Though today Internet Explorer is associated strictly with Windows OS, back in the days, it was the default browser on several Mac OS versions as well. But after 1998, when Apple launched their own Safari browser, it became hardly possible to find a typical Mac owner who uses IE. Nevertheless, even nowadays some circumstances or system settings require the ability to open and view some websites on Apple devices with Internet Explorer directly or by enabling some kind of emulator.
For example, you seek ways how to test the behavior of your web page’s responsive design or newly developed media plugin in various browsers. Or you want to visit some governmental Internet resource to view current regulations, terms/conditions, official reports, etc. Often, such organizations do not trust innovations. They prefer leaving everything the way it was a long time ago.
As there is no way to use Internet Explorer on Apple computers directly, one of the methods is to set up the entire virtual Windows OS with IE on your Mac. However, there is a much simpler approach, which allows avoiding all this technical hustle with the virtual machine – changing Apple Safari’s user agent.
This option is meant to let you imitate Internet Explorer on Mac without taking plenty of your time and nerves. It is, perhaps, the easiest way to fool a website into believing you are running a different browser to view web pages. Such “spoofing” is not a fresh idea, but yet very effective. To understand how to send a false “user agent string” and get a get IE compatible view, it is important to explain what a user agent is.
Basically, the user agent is the identifier of your browser and operating system. This information helps servers to send back the web page version that will be displayed correctly in this very browser. Hence, each time Safari attends a website, it sends a string of text. For instance:
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_13) AppleWebKit/602.1.43 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/11.0 Safari/602.1.43
It means that a certain user is using the 11th version of Safari on macOS High Sierra. Respectively, it will receive from the server the website version to match these characteristics.
6 Steps to Mimic Internet Explorer Usage on Mac
Now we’re getting to the matter of our article – changing Safari user agent to Internet Explorer with the help of 6 simple steps.
Step 1: Launch Safari on your Mac.
Step 2: Open Safari -> Preferences.
Step 3: Move to the Advanced tab.
Step 4: Put a tick mark against “Show Develop menu in menu bar.”
Step 5: Discover the Develop option in the top menu bar. Find the User Agent in the drop-down menu.
Step 6: Choose one of the available Internet Explorer features.
Bonus Tip: In case you wish to pretend you are using a personal computer, select one of the two possible options: Google Chrome – Windows or Firefox – Windows.
Yes, it’s that simple! Once you implement the recommended tactics, you’ll find how easy it is to start using IE on macOS to test web page rendering or observe old-fashioned websites.