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How to setup IE on a mac

How to setup IE on a mac

As a drupal developer, I use mac osx to develop all my drupal projects. I like the slick Unified UI, powerful Unix core, and all the awesome building tools on a mac. Although my Mac has everything that I ever needed to develop drupal sites, there is one thing missing that I absolutely need, the ability to install the Internet Explorer browser.

Why you ask? What on the earth that makes me want to install IE on a mac?

Well, I like to think I am a decent drupal developer. I want the ability to test my work on my local machine, especially when I do front end work. Plus, I don't like to keep asking my co-workers to test my code on their windows machine everytime I make changes.

Today, all those headaches will be history. I am here to give you a step by step guide to get any version of IE running on your mac.

Please note that I am using vmware for this tutorial, but you can use whatever virtual machine software you prefer (virtual box, parallels). I also assume that your local web server is using port 80.

Download Internet Explorer

1) Go to and download the pre-made image file from microsoft.

1.1) The first step you have to choose is the IE and OS versions. eg IE8 on windows 7

1.2) Next, choose a platform of your virtual machine software. In my case I choose VMware Fusion for mac.

1.3) Download and unzip the image file. (3.6GB zip file, over 10GB after un-zipped it) make sure you have enough storage space. I recommend you store those zip files somewhere, since this pre-made windows image will expire after 3 month. Snapshot of course will also work.

Setup a new network adapter

Once you have a working virtual machine, make sure its not running, otherwise you won't be able to configure its hardware settings.

2.1) Go to your virtual machine settings page.

2.2) Add Device, then choose a network adapter.

2.3) After that, make sure to choose the autodetect mode (This is under the Bridged Networking section). This is very important and Do NOT use the default share with my Mac(NAT) mode.

Edit the host file

3) After that we want to edit the host file on this virtual machine, which will route all requests from this virtual machine to our mac's local web server.

Here are the default windows login info just incase you missed it.

  • IEUser
  • Passw0rd!

3.1) after you login to the the virtual machine, Vmware will install some tools for you and ask you to restart. Vmware can wait. If you download windows 7 and above, make sure to run your notepad in administrator mode.

First click the start button, then search for notepad in the search programs and files input section. Once notepad shows up, right click it and then select “Run as administrator” otherwise, you won't be able to make any changes to host file.

3.2) Now, lets find out the local IP address of our mac. Without this information, your windows machine will not be able to communicate with the web server running in your mac.

Next, switch back to mac and go to System Preferences, click network, then select whatever network interface that is connected. In my case, I choose Wi-Fi, your local IP address should appear under the status section on the right side of this network window, such as Please write this down.

3.3) Ok, its time to make some changes to the windows host file now.

Open the host file under this path in your notepad.

  1. C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

Enter a new line at the end of this file then save it.

It should look like this, your local IP address followed by your web project name. e.g.


That's all. Restart your virtual machine, then open IE and enter the web project name, you should be able to load it in no time. Happy debugging.

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