Internet Explorer 9 for Mac

Sep 18, 2010 - 42 Comments

internet explorer 9 for macs

The Internet Explorer 9 beta is out now for testing, and a reader sent in this picture which is sure to disappoint Mac users all over: Internet Explorer 9 is not available to download for Mac, its for Windows Vista and 7 only. OK so sarcasm aside, I hear it’s actually pretty decent (for IE at least), and so what do you do if you want it on your Mac?

How to run Internet Explorer 9 on a Mac

Let’s discuss how you can get Internet Explorer 9 on your Mac, there’s three main options:

  • Internet Explorer virtual machines for Mac OS X – these are completely free and run IE 7, IE 8, and IE9 under a virtualized instance of Windows
  • Virtualization through VMWare, VirtualBox, or Parallels
  • Bootcamp to have a full fledged Windows install beside Mac OS X
  • WineBottler or something similar

The first approach is to use virtualization software, and then you can run IE in addition to just about anything else through a fully functioning Windows VM. The upside to this is that it’s generally very stable and assuming your Mac is reasonably powerful the virtual machine usually performs quite well, certainly well enough to run IE and core Windows apps. The downside to this approach is that you need to buy a Windows license so that you can install it in the VM.

Bootcamp is another option but then you’ll have to reboot between Mac OS X and Windows, and this isn’t really acceptable for quick testing in my view, plus you still have to buy Windows. This is without a doubt the best performing option though, since there is no virtualization or hack required, it just turns your Mac into a Windows PC.

If you don’t want to bother with bootcamp or a virtual machine, you can actually run Internet Explorer on the Mac using a third party tool called WineBottler, and while this works for IE6, IE7, and IE8, as of yet IE9 is not supported with this method. This is the method that I usually choose to just run IE for quick tests, but it can be prone to crashes and it’s also the slowest of the three options.

As far as I know, most Mac users generally need IE only for dreaded compatibility testing that web developers always have to endure, and this is why having a VM or WineBottled installation is legitimately helpful. The Windows version is available at Microsoft, if you need it for that purpose or any other.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS


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  1. Google chrome is better then any browser, not much but better, but internet explorer is sometimes necessary to utilize some internet applications.

  2. Rob in Belfast says:

    I would like the option of IE9 for MacOSX. Now that Apples run on Intel, surely there is one step less regarding instruction set. IE5 last ran on PPC and G3 / OS9 architecture. I have to use the ‘Lite’ version of Exchange OWA at work. I’d also like to see what is so great. At work they still use IE7 on the clamped down system and there are no plans to upgrade from XP either – its a good OS and solid. My Apple doesn’t have the same restrictions.

  3. chandishwar says:

    shall we install the ie7,8,9 using above procedure in Mac 10.6.8

  4. jon says:

    I as a web developper stopped testing ie for websites. I put a little notice on the websites, that ie is not w3c-compliant and that’s it. It is too much work to get things running on ie, while all other browsers are usually doing a fine job, with little exceptions.
    If you as a web developper are working along the usual html standards, I could not see any reason to have a hell of work to work on workarounds for a browser which isn’t able to fit into the standards.
    Try to get a html3 Website running on an ie :)

    • booooo says:

      @jon – thats a bad idea considering that IE still tracks @ 19% of the population, and of that more than half of those users are still using IE8.

  5. Dirk says:

    I see many adds to use the latest IE on Mac but download every link seems to be for Windows or for the IE5.6 on Mac. So I stay with Firefox 6 and Chrome 12. Unfortunatly most government sites don’t seem to know these apps exist and demand to work with IE or Firefox 3! I guess i’ll have to go back to the prehistory ;)

  6. spriggers says:

    I’m not a fan of IE, but it’s better than the total crap Safari. Firefox is the best IMO on both platforms. People say MS should learn how to create a browser. Ditto with Apple.

  7. Viva Mac says:

    Internet Explorer sux and I’m glad that they don’t make it for Mac anymore. Mac users are happy to choose from Safari, Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome. Who needs Internet Explorer?

    • Heidi says:

      Anyone like me who has to work with federal or state government websites that are only support by IE is who. And let me tell you that working for a company the uses solely Macs it has been a real pain in the butt to find ways around the issue. I wish these big software guys would get their act together so I can do my job more efficiently!!!!

  8. no name says:

    Just great, another blog with more regretated information taken from other people blogs. What makes yours more special anyways? I can google this and get the same info in a hundred different places, and they all say the same — virtualation (crap solution), dual boot (non-productive solution), and winebottle (the wanna-be linux user solution)

    PS. wine graphical front-end apps are for sissy’s (Look mom, i’m drinking wine from a sippy cup.)

  9. Dan says:

    I have used online since OS 7.6. I never have used IE on a mac, and it doesn’t belong on a mac. I went right from Netscape to Safari, and now some Firefox. I hope IE never returns to the mac.

  10. Fuku says:

    Some official web pages that we cannot avoid using often says it works only with IE because of ActiveX Controls. I do hope they stop developing such a terrible system, but this is the reality…

  11. l2aelba says:

    Web developers need IE for Mac, Ok ?

    • Billy says:

      Yes, web developers need IE only if people continue to use to stupid thing… I however installed VBox on my mac and run windows 7 to test my sites and it work fairly well… Shhhh… but Mac users can even use it to develop programs for Windows using Visual Studio if one were to be so inclined.

