox – Mark Jan 3 '11 at 13:09
Another VirtualBox user here, I even have 3 different virtual machines for IE6, IE7 and IE8. – Lizzan Jan 3 '11 at 13:58
I think I have to try VM Tools. I am planning to install Win7. And then install IE tester which can run all versions of IE in different tabs at the same time. – ARTniyet Jan 4 '11 at 18:56
Microsoft provide free VMs for testing all versions of IE – Mark Jan 1 at 12:59

The most common ways I know of doing this:

  • Virtual testing:
    • BrowserCam
      Screen capture and Remote Access service for cross platform compatibility testing and HTML design quality assurance
    • Adobe BrowserLab
    • Browsershots
      Check Browser Compatibility, Cross Platform Browser Test

  • Your local library often has PCs available for patrons to use

  • Ask a buddy to test it/take screenshots for you (often, in return for you doing the same for them on the Mac)

Even if you had IE/Mac installed, it wouldn't help you any in this regard. It used a different rendering engine; one that no version of IE/Win has ever used.

share|improve this answer
+1 for BrowserShots. – user588 Jan 3 '11 at 16:33
I like browsershot too, but it only renders the appearance of the site. It's very hard to know if javascript is working. Yet, if the site is "pure xhtml", then this answers the question. – rds Aug 10 '11 at 9:50
you can also try for testing in real IE's – Nakul Feb 14 '12 at 5:22

There is a Way to use the regular IE7 and IE8 for Windows via Wine. A short German tutorial is available at

share|improve this answer
This is exacly what i am looking for. Thanks a lot.... – ARTniyet Jan 4 '11 at 16:43
Hi, again. It works on internet but cannot test local files. Also, jquery scripts doesnt work on this emulator. – ARTniyet Jan 4 '11 at 18:52

If running a virtual machine isn't interesting, I think your best bet is to get a cheap PC with a Microsoft OS.

You can run it without a monitor and connect to it using Microsoft's free "Remote Desktop Connection" software so you don't have to physically type on a different machine to test things. There are a few different versions of IE you may wish to test. Microsoft has virtual-machine-based copies of their browsers for this purpose [1]. These images can't be run in a traditional VM on your Mac due to licensing problems. They will run on the cheap PC.

share|improve this answer

I've been using and it works well, though obviously not as good as vmWare. If I was working with webpages just a bit more often I would probably invest in a virtual windows-machine.

share|improve this answer

I would suggest a virtual environment so that you can clone your virtual machine to host different versions of IE on every virtual machine (at least IE version 7 and 8 need to be tested and version 9 is about to be released).

Beside the commercial offering (VMWare Fusion and Parallels) there are also open source projects like Virtual Box that you can use to start experimenting.

You'll need a valid Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 7 license so that you can install Windows on the virtual machine.

Regards Massimo

share|improve this answer

You don't. No IE-testing suite is completely accurate, and several will raise errors which don't appear in production (wasting your time on false positives). Virtual machines aren't as reliable as people think - I've seen several VM-specific bugs whilst trying to run IE6 (I think IE6's rendering engine relies on the coordination of certain threads, which VMs can't quite manage properly).

If IE6/7 functionality matters to your organization, I

share|improve this answer
Jimmy: your answer cuts off mid-sentence. – user568458 Oct 16 '12 at 9:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.