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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.
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
Important: Safari can simulate Internet Explorer on macOS Mojave or earlier. On Big Sur, Catalina, or Monterey, it’s only possible to simulate Edge.
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.
How to run Windows on Intel Macs
To set up virtual machine, first you need to buy a copy of some virtual machine software (VMware Fusion is a good one for Intel-based Macs) 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
How to run Windows on M1 Macs
If you have a newer M1 Mac, the only option to install Windows so far is with Parallels Desktop 16 and Windows 10 for ARM:
- Download Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac
- Register as a Windows Insider and download Windows 10 on Microsoft’s website
- Open Windows 10 .VHDX file in Parallels and follow the instructions to set up virtual machine
- Install Windows 10
- Log in your Parallels account and complete the Windows update.
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 or Parallels 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, or —even better —set up custom browser rules with OpenIn.
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 adblocking. 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.
In early 2020, Microsoft released Edge for macOS, which runs on Chromium (same as Google Chrome and Brave). And in spring 2021, vertical tabs were added to Edge for Mac —one of the universally loved features you might as well want to try. Not to mention that Windows users will just find Edge more familiar and easier to use than other browsers.
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.
Or, you can get the best out of every browser with OpenIn.
Use multiple browsers with OpenIn
OpenIn is a smart file and link opener for Mac. It helps you set up a workspace where you can use as many browsers as you want to work faster and more productively. Essentially, it learns in what browser you want to open specific types of files or mailto links. And if you want to have a choice, OpenIn will show you a selector list with the available browsers when you click a link.
Let’s say you like vertical tabs in Edge and want to use it for when you need to open multiple sites. Chrome is best for Google-linked accounts, and if you use Gmail, it totally makes sense to use Chrome for mailto links. Safari is fast and private (especially with the new Private Relay and Hide My Email features on macOS 12). OpenIn lets you use all of them, without turning your workflow into a mess.
There are two ways to use OpenIn:
Make OpenIn your default browser —so you can always choose where to open a specific link. In OpenIn Preferences, go to Browsers. You’ll see a warning saying OpenIn is not your default browser. Click “Fix it.” That’s it, you’ll now see a browser selector list when clicking links.
Specify rules for every browser. If you do this, OpenIn will know which of your browsers should open mailto links, which one should open specific domains, etc. In OpenIn Preferences > Browsers, click a browser (let’s say, Chrome) > Use ‘only for rules’ or ‘by default and rules’ > specify the rules. The rules can be certain domains, source apps, etc. That’s how you make your whole flow personalised.
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 alternatives. 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 productivity suite of 230+ apps for Mac and iPhone. All apps 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.
Here is an essential introductory set of some of the apps featured on Setapp that every new Mac user 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. The app’s Markdown support makes it web friendly, allowing direct exports to WordPress and Medium. Plus, you get features like writing goals and grammar check, helping you hone your writing skills and habits.
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.
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, OpenIn, 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.
FAQ about Internet Explorer for Mac
How to download Internet Explorer for Mac
If you want to know how to access Internet Explorer on Mac, you should either consider simulating it through Safari on macOS Mojave or older versions, install Windows on Mac with a virtual machine, or else find an alternative browser, because Internet Explorer is not natively available on Mac.
Can you install Internet Explorer on Mac?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to directly download and install Internet Explorer on Mac. However, there’s an option to install Windows on your Mac with a virtual machine, and then install and use Internet Explorer, just as you’d do on a Windows computer. You can also simulate Windows browser on Mac through Safari, but it’s only possible on macOS Mojave and older versions.
What is the best alternative to Internet Explorer for Mac?
The best options are Safari, Chrome, and Firefox — all of them can ensure fast and stable performance, and all can be used for free. Safari is believed to be faster and more secure for Mac users, Chrome has the best power features and integration with Google, and Firefox is light on memory usage. You can as well use multiple browsers for different tasks with OpenIn.
Why Internet Explorer is not for Mac
Although many are wondering why there’s no Internet Explorer for Apple devices, it totally makes sense. Internet Explorer is a native browser developed by Microsoft, which comes pre-installed on Windows computers. Just as Safari, it’s been specifically designed to work on a certain operating system —in this case, Windows — and can’t be installed on third-party OS.
