Internet Explorer and it’s newer cousin Edge browsers work only on Windows machines. If you have a Mac device with you and you want to perform cross browser testing of your website on Internet Explorer or Edge, then you are out of luck.
You would have to either invest in a separate Windows device or read this post till the end to know about few better alternatives.
Internet Explorer, once the most used browser in the world, has been deprecated back in 2015 by its manufacturer Microsoft. There are plenty of reasons behind the death of IE, primary reason was the dim light over the new and more advanced browser introduced by Microsoft called Edge. Even after being discontinued from the last 4 years, IE still holds a bigger market share than Edge.
Why Are You Not Able To Test With Internet Explorer On Mac?
Internet Explorer was once the default browser on Mac systems from 1998 to 2003. It was a result of the agreement between the two companies (Microsoft and Apple) that stated for five years, Internet explorer would be the default browser on Macintosh systems. It was a move to publicize Internet Explorer and give it a reach to each and every person using a computer. Microsoft even developed a separate development engine just for making Internet Explorer available for Mac systems. Not surprisingly, Internet Explorer became the most used browser in history.
So, a feature that a Windows user had would take a year or more to be introduced for the Mac systems users. Apple was not happy with this behavior and they not only removed the Internet Explorer from their computers but also from their Apple application store. But, this created an issue for web developers. Internet Explorer had a huge loyal customer base and now that there was a new browser Safari for macOS, meant that the cross browser compatibility issues are standing around the corner once they test their website on macOS.
Cross Browser Testing with Internet Explorer
Cross browser testing means testing your website on different browsers, operating systems or resolutions. Testing your website on different platforms gives you the confidence of gaining your audience and presenting your website in a way it was designed to be, to all possible potential users. Cross browser compatibility testing helps the developer figure out the issues that will arise on different browsers and plan the site rendering in a better way to accommodate the way a browser renders the HTML code. You can use various tools and software available online to achieve cross-browser testing aims. Going conventional, it is not so easy to test IE on MacOS. There are some issues that stop a web developer from going through conventional ways to test IE on macOS.
How To Test With Internet Explorer on MacOS?
To perform a cross browser compatibility check of your website, you would need to test with IE on MacOS, and it was once considered a very challenging task. But the evolution of the programming languages and the advancement in various technologies have broken down this barrier for good. Now, you have multiple options to effortlessly perform testing with internet explorer on macOS. Not only website, but some of the methods will also brief about how to open Internet Explorer on MacOS System. So, the inner circle of the focus of this post would remain to test on Internet Explorer while the outer circle will enlighten about using Internet Explorer in general.
1. Online Cross Browser Testing Tools
Let’s start with the most obvious and preferred method that comes to everyone’s mind when someone says anything about testing a website.The easiest and the most cost-effective method is to take the help of an online cross browser testing tool like LambdaTest. Not only do you get instant access to all major browsers and browser versions, but you also get the facility of running the browser (and version) of your own choice right from your own local machine.
LambdaTest provides instant remote access to the real machine running Internet Explorer browser on real Windows operating systems. Cross browser compatibility tools today are the most preferred choice as they not only are cost-effective in the long run but also frees users from the hassle of upgrading, maintaining, and investing in in-house infrastructure.
So if you are using a macOS and are looking for a way to test your website on internet explorer then LambdaTest is your go-to stop. All you would need is to register for free and start testing your website on different versions of IE. That way, you can skip the hard method of installing any other software in your macOS, as we allow you to test your website on 2000+ real browsers running on machines hosted on the cloud. You can perform parallel testing and test on more than just IE browsers, simultaneously.
You can even execute automated cross browser testing with an online Selenium Grid to eliminate repetitive test scripts.
2. Local Virtual Machines
Virtual machines are the most flexible yet most time and resource intensive way to perform cross browser compatibility check. VM based solutions have been a part of the testing ecosystem for some time now. Virtual machines are the virtual setup on your physical machines to run a different operating system without actually installing the operating system. The user can also install the operating system along with the existing operating system in a straightforward conventional way.
Using virtual machines will not affect your booting time and the additional virtual operating system can be booted only when it is required. Creating Windows Virtual machines over your MacOS devices is an easy way to work, however, it would take up large hard disk space, is not 100% accurate, and you may feel it work a little slow if you are testing heavy web applications.
3. Remote IE and Modern IE
In 2014, to help with cross browser compatibility check on Internet Explorer browsers, Microsoft launched an Azure Remote app named RemoteIE. This was a free service that allows you to run the latest versions of Internet Explorer browser on your system no matter what operating system you are using. And the best part, its lighter than installations of local Virtual Machines.
You get an app that streams a Microsoft Azure hosted IE environment, right to your device, and you can test your website on this two way streaming connection.
Since Microsoft itself is no longer interested in the development of Internet Explorer, it has tried hard to deprecate Internet Explorer from all operating systems including Windows. Walking on the same steps, Microsoft has stopped the modern IE and remote IE platform for Internet Explorer to give way and increase the popularity of their most promising browser- Microsoft Edge. Hitting the web address of modern ie now redirects to the Remote Edge page which lets the user test their website on the Microsoft Edge on the platforms that do not currently run Microsoft Edge.
4. Download Virtual Machine Setup Directly From Microsoft
Microsoft is also contributing to this event, even after deprecating modern IE and remote IE. Microsoft provides a simple and convenient method for those who would like to test with Internet Explorer on MacOS or to test with Edge on MacOS by virtual machines.
The user can visit this link and select his choice of browser and operating system along with the virtual machine he would like to test on. Once done, a zip file will be downloaded through which you can run the browser version you selected on your Macintosh.
5. Microsoft Remote Desktop Application
Microsoft Remote Desktop Application is yet another software developed and presented by Microsoft. Although, the use is not entirely just to test the browser as it was for remote IE and modern IE but yes, it can be used as one of the many ways described in this post to test the website on Internet Explorer if the user is running Macintosh system.
Microsoft Remote Desktop Application or MRDA (just made it myself) is an application used to remotely connect to a system running Windows. So, if I am running a Windows system, you can go ahead and connect to my system remotely using this application with proper settings and credentials.
Similarly, taking the above process in the reverse order, if the user is running Macintosh on his system and wants to test his website on Internet Explorer, he can connect to a system running Windows remotely. For this, as you might have already guessed, you need a system running Windows like your friend’s or family member’s. It should also have Microsoft Remote Desktop Application installed on that system to work.
Cloud-Based Remote Desktop Machines
With Microsoft Remote Desktop Applications, you now also have another avenue to get a windows environment, cloud based virtual machines. You can lease a Microsoft Azure based windows cloud machine with pre installed Internet Explorer or Edge browsers, and then access these machines through remote desktop applications. There is Microsoft’s official remote desktop client for MacOS machines as well that you can use to access windows environments with MacOS machines.
6. IE Tab
Since Google Chrome is available for all the major operating systems, installing this extension on your Google Chrome browser will quickly let the user test his website on the Internet Explorer, even if the user is having a MacOS.
Developed in Taiwan, IE tab extension is just 815KB in size and currently managed and developed by BlackFish Software. IE tab has been in the top 10 Google Chrome extensions since 2009 with 4+ million users today. Since the size is so less, all that the user needs to do here is go to the web store and search for the IE tab extension. Once the user finds the extension, he needs to add it to the chrome start exploring websites as if they are seen in the Internet Explorer.
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