Working on a Mac device is all fun and games until you get into some hardcore development and need to check out how your application looks on Internet Explorer. Being a web designer, front-end developer, or even a member of the software testing and quality assurance team, you are likely to own a Mac and use it for almost all of your applications. After all, it is quite popular in the community of developers and has a loyal fanbase.
However, let us face the fact that a significant number of your clients are using Windows, or even Linux. On top of that, a fraction of them may still be in love with Internet Explorer and refuse to switch to Chrome or Firefox. You cannot just ruin the reputation of your product and let it take a bashing from Internet Explorer fans for not working well in their environment! Here is where the need to test your application for cross-browser compatibility comes in.
Being a Mac user, you cannot just go to your search bar and type "Internet Explorer." You need to find a way to test your website on IE. Keeping that in mind, we have brought you the top seven ways to accomplish the task and live a happy life!
Remote IE is an amazing tool launched by Microsoft. It runs on literally any platform and lets you test your website or application on Internet Explorer even if the device or platform you are using does not run IE. It lets you use a virtual machine on the Microsoft cloud to run Internet Explorer on your local machine using a remote desktop application. This results in Internet Explorer running on your Mac OS X exactly like a native app window. The catch is that the actual IE instance is running on a Windows server in the Microsoft Azure cloud.
What you see on your Mac device is a remote view. Nothing happens on your machine — all the real action happens on the server. The entire process of connecting to the cloud-based virtual machine has been extremely simplified by Microsoft. It provides a connection method called Microsoft RemoteApp in its Mac OS X Microsoft Remote Desktop application. You can find it in the Mac application store here.
To make your life easier, a lot of online cross-browser testing tools are available. These amazing platforms are a real lifesaver. LambdaTest, for instance, lets you perform real-time testing of your webpage or application to make sure that it works well irrespective of the platform being used by the user. If you cannot access a particular browser, like Mac users cannot access IE, tools like LambdaTest come in handy. It provides you with auto-generated full-page screenshots of your web application using the screenshot feature and lets you test the responsiveness of your website across as many as 44 devices!
VirtualBox, developed by Oracle, is a free-to-use tool that allows you to run a variety of operating systems. It sets up a virtual environment on your device and supports the applications or programs which are not compatible with the platform as such.
You can easily install Oracle VM Virtualbox on your device and run Internet Explorer in it. Download the VirtualBox software along with its extension pack and install the software .dmg file followed by running the VirtualBox manager. You need to immediately close it after running it. This will let your system log some necessary information.
Now open your Mac’s Terminal app and paste the relevant command which matches the version of Internet Explorer you want to use. You can easily find the relevant commands over here. As the file gets downloaded completely, run the virtual machine. Install the updates (if any) and turn on automatic updates (if you want to). The Windows desktop will be presented to you along with the version of Internet Explorer. You are all set to work with Internet Explorer on your Mac device now.
A trick method used for running Internet Explorer on Mac is by doing a little work with a hidden menu in Safari. Follow these steps to use Internet Explorer on your Mac device without virtualization:
Go to Develop > User Agent.
Launch Safari on your Mac device.
Click on Safari in the menu bar at the top of your Mac screen.
Click on Preferences.
Click on the Advanced tab.
Check the "Show Develop menu in menu bar" setting.
Close the Preferences window.
The Develop menu would have started showing up in your menu bar by now.
Go to Develop > User Agent.
In case you need to pretend you are working with Internet Explorer, click on one of the Internet Explorer options.
In case you need to act like you are working on a PC, choose "Google Chrome — Windows" or "Firefox — Windows."
WineBottler is a software that lets you run a lot of Windows-based programs on your Mac device. It does not require you to boot multiple operating systems, nor do you need to spend a large sum on an expensive Windows license. Download the software here and install it in the usual way. Internet Explorer is offered by default. They will give you an option to download it on the page that you see when you run WineBottler for the first time. The latest available version is Internet Explorer 8. Select, install and save it. As the process is completed, launch the application and you are all set to go!
Making use of the VMware server virtualization, you can run the Windows operating system on your Mac device, thus helping you test your website on IE easily. A hypervisor is installed on the physical server. This lets multiple virtual machines (VMs) to run on the same physical server. Each VM is capable of supporting and running its own operating system (OS). Thus, using the software you can run Windows on Mac which means you can test your website on Internet Explorer.
The last and the most laborious option is to install Windows on your Mac and run Internet Explorer! Boot Camp Assistant is a utility available with Apple’s Mac OS X. It helps the Mac users in properly installing Microsoft Windows on a Mac device. Once you are done with performing all the steps of installation, simply restart your Mac device to switch between macOS and Windows. A point to be noted here is that - not all of the Mac devices support Windows. You first need to check and ensure that your device is one of the following as only these support the feature:
MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
MacBook Air (2012 and later)
MacBook (2015 and later)
iMac Pro (2017)
iMac (2012 and later)
Mac mini (2012 and later)
Mac mini Server (Late 2012)
Mac Pro (Late 2013)
These are some of the most popular methods to test your website on Internet Explorer even if you have a Mac device. Being a developer or a software tester, you need simultaneous access to a lot of tools and platforms. Although you need to code it all at your own, you can save a lot of time during the testing phase by speeding up the testing cycles. Automate the process to a large extent. Make use of cross-browser testing tools like LambdaTest, Browserstack, or Sauce Labs to save time while testing the website for various browsers and platforms. Live interactive browser testing, automated screenshot testing, responsive layout testing, and smart visual UI testing are some of the key features of LambdaTest that will save a lot of your crucial time and help you test your websites effectively!