No! You can no longer install Internet Explorer on a Mac, but you can install Windows or select a browser to emulate Internet Explorer on Mac. You can also choose any cross browser testing platform like LambdaTest to test Internet Explorer for Mac.How do I fix browser problems on Mac? ›
- Reload the page. To reload a page, choose View > Reload Page, or press Command-R. ...
- Check Safari extensions. ...
- Check Safari settings. ...
- Test with a private window. ...
- Install software updates. ...
- Check VPN or other security software. ...
- Check network settings. ...
- Resolve other issues.
Internet Explorer 11 is a Windows web browser from Microsoft, but those running OS X on a Mac can also use Internet Explorer 11 through a great free service called ModernIE from Microsoft.Is there a way to get Internet Explorer? ›
Support for Internet Explorer ended on June 15, 2022
Internet Explorer 11 has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10. If any site you visit needs Internet Explorer 11, you can reload it with Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge.
On the Mac you will use Finder, which you can open from this icon in the dock. On Windows, you will use File Explorer, and most users have an icon for File Explorer in the Task Bar.Does Edge for Mac have IE mode? ›
You cannot install IE on Mac as it was discontinued in 2005, so sites that rely on ActiveX won't work.How do you reset your browser on a Mac? ›
In the Safari menu, choose 'Preferences...' Click the 'Privacy' button at the top of the new window that appears, and then click the 'Remove All Website Data' button. It will ask you if you are sure you want to remove all data stored by websites on your computer.How do I manually reset my browser on Mac? ›
Go to ⋮ > Settings. At the bottom of the page, click Advanced. Scroll down, then click Restore settings to their original defaults. Click Reset Settings.How do I upgrade my Mac browser? ›
- Go to the Apple menu > System Settings.
- Click on Software Update.
- If there are any updates, click Restart Now to install them. You can also click More info to read about the update.
- Once your macOS has updated, Safari will be up to date too.
The retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10.
Still want to download Internet Explorer 11? Though it's no longer supported, you can download and install Internet Explorer 11. Find out what version of Internet Explorer you're using or which operating system you're running.How do I download old Internet Explorer? ›
- Use Compatibility View in IE11. ...
- Download IE6 From the Internet Archive. ...
- Grab IE8 or Other Versions From OldApps.com. ...
- Access Old IE Versions Using a Virtual Machine. ...
- Try Browser Testing Tools. ...
- Purchase IE Tab.
Other important factors to consider when researching alternatives to Internet Explorer include features and user interface. We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Internet Explorer, including Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Opera.Why Internet Explorer is no more? ›
Now it is dead. Microsoft permanently disabled its out-of-support legacy browser on Tuesday in a move to improve user experience and transfer organizations to its newer Edge browser, the company said. This applies to "certain versions of Windows 10," Microsoft noted.What is similar to File Explorer on Mac? ›
Mac users have Finder, whereas Windows users have File Explorer for managing files on their computers.What is Microsoft Explorer called now? ›
It's called File Explorer in Windows 10.How do I find hidden files on Mac? ›
Showing hidden files via Mac Finder
Press the “Command” + “Shift” + “.” (period) keys at the same time. The hidden files will show up as translucent in the folder. If you want to obscure the files again, press the same “Command” + “Shift” + “.” (period) combination.
- Navigate to the website you want to view in Internet Explorer mode.
- Click the three dots in the upper right corner of the browser window.
- Select Reload in Internet Explorer Mode.
Yes. The retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10. For more information, see Internet Explorer 11 desktop app retirement FAQ.How do I run IE instead of Edge? ›
- Click on the Options button in the top-right corner of the Edge browser and select Settings.
- Click on Default browser on the left.
- Click the dropdown menu for Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer mode. ...
- If you're prompted to restart the browser, click Restart.
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More. Settings. On Chromebook, Linux, and Mac: Click Reset settings Restore settings to their original defaults. Reset settings. On Windows: Click Reset and cleanup Reset settings to their original defaults. Reset settings.
Reset your Android Mobile Web Browser
Select "More", then "Settings". Scroll down. There will be three menu options: "Clear cache", "Clear history", and "Clear all cookie data". Touch each of these three in turn, selecting "Ok" when it asks you to confirm.
