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Once upon a time, Internet Explorer was the default browser on all Apple Mac devices. Until 2003, when Apple released Safari, which eventually resulted in Microsoft discontinuing any support for Internet Explorer for Mac from 2005 onwards.
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- Download Internet Explorer for MacOS? Don’t get fooled. Searching “Internet Explorer for Mac” on Google might have brought up a few websites claiming to deliver the Windows 10 browser on.
- Internet Explorer is one of the most popular web browsers in the world. It comes installed with any Microsoft Windows device. Internet Explorer is straightforward to use, places a lot of emphasis on its user's security and the developers have improved on its RSS, CSS and Ajax support.
After that, the agreement that Apple and Microsoft was dissolved and any download links from official sites were removed. Getting IE or a newer Microsoft browser, Edge, on a Mac, simply isn't possible unless you want to download a potentially risky version from Torrent sites (not recommended).
So unless you are still running Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and earlier versions, you won't be able to get and operate Internet Explorer, and the only versions you might be able to access have been unsupported since 2005.
For anyone with a passing familiarity with computers, that sounds like a major security breach waiting to happen. You don't want to be attempting to run a browser that hasn't benefited from any official support and upgrades for over a decade; so for those who need access to IE, this article is about how to get Internet Explorer for Mac.
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How to get Internet Explorer for Mac?
As we mentioned, IE and Microsoft’s more evolved browser, Edge, is not directly available for Mac users. It isn't as though there aren't plenty of other browsers around, including Safari, Firefox and Chrome.
However, for those who develop apps and web-based technology, it can be useful - if not essential - to view how something is going to look and function on other web browsers, including Internet Explorer. It could be detrimental, especially if you've got users or customers of a web-based product, to launch it with no knowledge or testing of the user-experience across a range of browsers, including Internet Explorer.
Thankfully, there is a way to simulate having Internet Explorer on a Mac without downloading a security risk or using a Mac which is running Snow Leopard. Here is how you can get Internet Explorer on a Mac:
- Open Safari (this can be used to test the browser experience from other operating systems)
- Go to Preferences > Advanced
- At the bottom of this is a checkbox: Tick it: “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
- Now this gives you access to Developer Tools (known as the Develop menu in Safari’s menu bar);
- The Develop Menu is accessible through the top toolbar when Safari is open
- Go to User Agent
- Within that, you should be able to select a number of Internet Explorer and Edge browser versions to experience on a Mac, which should give you the user-experience required to test a new web-based product on those browsers on a Mac
- Whatever website you are on will automatically refresh to mirror an IE or Edge experience, on Mac. Do remember to switch back to Safari after you’ve visited that website using the User Agent option in the Develop menu.
If, for any reason, you need to take the IE experience to the next level on a Mac, you could download a virtual machine (such as VMware Fusion, which has a Windows license), therefore creating a Microsoft environment on a Mac, which would allow you to download Internet Explorer.
Before you do that, it can be useful to make sure your Mac is running at peak performance and not cluttered up with unwanted system junk. Here is how you can do that:
- Download CleanMyMac X (for free, here)
- Click on the Systems Junk tab
- Once your systems have been scanned, you can safely delete anything taking up space and slowing your Mac down.
Run Internet Explorer on a virtual machine
For those who need to take this one step further, here is how you can use Internet Explorer and run other Microsoft programs.
- Buy and download virtual machine software (such as VMware fusion)
- Now download a Windows ISO file (from the relevant Microsoft website)
- Launch VMware Fusion
- During the installation sequence, click “Create a new custom virtual machine”
- Drag and drop the Windows ISO file into the dialogue window
- Click Finish
- Then relaunch the Virtual Machine
- Now you can download Internet Explorer, Edge and any number of web or app-based Microsoft products.
When you want to go back to running software on macOS, remember to close the virtual machine and revert to your Mac how it usually is. For those who want to improve their overall Mac experience, the app we mentioned - CleanMyMac X - is well worth downloading. CleanMyMac X was created to make your life and work easier, and make your Mac operate as good as new.
Internet Explorer for Mac
Internet Explorer 5.2.3 Macintosh Edition is the Web browser that’s simple to use, hassle free, and totally built for your Macintosh.
This update of Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac Preview Release provides:
- Improved reliability
- Better download support
- UI and Aqua enhancements
- Improved printing support
- Updated support for Flash, Shockwave and QuickTime plug-ins
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This update is for the English, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish versions.
One of the stated goals of the Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition team was to deliver complete support for CSS-1 and HTML 4, which would be an historic achievement – and something The Web Standards Project and its thousands of members have been asking browser makers to do. That was certainly my main interest in participating in the Internet Explorer 5 beta program. I wanted to see these standards implemented, and help if I could.
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The greatest improvement over Internet Explorer 5 – and any other browser I’ve used – is in the support for web standards. First of all, without standards, the web would break. People would be unable to access certain sites, developers would go nuts trying to implement workarounds, companies without deep pockets would be unable to participate because they could not afford all the workarounds and alternate versions required. So standards are key for all who use or build the web.
But Mac users have been especially disadvantaged in the past, when poor web authoring led to pages full of unreadable type – pages that were readable in Windows, but not on Macs and some other operating systems.
Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition solves these problems by correctly implementing HTML 4 and Cascading Style Sheets Level 1, by removing cross-platform incompatibilities between font sizes, and by the significant innovation of Text Zooming, which puts the viewer totally in charge. With Internet Explorer 5, I can read any website, even if it was authored by someone who didn’t know what they were doing. And when the designer does know what s/he’s doing, the site displays exactly as it’s supposed to. (In fact, the designer can tell the browser exactly how to interpret the code – strictly or loosely, standards-conformant or backward-compatible.)
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There’s a lot to like on the surface, and that’s what most people will notice. But my favorite features are under the hood: proper rendering of HTML and Style Sheets, the Text Zoom feature that lets me read any page comfortably no matter how it was coded, stuff that geeks and designers can appreciate – but that benefits anyone, regardless of their “expertise” in using the web. As a designer, I like that my sites come out the way I created them. As a user, I like that I’m in charge. (Even as a designer, I believe the person who uses the site is supposed to be in charge.)
I would suggest this browser to any Mac user. In fact, I’d recommend it to anybody, because I believe it is the most standards-conformant browser released by any company so far, on any computing platform. It’s a win for designers and a win for people who use the web. And that is a first.
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App description: Internet Browser
Version: 2.0 – 5.2.3
File Size: 93 MB
Release Date: April 23, 1996 – June 16, 2003
System requirements: System 7.01 through Mac OS X 10.6.8
Last Updated: 12/10/2019