Run Internet Explorer 6 in Mac OS X

Aug 18, 2009 - 25 Comments

Internet Explorer for Mac Microsoft officially stopped developing Internet Explorer for Mac’s a few years ago, but you can still download and run Internet Explorer on your Mac using either an older version of the software or a few different tools. We’ll cover how to run Internet Explorer under Mac OS X using a tool called WineBottler, which allows you to run windows apps like IE6, IE7, or even IE8 on your Mac. Now I don’t know anyone that wants to run Internet Explorer 6 for personal use, but if you’re doing any kind of development work for the web, you likely are required to check for IE6 compatibility. Many Mac users install Windows in VMWare or Parallels to get the ability to check their work in IE, but that’s not needed thanks to WineBottler. WineBottler is dependent on Wine to be able to run Internet Explorer 6, IE7, or even IE8 on your Mac and it’s included in the WineBottler download package.

Run Internet Explorer 6 in Mac OS X with WineBottler

Developer home
Download the latest version of WineBottler

You may have noticed that WineBottler was previously named IEs4OSX, but its functionality remains the same: you can still run Internet Explorer 6, IE7, or even IE8 in Mac OS X by using it.

Update: You can also get Internet Explorer 7, IE 8, and IE9 running in Windows virtual machines for free that work in Mac OS X.


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Posted by: William Pearson in Development, Mac Apps


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  1. case says:

    i have firefox installed on my MAC, i need to open an application from work, but it wont let me with firefox. Says I need internet Explorer 6 or 7 , and firefox and chrome are not supported. IS IT OK to download ANOTHER web browser? just for one application?

  2. […] about IE 6? IE6 is being rapidly abandoned as usage dies, but if you need to use it then you can follow this guide to get IE6 running in Mac OS X. Getting it working isn’t quite as easy as the virtual machine methods above and it utilizes […]

  3. T Williamson says:

    Has anyone tried crossover office, it works!

  4. andrew says:

    A lot of people seem to misunderstand the need for cross-browser compatibility testing. Most web developers want to make sure their sites render properly on browsers people are using.

    So, while I am using a Mac with only Mac OS X installed, I still want to know that my site will work for the masses who seem to be using Internet Explorer.

    Of course, I would much rather have a solution that did not require me to purchase a copy of Windows and install a complete operating system on my Mac that I would only ever use for one program that I happen to dislike. The thought of having to purchase yet another program, such as Parallels to run Windows in, only to check sites in IE seems rather overkill to me…

    Fortunately, I can run into just about any nearby office and use their outdated computers and browsers… however, it would be nice to have an online solution, or something like that…. or even better yet, if all web devs got together and simply stopped developing or even trying to develop for Internet Explorer, it might force users to use better browsers. LoL… like that’ll ever happen.

  5. Ari says:

    Couple of considerations:
    You can download the free virtual environment called virtual box and you can install a copy of xp in there… or win 7 if you want to use up more resources. It will require at least 4GB of RAM on your Mac so you can dedicate another 1GB or 2GB to the virtual box virtual machine.
    Before you install it, you will want to be sure you have enough space on your mac to make virtual machines. You will need an installation CD and a valid product keycode from Microsoft – or the XP install disk from Dell with the machine product key sticker code. You can re-activate that Dell key, ONLY USING the DELL created INSTALL DISK. But your Mac runs at best performance as long as you are NOT running at 80% hard drive capacity. Also, before you install, reboot the mac and run repair permissions from the disk utility in the utility folder. This will clean up any potential problems with the OS before the installation.
    There is another way to go which is to buy parallels, or vmware fusion. I know that vmware has a free virtual machine player, and if you register with their site, you used to be able to download and try read only virtual machines prebuilt. For simple html testing that may be the best option if it exists. Otherwise you can just use virtual box (now form Oracle) for free.
    Alternatively you can try WINE from sourceforge. That is another solution. I understand that some companies depend on microsoft .NET to develop web apps, which in turn cause you to use a browser that uses the highly exploitable ActiveX: IE 6, IE7, IE8 and IE 9.
    Running this in a virtual machine may be your only RELIABLE option.
    One piece of advice – once you install windows xp inside of virtual box (you will need a real registration key) COMPLETELY update the OS using Windows Update – until there are no more upgrades (will require internet access to the virtual machine and several virtual machine reboots), then immediately CLONE the virtual machine. before doing anything else. This way, if you ever have to clean up an infected virtual machine, you can do so by deleting the ld one and re-clone from the known good clone.
    Another way to go could be ies4osx, but I have not kept up on that either.

    • Francois says:

      I assume you are a high tech software developer since you say that IE7, IE8 and IE9 are “highly exploitable”. Can you give us a single example of how you would go about exploiting these browsers?

