Coding with Jesse

Running both Internet Explorer 6 and 7

September 5th, 2006

When the first beta of Internet Explorer 7 came out, the biggest complaint was that there was no easy way to have it run as a standalone browser. You're pretty much forced to upgrade your whole system to use it.

I took the plunge anyway, deciding I'd rather run IE7, but I ran into all sorts of situations where I really needed IE6 for debugging.

There are a lot of hacks and instructions for taking apart the IE7 beta so that you can run it standalone. I've decided that the extremely easier solution is to just install IE7, then download the standalone of IE6.

Now that the Release Candidate is out, you probably don't want IE6 to be your main browser anymore, right? So why not just have it around for the few times when you really need it?


1 . Jonathan on November 3rd, 2006


Hmm. I've just tried what you suggest and it gives me a browser that looks like IE6, but it says in the About that it's IE7.

2 . Jesse Skinner on November 3rd, 2006

Jesse Skinner

Although you're using the IE6 rendering engine (which is good enough to see how web sites will look and act in IE6), some of the other features are tied more tightly to the operating system.. so when you click About, it asks Windows to display the current version (IE7).

You may notice other freaky differences for very complex sites, but for regular web pages it's a pretty good option.

3 . Bob on December 4th, 2006


Well, I do many very complex websites. I need to be able to see exactly what the site will look like in all available browsers.

but as usual, MS does the usual, why would we expect more? The world does revolve around MS, does it not?

4 . scot on January 18th, 2007


Is it me, or is the notion of tying any aspect of page rendering to ANYTHING outside the browser (other than plug-ins, obviously) a bad idea? I mean, you can't expect the whole world to upgrade together... and it isn't fair to require developers to have a different computer for every browser they test in.

(I can hear it now: "no one said the world was fair.")

5 . Clive on February 13rd, 2007


Also - Xajax does not work on IE6 standalone.

6 . Nando on April 20th, 2007


Hey man,

Thanks a lot for suggesting this! It works like a charm.

I'm using this to test CSS compatibility shiz...

Take care, dude!

7 . Marc on December 19th, 2007


For tiny and unimportant sites seems like an acceptable solution.

But if you can't be 100% sure it will show the same in non stand-alone IE6, then I'd rather have two separate machines. Half-way solutions are not real solutions, that's my point of view.

8 . Jay on March 19th, 2008


Hi there,

I downloaded IE6 but cannot log into any website as it does not allow cookies to be saved. I have disabled the cookie block but it seems to always override my settings. I was wondering if anyone else has come across this issue. It happens with loging into gmail for e.g.


9 . lewis litanzios on March 20th, 2008

lewis litanzios

i'm pretty sure this method won't work. IE is so tightly knitted to the registry that it might look like ie6 on the outside but on the inside it renders as IE7. i'm gonna format today and try it again nevertheless.

i scaled the net for an update and posted on this issue in last september if anyone finds it equally as useful:

if anyone else knows of a/another full proof method i'd love to hear it.

10 . Jilia on May 2nd, 2008


This solution is useless... No cookies...

Comments are closed, but I'd still love to hear your thoughts.