This is my first Mac and I'm wondering: is there no Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac OS X?

I am a web developer and I need IE (not really lol) but so as I Google it, I see some questionable websites coming up on my Google search but none of them the actual Microsoft site.

My main reason is that I need it for browser testing and whatnot and so I see Firefox, Chrome, Safari obviously, but no IE.

So the question is: is there/where do I get Internet Explorer for Mac?

  • 3
    No. There was a Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac OS X until 2003, when Microsoft cancelled the project. Internet Explorer 5 was the last version for Macintosh.
    – user9290
    Apr 20, 2012 at 17:10
  • 2
    web devs should just boycott IE tbh. such an awful browser =/
    – Alexander
    Apr 21, 2012 at 17:39

3 Answers 3


Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac is not available for the latest OS X versions (beyond OS X 10.4) as it was effectively replaced by Safari in 2003. As the Wikipedia page for Internet Explorer for Mac explains:

As a result of the five-year agreement between Apple and Microsoft in 1997, it was the default browser on Mac OS and Mac OS X from 1998 until it was replaced by Apple's own Safari web browser in 2003.

On June 13, 2003, Microsoft announced that it was ceasing further development of Internet Explorer for Mac and the final update was released on July 11, 2003. The browser was not included in the default installation of Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" which was released on April 29, 2005. Microsoft discontinued support for the product on December 31, 2005 and removed the application from their Macintosh downloads site on January 31, 2006. Microsoft recommends "that users migrate to more recent web browsing technologies such as Apple's Safari."

Your best bet is to download the Windows version of IE and run it in a Virtual Machine (using something like VMware Fusion or Virtual Box).

Alternatively, the OSXDaily article on Internet Explorer for Mac the Easy Way: Run IE 7, IE8, & IE9 Free in a Virtual Machine describes a way to do this (I've not used it myself, but this does appear to circumvent the Windows 30-day trial period by using snapshots and possibly to comply with the EULA you should purchase a Windows licence and use that in a VM with a downloaded version of IE, as above, instead):

We’re going to walk you through how to install Internet Explorer 7, 8, or 9 in a virtual machine running Windows, directly in Mac OS X – for free. This is achieved by using the freely available VirtualBox software from Oracle, and combining that with free Internet Explorer testing virtual machines from Microsoft, the trick is converting these free IE vm’s so that they work flawlessly under OS X (or Linux, technically), and that is all handled automatically with this method.

  • 3
    a very thorough answer, we should all take that amount of effort :D
    – Stu Wilson
    Apr 20, 2012 at 14:09
  • 4
    if i could "accept" this multiple times, i would. Thank you
    – somdow
    Apr 20, 2012 at 14:22
  • 1
    It appears that this method intentionally circumvents Windows' copy protection system by having the VM lie about the date so that Windows still thinks it's within a 30-day demo period. That almost certainly violates a line in some tl;dr EULA somewhere, and may also cause odd behavior when testing date-related things. Your own conscience will guide you, but if you really are a pro web developer, you should be able to afford to be legit and buy a Windows license. Apr 21, 2012 at 14:12
  • @GarrettAlbright Fair comment. Thanks. I've incorporated it into the answer so people better know where they stand, if they choose to use that method.
    – binarybob
    Apr 21, 2012 at 16:41
  • 1
    If you're able to get it working Wine may be a better alternative, that has no 'gray area'. There are Mac Wine builds available here: winebottler.kronenberg.org/wine
    – Hawken
    Apr 22, 2012 at 19:14

Even the Mac version of IE when it existed rendered pages quite differently than its PC counterpart.

If you are to do proper testing in IE (among others), and don't want to juggle 10+ VMs, consider a service such as:

  • CrossBrowserTesting.com - Takes screenshots, and allows you to do functional testing via their web-based VNC client on many platforms, including Windows XP/Vista/7, Android, iOS, OSX, and Linux. The only downside is that their service is $30/mo.
  • BrowserShots.org - Takes screenshots, and is free. If you're just a designer and don't need to do any cross-platform functional testing, then I'd recommend this route.

There are a handful of other similar services out there. These are the only two I have experience with.

  • Indeed, the Mac version of IE used a different, and in many ways better, rendering engine than the Windows one. Apr 21, 2012 at 14:06

Some useful information to you may also be the 'develop menu' that can be unlocked inside Safari.

Display the Develop Menu In Safari

Launch Safari, located at /Applications/Safari. Open Safari’s Preferences by selecting ‘Safari, Preferences’ from the menu. Click the ‘Advanced’ tab labeled. Place a check mark next to ‘Show Develop menu in menu bar.’

The Develop menu is particularly handy for web developers, but casual users may also find the first two items extremely helpful in their daily browsing. The ‘Open Page With’ menu item lets you select any installed browser to reopen an open web page from within Safari. The ‘User Agent’ menu item lets you see how an open web page looks in a variety of Mac and Windows browsers and versions.

Hope that helps

  • 2
    It doesn't help I'm afraid. All the user agent change does is affect how JavaScript receives a description of the browser. The ask-er is probably looking for a way to see how IE would render the actual page; which requires the actual browser/rendering engine.
    – Hawken
    Apr 22, 2012 at 19:12

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