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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.
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).
Oct 16, 2019 Microsoft has stopped any further development of the Internet Explorer for Mac OS X as of beginning 2004. The final release 5.2.3 dates from 2003-06-16. This application has thus to be considered both very out-of-date and DANGEROUS as security issues are neither tracked nor resolved anymore. In other words: DON'T USE INTERNET EXPLORER ANYMORE! Oct 22, 2019 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.
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.
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.
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If you’ve just recently switched from PC to Mac, you’ve probably noticed that instead of Internet Explorer or Edge that you’re used to, Mac has its own proprietary browser called Safari. In fact if you try searching for “download Internet Explorer for Mac” you’ll quickly realize that the exact IE equivalent on Mac doesn’t exist. What do you do then?
Interestingly, at the dawn of the world wide web in the late 90s, Internet Explorer was the default browser on all Macs. But when Apple introduced Safari as the new default browser in 2003, Microsoft has decided to discontinue the development of IE for Mac shortly after. So unless you run Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier (why would you?), there is no way to directly install Internet Explorer on Mac. And you definitely shouldn’t use the Internet Explorer versions from pre-2003 right now.
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How To Use Internet Explorer on Mac
Although natively launching Internet Explorer on Mac isn’t possible, there are other ways to simulate IE for Mac experience. You could mask Safari as different versions of Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, you could also install a virtual machine and launch IE for Mac that way, or you could simply choose to use any other third-party browser available on macOS.
Simulate Internet Explorer on Mac with Safari
Most of the time, if you need to use Internet Explorer on Mac, it’s probably for testing purposes, to see how certain websites or web apps perform, or to access websites that require you to use IE (yes, those still exist).
Both of those use cases could be easily performed by Safari. To use Internet Explorer with Safari, you just need to turn on developer tools:
- In Safari, go to Preferences > Advanced
- Check “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
Now you can access developer tools directly from Safari, which let you inspect websites, empty caches, and most importantly simulate a variety of other browsers right through the Safari app. To use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer on Mac:
- Go to the Develop menu in Safari’s menu bar
- Navigate to User Agent and select the browser you’re looking for, whether it’s Microsoft Edge, any of the Internet Explorer versions, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.
- The website you’re on will be automatically refreshed to reflect the browser of your choice. Just don’t forget to switch back!
The User Agent option in Safari should cover nearly all reasons for using Internet Explorer on Mac. However, if you do absolutely need to launch Internet Explorer itself for one reason or another, you could also try doing it with the help of a virtual machine.
Launch Internet Explorer on a virtual machine
While using a virtual machine for Internet Explorer is not by any means an easy solution, it’s still there for anyone who needs it. What virtual machine essentially does is installing a full-scale copy of Windows on your Mac and letting you launch it as an app inside the macOS. From there you can launch Internet Explorer or, in fact, any program you miss from your Windows days.
To set up virtual machine, first you need to buy a copy of some virtual machine software (VMware Fusion is a good one) and a license for Windows. Once you have those in place:
- Download both VMware fusion and the Windows ISO file
- Launch VMware Fusion
- In the Installation Method window, choose “Create a new custom virtual machine”
- Drag and drop your Windows ISO file onto the dialogue window
- Click Finish
- Relaunch the virtual machine and click the play button to setup Windows
Now every time you need to use Internet Explorer on Mac, you can just launch the virtual machine and use IE directly with Windows that way. There are certainly a few downsides to this solution. First, you have to purchase both VMware Fusion and a licensed copy of Windows for the sole purpose of using Internet Explorer. Second, virtual machines tend to be quite heavy on your processor, as they are running the whole operating system inside them.
Another option available to you in case you don’t specifically need to use IE for Mac but rather move away from Safari is to switch to any other third-party browser, all of which are freely available on macOS.
Use third-party browsers on Mac
If Safari is not your first browser of choice and using Internet Explorer for Mac is at the very least quite complicated, you can download any other stable and widely used browser out there and make it the default one on your macOS.
