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If you’ve just recently switched from PC to Mac, you’ve probably noticed that instead of Internet Explorer or Edge that you’re used to, Mac has its own proprietary browser called Safari. In fact if you try searching for “download Internet Explorer for Mac” you’ll quickly realize that the exact IE equivalent on Mac doesn’t exist. What do you do then?
Interestingly, at the dawn of the world wide web in the late 90s, Internet Explorer was the default browser on all Macs. But when Apple introduced Safari as the new default browser in 2003, Microsoft has decided to discontinue the development of IE for Mac shortly after. So unless you run Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier (why would you?), there is no way to directly install Internet Explorer on Mac. And you definitely shouldn’t use the Internet Explorer versions from pre-2003 right now.
Windows apps alternatives for Mac?
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How To Use Internet Explorer on Mac
Although natively launching Internet Explorer on Mac isn’t possible, there are other ways to simulate IE for Mac experience. You could mask Safari as different versions of Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, you could also install a virtual machine and launch IE for Mac that way, or you could simply choose to use any other third-party browser available on macOS.
Simulate Internet Explorer on Mac with Safari
Most of the time, if you need to use Internet Explorer on Mac, it’s probably for testing purposes, to see how certain websites or web apps perform, or to access websites that require you to use IE (yes, those still exist).
Both of those use cases could be easily performed by Safari. To use Internet Explorer with Safari, you just need to turn on developer tools:
- In Safari, go to Preferences > Advanced
- Check “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
Now you can access developer tools directly from Safari, which let you inspect websites, empty caches, and most importantly simulate a variety of other browsers right through the Safari app. To use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer on Mac:
- Go to the Develop menu in Safari’s menu bar
- Navigate to User Agent and select the browser you’re looking for, whether it’s Microsoft Edge, any of the Internet Explorer versions, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.
- The website you’re on will be automatically refreshed to reflect the browser of your choice. Just don’t forget to switch back!
The User Agent option in Safari should cover nearly all reasons for using Internet Explorer on Mac. However, if you do absolutely need to launch Internet Explorer itself for one reason or another, you could also try doing it with the help of a virtual machine.
Launch Internet Explorer on a virtual machine
While using a virtual machine for Internet Explorer is not by any means an easy solution, it’s still there for anyone who needs it. What virtual machine essentially does is installing a full-scale copy of Windows on your Mac and letting you launch it as an app inside the macOS. From there you can launch Internet Explorer or, in fact, any program you miss from your Windows days.
To set up virtual machine, first you need to buy a copy of some virtual machine software (VMware Fusion is a good one) and a license for Windows. Once you have those in place:
- Download both VMware fusion and the Windows ISO file
- Launch VMware Fusion
- In the Installation Method window, choose “Create a new custom virtual machine”
- Drag and drop your Windows ISO file onto the dialogue window
- Click Finish
- Relaunch the virtual machine and click the play button to setup Windows
Now every time you need to use Internet Explorer on Mac, you can just launch the virtual machine and use IE directly with Windows that way. There are certainly a few downsides to this solution. First, you have to purchase both VMware Fusion and a licensed copy of Windows for the sole purpose of using Internet Explorer. Second, virtual machines tend to be quite heavy on your processor, as they are running the whole operating system inside them.
Another option available to you in case you don’t specifically need to use IE for Mac but rather move away from Safari is to switch to any other third-party browser, all of which are freely available on macOS.
Use third-party browsers on Mac
If Safari is not your first browser of choice and using Internet Explorer for Mac is at the very least quite complicated, you can download any other stable and widely used browser out there and make it the default one on your macOS.
By far the most dominant browser of today, Google Chrome currently commands 45–65% browser market share. Developed by Google, the browser is available on both desktop and mobile devices, and thus boasts a significant amount of plugins and web apps that are exclusive to it. Chrome has also been praised for its speed and tight integration with all other Google products. As for the downsides, using Chrome means being subjected to Google’s pervading tracking and helping Google to effectively monopolize the web.
Firefox is another great everyday browser. Heir to the first commercial web browser called Netscape, it’s an open-source program owned by the not-for-profit Mozilla Foundation. Firefox is fast, secure, and boasts a supportive community around the world. All of this makes it a great alternative to Safari and Internet Explorer.
Brave is a newcomer to the browser arena that first appear only in 2015. Based on the open-source Chromium project (as is Google Chrome), the browser quickly gained a loyal following due to its aggressive privacy controls and ad blocking. Turning Brave into your default browser might seem a bit experimental at this point, but it nevertheless presents a good option for anyone concerned with privacy.
Although not available on macOS as of early 2019, Microsoft has announced that it’s currently rewriting the Edge browser engine to run on Chromium (like Google Chrome and Brave), which means it will become compatible with macOS too upon release. Fingers crossed, but in the meantime you can choose one of the alternative browsers listed above.
