Testing is a very important part of the web design and development process. If you’re a Mac based web developer then you know how difficult Internet Explorer Mac OS X testing can be. Luckily, there’s a free, easy way to do it thanks to Oracle VirtualBox. Follow these steps to incorporate Internet Explorer Mac OS X testing (for multiple versions) into your web development project workflow.
Oracle VM VirtualBox is a powerful open source tool that is sponsored by Oracle. It allows you to quickly and easily create a virtual PC for enterprise as well as home use. It is the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.
Download and install the latest version from their wiki.
Install Internet Explorer
Open up Terminal by navigating to /Applications/Utilities, then double-click on Terminal.
Be careful: Be extra cautious when using the command line Terminal. With great power comes great responsibility.
Use the commands below to install the version(s) of Internet Explorer that you wish to use with VirtualBox.
Take notice: This process does take some time, for me it took about 30 minutes to complete the process for a single version of Internet Explorer 8.
Install ALL versions of Internet Explorer: IE 7, IE 8, and IE 9
curl -s https://raw.github.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | bash
Install Internet Explorer 7 Only
curl -s https://raw.github.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS="7" bash
Install Internet Explorer 8 Only
curl -s https://raw.github.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS="8" bash
Install Internet Explorer 9 Only
curl -s https://raw.github.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS="9" bash
Open Oracle VirtualBox
Once the command line process finishes, open VirtualBox. You should see an instance for each installation you executed, click on an instance you wish to load then hit Start.
Remember: The default Windows admin password is
That’s it, your done. Pretty easy right? Now for the best part, the VirtualBox software has a method for bypassing Microsoft’s 30 day activation lock called Snapshots.
This preserves the original Windows VM state and allows you to continuously use the IE virtual machine without any time limitation simply by reverting to the original snapshot once the 30 day lock occurs.
Internet Explorer for Mac the Easy Way
After the 30 Day Expiration
- Open VirtualBox
- Select the Internet Explorer virtual machine
- Click on the Snapshots button
- Boot from the original snapshot that was created
This will allow you to use Windows for another 30 days. You can do this as many times as you wish.
Other Resources on Mac IE Testing
- Top 10 Tools To Test Cross Platform Browser Compatibility
- Run multiple versions of Internet Explorer on Mac OS X without the need for Windows
About the Author
Kevin Leary is a web developer in Boston, MA specializing in enterprise website design and development, online marketing, and conversion optimization.