By far the most dominant browser of today, Google Chrome currently commands 45–65% browser market share. Developed by Google, the browser is available on both desktop and mobile devices, and thus boasts a significant amount of plugins and web apps that are exclusive to it. Chrome has also been praised for its speed and tight integration with all other Google products. As for the downsides, using Chrome means being subjected to Google’s pervading tracking and helping Google to effectively monopolize the web.
Firefox is another great everyday browser. Heir to the first commercial web browser called Netscape, it’s an open-source program owned by the not-for-profit Mozilla Foundation. Firefox is fast, secure, and boasts a supportive community around the world. All of this makes it a great alternative to Safari and Internet Explorer.
Brave is a newcomer to the browser arena that first appear only in 2015. Based on the open-source Chromium project (as is Google Chrome), the browser quickly gained a loyal following due to its aggressive privacy controls and ad blocking. Turning Brave into your default browser might seem a bit experimental at this point, but it nevertheless presents a good option for anyone concerned with privacy.
Although not available on macOS as of early 2019, Microsoft has announced that it’s currently rewriting the Edge browser engine to run on Chromium (like Google Chrome and Brave), which means it will become compatible with macOS too upon release. Fingers crossed, but in the meantime you can choose one of the alternative browsers listed above.
Overall, these are your three options of running Internet Explorer on Mac. You can use Safari’s User Agent to view any webpage just as Internet Explorer would, launch the actual Internet Explorer browser through a virtual machine running Windows, or choose one of the alternative browsers if all you want to do is get away from Safari on Mac.
However, if you’re new to Mac, a browser might not be the only thing you’re concerned about. You also need to find apps to cover all kinds of issues related to optimization, organization, security, and productivity.
Essential apps for all new Mac owners
As soon as you switch from PC to Mac, you realize that sadly not all apps you loved and used daily are available on macOS. So naturally you need to find suitable replacements. The good news is Mac has an abundance of great apps for everything you need. But how do you choose and decide which ones are worth your time?
That’s where a platform like Setapp becomes indispensable. Setapp is a collection of more than 150 essential apps and utilities for Mac that cover all possible use cases and scenarios. All apps in the collection are automatically updated to their latest versions and new apps are added regularly. It’s a godsend for new and seasoned Mac users alike. Discover new apps that are the best at what they do? What’s not to like?
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Get around browser restrictions to enjoy your web journey with useful apps for Mac users
Here is an essential introductory set of some of the apps featured on Setapp that every new Mac users should have.
A lightweight utility performing a vital role, Bartender keeps your menu bar clean and tidy. As you use your Mac more and more, every new app would want to be featured in your menu bar (top-right corner). This quickly becomes unsustainable, and instead of a quick access to the apps you need, you’ll spend more time just trying to find the right one.
Mac’s default organization settings for menu bar are quite basic, only allowing you to reshuffle icons. Bartender lets you hide them under a single icon and feature just those you need to use right at the moment.
Lauded as the best writing tool for years, Ulysses features a clean interface and lets you focus on the writing process, whether it’s for simple notes, speeches, or anything in between. And the app’s Markdown support makes it much more web friendly, allowing direct exports to WordPress and Medium.
No one ever wants to lose their files, no matter whether it’s due to physical damage or accidental deletion. Disk Drill solves that problem by essentially insuring and giving you the option to recover your files. As the most widely used data recovery tool around, Disk Drill helps you back your files on a regular basis and save lost files from damaged hard drives if things ever go south.
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The ultimate Mac optimization app, CleanMyMac X keeps your Mac free of any junk, safely and completely uninstalls old apps, and protects you from being affected by malware. Just launch CleanMyMac X once a month to do a complete scan of your computer and you’ll ensure your Mac’s top condition.
Best of all, Bartender, Ulysses, Disk Drill, CleanMyMac X, and all other apps featured on Setapp are available to you on a free trial. Just launch Setapp and try out as many apps as you want, turning your transition to Mac from a chore to a pleasurable discovery.
Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.Read on
Download Microsoft Internet Explorer For Mac