A Guide on Viewing Internet Explorer Websites on Mac

In previous years, Internet Explorer used to be the leading web browser. This is not until browsers like Google Chrome, Edge, and Safari came into the picture and knocked the Internet Explorer out of the throne.

These new web browsers offered internet users better security and faster connections. They utilized a standard platform for an open web.

In 2005, Internet Explorer for Mac was discontinued by Microsoft. This feature is not supported anymore. However, there are still some workarounds to this. Users are still able to access websites that are IE-based using a Mac.

Microsoft inculcated proprietary features that set the IE browser apart from the other browsers that we know today. This was done during the Internet Explorer’s early development period.

This resulted in web developers creating sites that depended on these unique features to function adequately. This implies that when a user visits a particular website, there is no assurance that such a website would work or even look as it was intended to—unless opened using the Internet Explorer browser.

Website standards recommended by the W3C or World Wide Web Consortium became the benchmark for building websites and developing web browsers since then. Nonetheless, you can still find some sites on the internet created to work most optimally by making use of the Internet Explorer browser.

Moreover, there are methods you can utilize to access any site designed explicitly for browsers such as the Internet Explorer using a Mac.

Method 1: Go to the Safari Develop Menu

There is a hidden menu on #safari Safari which caters to various utilities and tools that are used by website developers.

Two tools can be of help when you are attempting to access misbehaving sites. However, you need to do something first before you can use them.

Go to Preferences, and then Advanced screen time to enable Safari’s Develop menu. When you set Develop in Safari’s menu bar, you can choose to sue the Safari User Agent it the Open Page With utility.

Safari User-Agent

In Safari, you can specify the agent user code. This is the code forwarded to all the sites you visit. The user agent communicates to the website the browser that is in use. Also, the website uses the user agent to determine if it can support the website’s page adequately.

Whenever you come across a website that just doesn’t load, remind blank, or--better yet, shows you an error message that recommends a particular browser for use, this counts as a signal for you to change the user agent of Safari. Follow the steps below:

  1. In the Develop menu, check out the options, and choose User-Agent. This pulls up a list of available user agents and permits Safari to simulate as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or iPod touch, iPad, and iPhone versions of Safari.
  2. You then have to choose from the Options. The browser then would reload the page and use the user agent that you applied. You can do the process again using different user agents if you have to.
  3. After accessing the site, you can then revert the user agent to Automatically Chosen or the Default setting.

Safari’s Open Page with command

This accesses the site using the various web browsers on your Mac. Simply put, this is not much different than having to launch a browser that is installed separately manually. You then copy and paste the URL of the website to the browser that you just opened.

The Open Page With option makes the menu selection process more straightforward. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Go to Safari’s menu bar and click Develop.
  2. On the drop-down menu, select Open Page With.
  3. In the sub-menu, choose one browser installed on your Mac. This opens the page of that site using that browser.

Method 2: On your Mac, Operate IE or Microsoft Edge

If the first method didn’t work and there is a necessary need for you to access a particular website, another solution is for you to use the Internet Explorer or Edge via Windows on your Mac.

These two browsers are based on Windows and are not available through the Mac version. However, you still can use Windows through your Mac, and this will enable you to have access to the well-known browsers of Windows. You have to install Windows 10 on your Mac via Boot Camp.

Method 3: Try Installing a Substitute Browser

Computer users have a preference when it comes to browsers. Mac users commonly use Safari. However, having various web browsers will give you an advantage. Doing such won’t negatively impact your default browser or your computer’s overall operations.

Having various browsers installed just gives you the ability to access a problematic site using another browser. Often, this is all you need to do so you can access a website that doesn’t work adequately on Safari.

With that said, here are some other browsers you can install on your Mac. You can install Google Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.

This method works simply because most of the time, developers target a particular operating system or browser during website creation. This is not because they prefer to push away users. But it was actually because it was tough to know on the get-go how a site would work on different platforms—given the availability of various types of computer graphics and browsers. 

Emil S.

Emil is a Data & Design Specialist with a degree in BS Information System, specializes in Admin Support & Creative Design.

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