How to Run Internet Explorer on Mac OS X

Running IE in a VirtualBox snapshot enables your Mac to support ActiveX

By Filip Truta on October 15th, 2013 12:36 GMT

The last official Internet Explorer for Mac is no longer functional since the release of OS X 10.7 (Lion), and it’s a huge pain in the neck, including from a security standpoint.

Now you can run the latest version of Internet Explorer on Macs using virtualization. For those of you requiring IE to run ActiveX on the Mac, this is the perfect solution.

To do this, you’ll need VirtualBox, the free-to-download and free-to-use virtualization software which allows you to run Windows and other “guest” operating systems on a Mac “host.”

VirtualBox makes it possible to run Windows applications on a Mac, which means Internet Explorer can become a Mac application if you take the necessary steps. Which brings us to our tutorial.

How to run Internet Explorer on a Mac

Step 1

Download Oracle VM VirtualBox for Mac and install it. 

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Step 2

Run VirtualBox Manager and then close it. This is necessary so that the system records certain pieces of information, making it possible for the following steps to work properly.

Step 3

Launch Terminal and paste one of the following commands, depending on which version of IE you’d like to install.

IE 10 Only

curl -s | IEVMS_VERSIONS="10" bash

IE 9 Only

curl -s | IEVMS_VERSIONS="9" bash

IE 8 Only (Windows XP, small Image)

curl -s | IEVMS_VERSIONS="8" bash

IE 7 Only (Windows XP, small Image)

curl -s | IEVMS_VERSIONS="7" bash

IE 7, 8, 9, 10 (will take a while longer, and will occupy a fair amount of disk space - around 20GB)

curl -s | bash

If your machine is not new or powefull, I recommend installing IE 8. This will install Windows XP Virtual Machine.

Step 4

OS X will ask for your Administrator password. Enter it and wait until all applications are downloaded (it can take up to 2 hours in some cases, so be patient).

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Step 5

Run the virtual machine. In case you’re prompted to enter a password, punch in “Password1” or "Passw0rd!" and launch Internet Explorer (see the password hint).

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Step 6

You can upgrade to IE 11 Preview by accessing

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Step 7

Turn on automatic updates and install updates

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Update: The Windows XP installation is set to expire after 30 days of use.
The Windows 7 installation is set to expire after 90 days and can be rearmed 5 times.

Update 12 May 2014 - URL changes for scripts

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