Run Multiple Versions Of IE At Once

10th November 2003 · Last updated: 5th October 2016

In possibly the greatest news for developers this year, Joe Maddalone has discovered that you can run Internet Explorer 5, 5.5 and 6 on the same computer. Why is this so exciting? Because unlike Mozilla, Opera and other browsers, it was previously thought that only one version of IE could be installed on a computer, unless you used clever software or dual-boot systems. So to test your site in all the different flavours of IE was impossible without using separate computers for each one.

This is important because there are enough differerences between each version of IE to cause major problems with your layouts. So if you can test in each one, you can see directly how visitors to your site using these browsers will see your layout. Otherwise what works in one version may be a mess in another.

Developments are moving fast with IE4 and even IE3 now possible to run as well! Ryan Parman has made it easy for people to install each version of IE by making zips available that contain just the exact files you need. All you have to do is extract them and run the browser directly from the resulting folder - no messing about. It works like a dream, with the exception of the Favorites button which crashes the browser, but you can use the sidebar to access favorites instead. Any existing version of IE6 (Service Pack 1) should run as normal.