Wednesday, 28 June 2017

How to access websites on your Mac that requires Internet Explorer


There are certain websites that can be accessed from Internet Explorer only. This happens because of the websites compatibility with IE. But this will not work on your Mac laptop or Linux machine since you cannot run IE on it. At least not in traditional way - You can always install a software like Wine and then run your windows application in that simulated environment. But there is a much simpler way.

How to access websites on your Mac that requires Internet Explorer

I will take Safari browser in our Mac as an example. 
  • Open Safari browser and open preferences from menu bar at the top.
  • Once opened go to "Advanced Tab"
  • In "Advanced Tab" select the "Show Develop menu in menu bar" check box.

  • Once done you should be able to see "Develop" menu in menubar on top. 
  • Under "Develop" menu you can select "User Agent" and then select the user agent you want. For eg - "Internet Explorer 7"

  • Once you select that your IE compatible page should load fine.

 On other operating systems and browser  - Linux/Chrome/Firefox

Above approach was specific to Safari but the solution remains same - You need to change the user agent. So you have plugins to do so -

Similar you can find a similar plugin in chrome store. 

Manual way

    FIREFOX 4.0 :  In Firefox type in the URL Address: about:config. A webpage will appear saying a warning about the use of the Config. Click on the button about you being careful. In the search bar in the Config type agent and look for the variable general.useragent.override. Double click on it and overwrite the value it has with one of the following (For the default leave the value EMPTY):

    IE6 - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)
    IE7 - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)
    IE8 - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1)

    CHROME :  Chrome has an about page to CHECK if you have changed your User Agent about: and other options like about:labs, about:memory, about:hang, about:plugins and many others that depending on your version they could be available or not. But for the question at hand this option is not yet in any of the about pages i have found. To have it manually in chrome you need to start chrome with the option user-agent. For example google-chrome --user-agent="Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)" which will open Chrome like it were IE6. The IE User Agents are from the Firefox option above.

    OPERA : In Opera type in the URL Address: about:config. A list will appear and a search address in the upper part of the list. Type in the search address user agent. The option for User Agen will appear below the search address. Click on it and depending on the Browser you want you have several options that change depending on version. For example:

    1 - Opera (this is the default user agent string used by Opera)
    2 - Mozilla (With the Opera String in it)
    3 - Internet Explorer (With the Opera String in it)
    4 - Mozilla (Without the Opera String in it. 100% Mozilla)
    5 - Internet Explorer (Without the Opera String in it. 100% IE)

    But this values could change so you would need to test each one to know what User Agent value it has.

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