  12. Sally says:

    I have to use it for my online course since firefox and safari are not supported by the university

  13. Tjalfe says:

    Actually i want IE 9 because i can’t use any other browser when editing my website through the service provider..
    I hate ms systems. So incompatible with everything but its own..

  14. Daniel says:

    There isn’t a major reason to use IE on mac. Many people say they ‘need’ it for website publishing, but you can still download IE 5 for mac from Softonic. Yeah, its very clunky and slow, but it gets the job done. Also, on my Virtual Machine, I downloaded the beta version to take a look at it, and every time I open it, it just crashes. Very typical of Internet Explorer if you ask me. As for a competitor of IE on Mac, there is a range, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Camino and even SeaMonkey. ALL are better than IE.

    • Lea Verou says:

      The rendering engine of IE5 Mac is very different from IEWin (regardless of version). So no, it doesn’t get the job done at all, if you’re referring to compatibility testing. So, there is a major reason to use IE: testing websites in it, because some people sadly still use it.

    • Antonio says:

      Hello Daniel, IE5 for mac renders websites in a completely different way from the win version.

  15. Rick says:

    Someone that has to use Exchange OWA a fair amount for work. There is a lot of difference in the light version you can use under firefox and the full version available to ie users. I would love to have IE as a browser choice on the mac.

  16. Joe says:

    Apparently Kis.

  17. Ian says:

    Who would want Internet Explorer?

    • Joey says:

      That question will haunt humanity for years to come.

    • Maria says:

      Who would want IE? People whose companies insist on using IE-only constructs for their internal web sites and other applications. The only thing I run in the Windows partition is these corporate apps. Everything else runs just fine in OS X.

  18. Kis says:

    I’ve been using IE9 beta on my PC now since it’s release and i must say it’s very impressive. I’ve tried avery browser available for MAC and none of them has been as fast, stable, light and intuitive to use as the IE9 beta. I was hoping to find a MAC-version but all i found was this article.. :(

    • Tmas says:

      Um…. Try Google Chrome? It looks very similar to IE9 on windows 7, but it’s more standards-compliant. I’m pretty sure it’s faster and more intuitive too.

      • Josh says:

        You seem to have a biased opinion. I have tried IE9 on Mac using a type of compatibility extension, but it is SOOOOOO slow. I deleted it because it is now dangerous to use, since now it is abandoned software. I have never gotten so many adware and malware on my computer using IE. Like Billy said, it is hard to consider IE a Microsoft product, because Microsoft produces, some pretty darn good software like Microsoft Word, but not very good hardware, unlike Mac.

    • Billy says:

      You seem to have a bias opinion. I too have tried IE9 and it is STILL not standards compliant. I have built websites that work in most major browsers and even IE8 and IE9 displays them incorrectly. IE8 and IE9 both offer the compatibility mode IE8 for IE7 obviously, however I tried the IE9 compatibility mode and it too was for IE7…that is stupid.

      I have to say that Microsoft can make some decent products and some that really promote high productivity, however, the IE family is not one of them. Being a web developer/designer I have to do extra work just to get pages to render correctly in IE…how unproductive.

      To close my rant, I believe if Microsoft wants to have a good share of internet users returning to it’s web browser, then they need to release it to the open source community so that anyone or everyone can use it and implement changes that would otherwise go without correction.

    • Jonno! says:

      I hope they do bring out ie9 for mac. as a web developer would help allot to be able to test sites out on it. But again its microsoft being selfish ars*eholes like usual. Trying to hog all the market for themselves again!

      • Peter says:

        is Safari available for any other OS? is any of the software Apple does available for any other OS?

        • Antonio says:

          Yes Safari is available for Windows and QuickTime is an apple software that is available on Windows…

        • Joey says:

          Yes, QT and Safari is available for Windows. However, the applications are no where nearly as efficient nor elegant as on a Mac. What else would you expect, it’s like putting an emblem from a luxury car onto an old sh*t box.

          • Beany says:

            Funny then how other companies can do a much better job on Windows than Apple can isn’t it. And when theres software for both platforms the Windows version is normally best, especially if it uses GPU acceleration as OSX only supports the very outdated OpenGL 1.3 and is missing other features that Windows supports..
            Face it, Apple are just crap at making anything good for Windows. Atleast when MS do make software for OSX it actually works properly. MS Office is the most popular software on Mac.

          • Rob in Belfast says:

            @Beany When MicroSoft update their OS to be able to read HFS+ disks natively, I might get interested. I’m not a developer, my Windows install is plain vanilla, nothing more than I need. I’d be happy if Windows software worked most of the time.

            I’d be happier if well known third party stuff like Flash or Chrome worked in my Windows. I have software that runs in XP and 7 but not Vista. At work I use Windows XP, Vista, Seven, iOS and OSX Snow Leopard and when I can’t get something done in Windows, it works in OSX. OSX reads FAT and NTFS.

            Recently I was trying to make a DVD for someone who had created it in Windows Movie Maker. It wouldn’t work in Windows. I export the movie as an uncompressed AVI file (5GB – NTFS), drop it into iMovie and it burns a DVD.

            I’m not an Apple fanboy, I just want stuff to work. But I guess stuff generally works better in Windows because more people own Windows computers. If it was split between Windows, Linux and OSX evenly, the standards would be higher in all three.

    • Ray says:

      IE 9 is horrible… they made it a faster piece of crap. It still has a hard time rendering pages correctly… makes developers want to pull their hair out. Microsoft if you could just do your browser right… I’m really!?!

  19. Alberto says:

    I really don’t know so many Mac users that are unhappy to not use Exploder…

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