      BTW, many companies use .NET to develop web apps. Unless you use something like Silverlight, these apps execute on your web server not on your browser. Don’t see how this could make your browser less “RELIABLE”???

      • adam tuliper says:

        Francois, thèse exploits have been known for years. Your web page is parsed and run on your client machine (html) therefore there have been a whole host of issues that can be exploited. Multimedia type exploits, cross site scripting issues, IE6 content type sniffing failures mean I can inject script into a gif and cause your browser to execute the script as opposed to show a gif. There are many.

  6. Jodi says:

    I didn’t know you could run (certain?) Windows programs on Mac. That’s pretty cool, but I don’t understand why anyone would want to use Explorer for anything other than downloading Firefox or Chrome.

    • Carl says:

      I agree with you. If you have mac, so why in heaven’s name would you pick Internet Explorer as your web browser. You could at least use Safari, but Chrome is the best one. I’ve also heard that the facebook-connected RockMelt is a good web browser, but I haven’t tried it. Anyway, I’m not quite sure if it is mac compatible, but cider will probably take care of that problem :P

      • Brenda says:

        It’s a pain in the arse to use, but I have to use on this useless Mac because safari doesn’t download pdf’s on my machine. On firefox it’s ridiculous that in trying to increase the print size you have to keep going up and zooming in every time to increase.
        Ludicrous, and I HATE MACS! but have no choice ’cause that’s what hubby has and won’t use anything else.

      • SRK says:


    • Amber Sjomeling says:

      as stated, the main purpose for this is website testing. although it is a small community of users who use ie6, we must continue to make our website work in them. which means painful ie6 testing, or just designing your site in it to begin with.

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  8. Newcp99 says:

    I’ve followed the WineBottler instructions without success. For IE6 it exits within seconds. For IE7 and 8 the install moves right along for several seconds then gets to “installing IE 7” and just sits there forever–never finishes. What’s wrong.

    I need IE6 or later to run an app required for work.

  9. Wesley says:

    Wine is very limited in this kind of application. It runs everything through their 32bit conversion. Microsoft never wanted to make the 64bit stuff for mac. What they did make is junk. The wine application is used for gaming, I play left for dead 2 on my new intel mac. Ive never heard of the “Winebottler”, most Wine is done by hand, but it is a new happening so apps will come from it. I use “Cider”, it is close to wine, Ive gotten less bug though.

  10. […] Stores that are so closely modeled after the Apple Store. Hey, maybe they’ll even revive Internet Explorer for Mac and bring it to the iPhone? Jokes aside, Microsoft is a potentially fierce competitor to both Apple […]

  11. […] Opera in ages, and the description as a tiny smart car cracks me up… but the dead horse for Internet Explorer for Mac is absolutely hilarious to me and takes the […]

  12. Dennis says:

    I’ve been using this program for a couple years now. It seems it works fine in 10.5. In 10.6 ie6 locks up on the first webpage I try to load (even It was VERY handy when it was working. In particular, my real estate clients could access the MLS with it.

    Side rant: Who are the BONEHEADS who decide to develop with activeX anyways?! There are NO GOOD REASONS to adopt activeX unless you are trying to alienate your userbase and create additional hardships for IE users.

  13. Nick says:

    I installed on 2007 Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard, in order to log in remotely to work email using Exchange. Got to the login screen, but once signed in it didn’t do anything.

  14. Vivian says:

    Sucks! Can’t get it to work at all. WASTE OF TIME. Don’t bother downloading.

  15. Buddy says:

    I installed it solely to run IE without the overhead and cost of running full Windows (need ActiveX just to access a security system). Cannot get it to work – “IEXPLORE.EXE has encountered a problem and needs to close” is the message. I wouldn’t care if it was slow, but it’s useless.

  16. Joe says:

    For testing purposes I am using laptop with windows and IE on it. I’m not keen on tuning windows on my iMAC.

  17. Neil Jones says:

    I have installed this on my laptop. I need it for doing my time sheets (dont work with anything but IE6. stupid thing. Anyway I haven’t been able to use it yet. It just crashes.

  18. tech4eleven says:

    i tried this on my early 2008 macbook pro and it actually sucked pretty bad- well I mean come on it’s IE6- but it didn’t work very good at all. just throwing in my 2 cents

  19. […] Run Internet Explorer 6 under Mac OS X with IEs4OSX – OS X Daily I don’t know anyone that wants to run Internet Explorer 6, but if you’re doing any kind of development work for the web, you likely are required to check for IE6 compatibility. Many Mac developers install Windows in VMWare or Parallels to get the ability to check their work in IE, but that’s not needed thanks to IEs4OSX. IEs4OSX is dependent on Darwine to be able to run Internet Explorer 6 on your Mac Published in: […]

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