There’s a nugget of truth in the well-established belief that default browsers are good for nothing. From this point of view, it is clear why using Safari browser on OS X or macOS doesn’t seem like a good idea. Obliviously, not all IE and Safari versions are bulky and unwieldy. For example, the introduction of Microsoft Edge, the latest version of Windows browser, showed that the company knows how to outpace its competitors, which was not evident from its previous attempts at making web browsing smooth and enjoyable — IE 8, IE 9, IE 10, and IE 11. Needless to say that nothing conveys the gravity of the failure to deliver a sound tool for web browsing as the universal condemnation of the Internet community that prefers using alternative instruments such as Firefox and Google Chrome.
Those who are in the web application development business often need to know how their products look in IE environment. To ensure that there are no inconsistencies in user experience, it is imperative for developers to view website in different browsers. Without having instant access to a spare PC, it is not so easy to test web applications for IE. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of tools that can simulate the latest version of IE on your Mac. The use of virtualization software or an emulator is the perfect solution for web developers.
This article will teach you how to run IE on your Mac for testing purposes. Buckle up!
How to Get Modern IE for Mac
The good news is that it’s not necessary to run a virtual machine to check whether your website renders in IE appropriately. There are many apps such as Microsoft Remote Desktop app, which features Microsoft Azure, that can be effectively used to this end. All you need is a client for Mac and the high-speed Internet connection. Here’s how to use remote IE for developing purposes:
- Subscribe to the cloud-based cross-browser testing service with your Microsoft account (the service is completely free);
- Open a confirmation email and click on the link to start using the service;
- Go the App Store and download the Microsoft Remote Desktop app;
- Install and launch the app after the downloading is successfully completed;
- Once the app is launched, select the Azure RemoteApp option from the menu at the top of the window;
- In a window that opens, enter your email, phone or Microsoft email account to initiate the use of the browser on OS X or macOS.
- Click on the Continue button;
- In the new window, select the IE Tech Preview option under the Internet Explorer;
- Use the IE to access the Web.
There’s no need for additional setup steps to use the IE test environment via remote desktop. Most importantly, the browser will automatically update itself to the latest version, thereby obviating the need for the user involvement.
It should be mentioned that IE can be run on a Mac via a virtual machine (VM). It can be done with the help of VM software that is freely available on the App Store or the official Microsoft developers website. This is especially relevant after remote.modern.ie is no longer available.
Internet Explorer Developer Tools
If you are interested in quickly debugging Microsoft JScript and troubleshooting specific issues with HTML and CSS, look no further than Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge developer tools. Try different solutions on-the-fly to ensure that users of a web application or a plugin developed by you do not see blank or garbled pages. The developer tools are available for every IE browser version, which makes it easier to conduct debugging across the board. Developer tools of Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 11 can be accessed via a remote desktop.
Pros and Cons of Developer Tools
Internet Explorer compatibility mode is a major advantage of the tools, which allows viewing web pages on the latest version of the browser as if they were viewed on one of the previous versions.
The users of the IE developer tools can attain complete control over browser cookies, which is a considerable benefit for web developers. Additionally, it is possible to clear cache by selecting either Clear Browser Cache or Clear Browser Cache for this Domain option from the Cache menu.
When it comes to the disadvantages of the developer tools, it uses a lot of memory for showing separate processes in different tabs. While this helps to achieve reasonable isolation from crashes and provides a better view, its use on Macs without sufficient RAM is problematic. Furthermore, sometimes menu options under the Tools tab are greyed out. Occasionally, the menu bar itself is not working, which requires troubleshooting that annoys many users.
Provided that you have the broadband Internet, you shouldn’t have any problems running IE on your Mac. The use of plugins allows customizing the browser to a significant extent, thereby enhancing its functionality.