How To Work with Internet Explorer on Your Mac

How To Work with Internet Explorer on Your Mac

Users who have been working with PCs and have just switched to Mac might have noticed that their Macs don’t offer them opening links with Internet Explorer, which is the default browser on Windows OS. Instead, they are offered to use Safari - Apple’s own browser, which might seem weird to a Windows user.

Still, many people are so used to working with Internet Explorer that they search for a download link for IE for Mac, or for analogs, but there is nothing helpful, and Microsoft has never issued their proprietary browser for Macs. So, what to do?

First, let me tell you one weird but interesting thing: at the end of the 90s, all Macs had Internet Explorer as a default web browsing program. Safari was introduced only in 2003, and fully replaced IE, so Microsoft then decided to stop developing Internet Explorer for Macs. That’s why if your Mac runs on OS X 10.6 or a newer OS X version, you won’t be able to download and install a special IE version for Mac. Still, you won’t need to use old versions of the program on your new machine. 

Here is a detailed how-to telling what to do!


How to Use the Internet Explorer browser on Your Mac   

As I mentioned above, you can’t natively launch this software on Mac, still, there are ways of simulating IE for working with it on Mac. Safari can be masked as Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer, so you almost won’t see the difference while browsing your favorite web program. Alternatively, you can launch IE after installing a virtual machine. What’s more, you can choose any other software for web browsing available for Mac’s operating system.


How to Simulate IE with Safari on Mac

Most of the users who want to launch Internet Explorer on Mac, need it for testing purposes. It might sound unbelievable, but websites which require IE for accessing them still exist! This Microsoft software also allows testing the performance of certain web apps or sites.
Those tasks can be done through Safari without any problems. To do that, you need to switch on its developers tools.

  1. Launch Safari on your Mac.
  2. Visit ‘Preferences’ > ‘Advanced’.
  3. Put the check next to ‘Show Develop menu in the menu bar’.

Great! You now can use these tools from your Safari browser - it let’s users inspect sites, clear caches, and simulate all the functions necessary for testing which you may want to use in Internet Explorer.
If you want to use ONLY Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge on your Mac, do the following:

  1. Enter the ‘Develop’ menu in Safari.
  2. Go to ‘User agent’, choose the browser you need or its version - it can be IE, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome, and so on.
  3. After this, Safari will look like a browser of your choice. The site will be refreshed automatically. Still, you can always turn this option off.

All in all, User Agent is what will solve the main problem of 90% of users. Still, some of them need ONLY Internet Explorer but no other programs. I can imagine how many there can be reasons for that, but if you need it, let’s consider another method - using a virtual machine.


How to Launch Internet Explorer with the Help of a Virtual Machine

This solution is not as easy as everything described above. But if you need IE, you’ll use it. In fact, a virtual machine lets you run a copy of Windows on your Mac, inside the Mac OS. From this place, you are able to launch ANY Windows software! So, don’t miss your Windows days and enjoy using the full functionality of your Mac.

To launch a virtual machine, you have to purchase the relevant software (for example, VMware Fusion is a great option) and a Windows license - yes, you still need that! After you get both, do the following:

  1. Get your virtual machine software (for instance, VMware Fusion) and the ISO of Windows.
  2. Run VMware Fusion.
  3. Select ‘Create a new virtual machine’ in the window ‘Installation Method’.
  4. Drag & drop the ISO file with Windows to this window.
  5. Click on the ‘Finish’ button.
  6. Relaunch your new virtual machine and set up your Windows.

So, when you need to use Internet Explorer or any other software on your Mac, use a virtual machine. However, this solution has several downsides. You have to get both licenses - for OS and for the virtual machine software. Another point is a great load of Mac’s processor, as it has to run 2 operating systems at a time.
One more solution to the issue we are discussing now - using any other third-party browser which is available for MacOS and Windows. 


Which Third-Party Browser You Can Use

If you don’t need only Internet Explorer, but can’t get used to working in Safari, use other browsers which are designed for MacOS. You can even set them as default to open links exclusively with the browser of your choice.

Google Chrome

As statistics say, nearly half of web users work with Chrome. This software is developed by Google, it is available for almost all operating system, for both desktop and mobile devices. Chrome is convenient and compatible with tons of other Google services, that’s why they can be called real monopolists on the market of web browsing. Some people don’t like that Google tracks its customers, but as you see, 50% of all the Internet users don’t mind.


As for an everyday browser, Firefox is one more great deal. It is free too, it’s fast and secure, has a great supportive community in nearly every country. So, Firefox can be a great choice while searching for an alternative to Internet Explorer, Safari and Google Chrome.


This browser is new - it was created in 2015, while others are relatively old. This software is based on Chromium (an open-source project of Google), still, this browser is well-known for effective blocking ads and great privacy controls. If privacy is what you need, choose Brave.

Microsoft Edge

Though this browser is not yet available for Mac users, Microsoft states that they’ll rewrite the code to make it work on Chromium, so it will become possible to use Edge on Mac! All you need to do is to wait until it will be released. Meanwhile, you have a great choice from everything listed above.
So, you can see that Mac users don’t obligatory need to use Safari - there are a great variety of alternatives! Use User Agent, a virtual machine or another browser to surf the web! Or get used to Safari - it can be very convenient and effective too, still, it may take time to familiarize yourself with its interface.


Which Mac Apps Can Be Useful for New Users?

When you switch to Mac from PC, everything seems new and unfamiliar. Apps’ names are completely different and you need to get used to this from scratch. So, I’ve created a list of the most useful apps for new Mac users, so you could just enjoy working with your new computer or laptop.


This app keeps your menu clean. Sometimes, Mac’s menu becomes full of different shortcuts, so instead of quickly finding what you need, you explore the army of various things. One needs lots of time to adjust everything by hands. Mac’s settings allow you to reshuffle icons, and that’s all. The Bartender app gives you a chance to hide all these icons in one. You will have access to all of them when you need, but the entire look of your desktop will become more pleasant.


This writing tool has been one of the best tools for Mac for a long time. Its interface is clean and nothing distracts you from the writing process. No matter whether you are going to write a short note or a whole book - the app is great for everything. Moreover, this tool has integrations with Medium and WordPress, so you can send your texts directly to where you need them.

Disk Drill

Do you ever want to lose your files? I bet, you don’t. There might be many problems from physical damage to just accidental files deletion. The Disk Drill app solves this possible issue in advance! It gives you an option to backup and recovers your files. You can set regular backups and help to restore lost files.

CleanMyMac X

I’ve already written about the previous versions of this optimization application, which keeps your Mac clean from tons of junk files and old outdated apps. What’s more, it even protects your machine from malware! All you need to do is run the CleanMyMac app once a month and scan your Mac for problems - the app does everything automatically and your Mac works like a new one!