Safari is the default browser when you first set up your Mac. If you accidentally change your default browser or just want to change it back to Safari, you can easily adjust your default. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Desktop & Dock in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)How do I fix unsupported browser on Safari? ›
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Play Store app. .
- At the top right, tap the profile icon.
- Tap Manage apps & device.
- Under "Updates available," find Chrome. .
- Next to Chrome, tap Update.
- Bing. A revamped search engine powered by AI.
- Opera GX. Free internet browser for gamers.
- Safari. Simple and sleek.
- KidZui. A kid friendly internet portal.
- Saft. Add more power to Safari.
- Select Start > Settings.
- Select Apps.
- Select Optional features.
- Select Add a feature.
- Select Internet Explorer 11.
- Select Install (1).
- Restart the computer when prompted to reboot.
To be sure you have the latest version of Internet Explorer 11, select the Start button, select Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and then select Check for updates.What is the best browser to replace Internet Explorer 11? ›
Microsoft Edge is the faster, more secure browser recommended by Microsoft. With improved security, privacy, speed, and ease of use, Microsoft Edge surpasses the experience you've come to know with Internet Explorer.What happens when Internet Explorer retired? ›
The Internet Explorer (IE) 11 desktop application ended support for Windows 10 semi-annual channel on June 15, 2022. Customers are encouraged to move to Microsoft Edge with IE mode. Go here to learn more. IE mode enables backward compatibility and will be supported through at least 2029.
Internet Explorer (IE) 11 is the last major version of Internet Explorer. On June 15, 2022, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application ended support on certain versions of Windows 10*. Customers are encouraged to move to Microsoft Edge, which provides support for legacy and modern websites and apps.Can I run an old version of Internet Explorer? ›
You can't install old versions of Internet Explorer on modern versions of Windows. It's a bit of a pain, but the only way to truely test how a site works on <=IE7 as the emulation in modern versions of IE is not 100% reliable.Why can I not download Internet Explorer? ›
Check that you meet the minimum operating system requirements and have the prerequisites installed. Check that there are no other updates or restarts waiting. Temporarily turn off your antispyware and antivirus software. Try another IE11 installer.Can I download Microsoft Edge on Mac? ›
Microsoft has made a download of its Edge Browser available from the official website and once loaded will automatically present you with the macOS browser download option if you visit the page on your iMac or MacBook as in the image below.Is Firefox available for Mac? ›
You can download and install Firefox on macOS 10.12 and above.How do I browse the Internet on my MacBook air? ›
- On your Mac, click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, then choose the network you want to join. If you don't see the network you want to join, click Other Networks to display nearby networks.
- If requested, enter the password for the network, then click Join.
Press Command + Option + U keyboard combination to view the page source.Is Safari better than Edge? ›
As per HTML5test, the Edge beats Safari and Chrome both. However, that does not mean Safari is a slow web browser. Both have their strengths and weaknesses in this aspect. While Safari being more optimised for macOS, it will offer slightly better performance and efficiency.Is Microsoft Edge same as Internet Explorer? ›
Support for Internet Explorer ended on June 15, 2022
Microsoft Edge is the faster, more secure browser recommended by Microsoft. With improved security, privacy, speed, and ease of use, Microsoft Edge surpasses the experience you've come to know with Internet Explorer.
It's quick, snappy, supports all Chrome extensions, it uses less RAM, it's got Picture-in-Picture. It's really good! Plus, for Touch Bar MacBooks, Edge makes MUCH better use of it than Chrome.
In the end, it just boils down to what you value in your browser. If you're integrated with the Apple ecosystem, Safari is still a great choice. But if you value having the latest and greatest privacy protections and being able to work across multiple operating systems, we think Firefox is your best bet.Should I use Safari or Firefox on my Mac? ›
It all comes down to what you need at the end of the day. If you want a fast and familiar browsing session, Safari is the obvious choice. Safari on Mac has superior speed and brilliant security features. If you want more customization and minimized risk of tracking, Firefox is your friend.Can you have two browsers on your Mac? ›
To set your preferred browser, go to System Preferences/General. You can have multiple browsers open at the same time. You switch between browsers just like you switch between applications.