If you search for “download Internet Explorer for Mac” you may find sites that claim to offer it but do not download them as the truth is IE for Mac does not exist anymore.
Some sites claiming that you can download and install IE on a Mac may even install malware on your Mac.
The last version of Internet Explorer that worked on Mac was for OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard which is now obsolete so don’t be fooled by any site that claims you can download it still.
1. Emulate IE In Your Browser
The easiest, quickest and simplest way to run Internet Explorer on Mac works by “fooling” sites into thinking you are using IE even though you are using another browser.
This is free and very easy to do. All you have to do is change a few settings in your browser.
This works with Safari, Chrome, Firefox and a lesser known browser called iCab.
It works by activating the Developer Mode in the browser then switching the User Agent to Internet Explorer, making the site think you’re accessing it using IE.
iCab does a similar thing except the ability to switch browser identities is a standard feature.
Follow these instructions to emulate Internet Explorer in each of these browsers starting with Safari.
Safari (only Mojave or earlier)
Important Update: If you’re using macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or Catalina you can only simulate Microsoft Edge in Safari. You need macOS Mojave or lower to simulate Internet Explorer in Safari.
Open Safari on your Mac. If you can’t find it, search for “Safari” in Spotlight in the top right of your Mac.
When Safari is open, select Safari and then Preferences… in the top left corner.
Select the Advanced tab on the far right. Then select the checkbox “Show Develop menu in menu bar” at the bottom:
Close the Preferences and you’ll see a new “Develop” option in the Safari Menu Bar at the top of the screen. Click on it and you’ll see the option User Agent. You can then instruct Safari to appear to websites as Internet Explorer.
Select Internet Explorer 11 unless you know that the site you’re trying to access only works with Internet Explorer 8.0 or 9.0. Note that if you’re using macOS Catalina or higher, Internet Explorer no longer appears in the User Agent list.
You should now be able to access sites that require Internet Explorer.
As you can see from the other options available in the User Agent, you can also make Safari pretend your Mac is a PC or Mac using Chrome, Firefox or Opera.
If you’re using Google Chrome, here’s how to emulate IE on a Mac:
Go to the View menu at the top of Chrome and select Developer and then Developer Tools.
A panel will open to the right of your browser window.
Make sure that Console is selected in the upper Menu and then go to the bottom of the browser and click on the three dots next to Console as illustrated by the arrows below:
From the pop-up Menu that appears, select Network Conditions.
Next to user agent, deselect the option “Select Automatically” and then click on the Custom Menu and select the version of Internet Explorer you want Chrome to use.
Any websites you visit will then think you are using Internet Explorer on your Mac.
You can leave the console open or close it.
When you close the tab completely, Chrome will revert to being Chrome again – there’s no further action needed on your part.
The disadvantage of Boot Camp compared to Parallels however is that you can’t switch between macOS and Windows at the same time – you have to boot your Mac in either macOS or Windows and therefore only use one operating system at one time.
Boot Camp also doesn’t work with Apple Silicon Macs so if you want to install IE on an M-series Mac, you have to use Parallels.
3. Use Microsoft Edge
Some sites that require Internet Explorer may work with Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge is Microsoft’s replacement for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge for Mac is now available.
However, it’s a completely different browser to IE and it’s quite possible that websites that only work in IE, won’t work in Microsoft Edge.