Multiple IEs, including IE8!

Stella Power


May 18, 2009

Multiple IEs, including IE8!

For a long time now, I've been using Tredosoft's Multiple IEs. It's a great little package that allows you to run multiple versions of IE on the same machine, from IE 6.0 all the way back to IE 3.0! Okay, now no one is running IE 3.0 any more (I hope!) but from time to time, people want IE 5.5 support (still! yes, I know!) and certainly IE 6 is, unfortunately, still being used. Before I found the Multiple IEs package, I was considering running several virtual machines, each with a different version of IE installed. However, with Multiple IEs I can happily run all these old versions, alongside my IE 7 browser, on the one machine. As a web developer, this is an invaluable tool for cross-browser testing. Then came IE 8... Unfortunately, Multiple IEs is no longer supported (probably too much of a nightmare, I imagine) and it only includes versions up to IE 6. So to upgrade to IE 8, you would lose the ability to run IE 7, which as the most prevalent IE browser out there, isn't a good solution, or you would again need multiple machines running different versions of IE. Thankfully, I found out that the guys at Tredosoft, who provided the Multiple IEs package, also provided a IE 7 standalone app. It was originally intended to run alongside IE 6 for people who didn't want to upgrade to IE 7 at the time. Combining this standalone app with Multiple IEs is the perfect solution to my IE version woes. Well at least the IE woe described here. It can't fix everything! :) So if you want to run IE 3.0, IE 8 and all the versions in between, then here's the steps to get it working for you (tested on WinXP):
  • Upgrade your IE 7 to IE 8.
  • Download and install Tredosoft's IE 7 standalone version.
  • Download and install Tredosoft's Multiple IEs package.
The verdict: So far pretty much everything is working as before. The only issues I've encountered are right-mouse button clicks don't work in the IE 7 standalone app, and there isn't an IE 8 compatible version of the IE Developer toolbar. However, IE 8 is meant to come with new and improved developer tools, so hopefully I won't need it.

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There's no need for a standalone IE7, IE8's compatability mode emulates it exactly, even down to the user agent.

Just toggle the broken page icon next to the url bar. If it's highlighted blue, IE is in compatabiliy mode, and will render like IE7.

Everyone intrested in setting up multiple IEs on the same machine should check out IE Collection:

The new version addresses the form selection issue for IE 6 and IE 7 with IE 8 installed and conditional comments work on all browsers (they even provide a test page to verify this).

Hi All

Just noticed that my site was broken under Multiple IE6.

It turns out that after upgrading from IE7 to IE8 the Multiple IE6 no longer respected conditional comments.

So I uninstalled Multiple IEs and then followed the steps in the article above and now everything seems to be working.

The trick is to install things in the correct order i.e. upgrade to IE8 then install the standalone ie7 and then install Multiple IEs to get 6 and below.



You just saved me many many headaches. I've been kicking myself since I upgraded to IE8 because it made all my multiple IEs useless. Thanks for posting!

Like the other posters, I have tried hard to make the TredoSoft stuff work, including the instructions in this article.

I've also given Hilbrand Edskes Internet Explorer Collection a try ( ) but after installing ie8 I can't get the form fields to work in any other version as described.

I even tried "SuperPreview" (new free MS tool to compare renderings).  It's rubbish.  You can check if your CSS is cross browser pixel perfect, but nothing actually works.  Not forms, not javascript, not even basic navigation!  It might just be me, but I want to know if my site works first.  I'll worry about whether a div is 200px or 201px wide later...

Obviously I need to use form fields to login to the website I need to test, so I'm also going down the VirtualBox route as well.

It's a total pain but the only real solution I have found sofar is using Sun's VirtualBox to get multiple Windows running on a box and install different IE's on them...
Like the guy commenting above, I've experienced problems with the IE6 installation that were not previously there. Every page generates an alleged error in script (including, form fields cannot be filled and some weird "Press OK to continue loading this page". I'd appreciate any known solutions.
The most currently version of IE8 will break this set up. Form fields in IE7 and IE6 will stop working reliable, if not altogether. Learned that the hard way.
I was using Tredosoft Multiple IEs until recently someone told me about DebugBar's IE Tester at - this seems to cover want you want without running multiple programs (I haven't put in through its paces yet to do a comparison with Mutliple IEs).