Overall, these are your three options of running Internet Explorer on Mac. You can use Safari’s User Agent to view any webpage just as Internet Explorer would, launch the actual Internet Explorer browser through a virtual machine running Windows, or choose one of the alternative browsers if all you want to do is get away from Safari on Mac.
However, if you’re new to Mac, a browser might not be the only thing you’re concerned about. You also need to find apps to cover all kinds of issues related to optimization, organization, security, and productivity.
Essential apps for all new Mac owners
As soon as you switch from PC to Mac, you realize that sadly not all apps you loved and used daily are available on macOS. So naturally you need to find suitable replacements. The good news is Mac has an abundance of great apps for everything you need. But how do you choose and decide which ones are worth your time?
That’s where a platform like Setapp becomes indispensable. Setapp is a collection of more than 150 essential apps and utilities for Mac that cover all possible use cases and scenarios. All apps in the collection are automatically updated to their latest versions and new apps are added regularly. It’s a godsend for new and seasoned Mac users alike. Discover new apps that are the best at what they do? What’s not to like?
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Get around browser restrictions to enjoy your web journey with useful apps for Mac users
Here is an essential introductory set of some of the apps featured on Setapp that every new Mac users should have.
A lightweight utility performing a vital role, Bartender keeps your menu bar clean and tidy. As you use your Mac more and more, every new app would want to be featured in your menu bar (top-right corner). This quickly becomes unsustainable, and instead of a quick access to the apps you need, you’ll spend more time just trying to find the right one.
Mac’s default organization settings for menu bar are quite basic, only allowing you to reshuffle icons. Bartender lets you hide them under a single icon and feature just those you need to use right at the moment.
Lauded as the best writing tool for years, Ulysses features a clean interface and lets you focus on the writing process, whether it’s for simple notes, speeches, or anything in between. And the app’s Markdown support makes it much more web friendly, allowing direct exports to WordPress and Medium.
No one ever wants to lose their files, no matter whether it’s due to physical damage or accidental deletion. Disk Drill solves that problem by essentially insuring and giving you the option to recover your files. As the most widely used data recovery tool around, Disk Drill helps you back your files on a regular basis and save lost files from damaged hard drives if things ever go south.
The ultimate Mac optimization app, CleanMyMac X keeps your Mac free of any junk, safely and completely uninstalls old apps, and protects you from being affected by malware. Just launch CleanMyMac X once a month to do a complete scan of your computer and you’ll ensure your Mac’s top condition.
Best of all, Bartender, Ulysses, Disk Drill, CleanMyMac X, and all other apps featured on Setapp are available to you on a free trial. Just launch Setapp and try out as many apps as you want, turning your transition to Mac from a chore to a pleasurable discovery.
Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.Read on
We built Safari to be the best browser for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Built-in privacy features keep your browsing your business. You can stream and search smarter with handy tools that help you save, find, and share your favorite sites. Apple Pay in Safari lets you shop safely and simply. Safari for Mac is faster and more energy efficient than other browsers. And thanks to iCloud, Safari works seamlessly with all your devices.
Defending your online privacy and security.
Privacy and security aren’t just something you should hope for — they’re something you should expect. That’s why features to help protect your privacy and keep your Mac secure are built into Safari.
Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
Remember when you looked at that green mountain bike online? And then saw annoying green mountain bike ads everywhere you browsed? Safari uses machine learning to identify advertisers and others who track your online behavior, and removes the cross‑site tracking data they leave behind. So your browsing stays your business. And Safari keeps embedded content such as Like buttons, Share buttons, and comment widgets from tracking you without your permission. We know you’ll like that.
Sandboxing. Built-in protection for websites.
Sandboxing provides a safeguard against malicious code and malware by restricting what websites can do. And because Safari runs web pages in separate processes, any harmful code you come across in one page is confined to a single browser tab, so it can’t crash the whole browser or access your data.
When you’re online, the characteristics of your device can be used by advertisers to create a “fingerprint” to follow you. Safari thwarts this by only sharing a simplified system profile, making it more difficult for data companies to identify and track you.
Protection from harmful sites.
Safari helps protect you against fraudulent websites and those that harbor malware — before you visit them. If a website looks suspicious, Safari prevents it from loading and warns you.
When you use Private Browsing, Safari doesn’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information. You can also use DuckDuckGo, a built-in search engine that doesn’t track you, to make your web searches private, too.
More secure and convenient passwords.
Safari works hard to make sure your passwords are robust and unique by automatically creating and storing strong passwords for you. Once stored, your passwords will autofill in websites across all your Apple devices and in apps on iOS and iPadOS devices. In Safari preferences, passwords that have been used more than once are flagged so you can easily update them. And one-time security codes sent over SMS are autofilled right in the password field as soon as they appear in Messages. Security has never been so user friendly.
Surf seamlessly across all your devices.
Not only does Safari come on every Mac, it comes on all your iOS and iPadOS devices. And thanks to iCloud, your passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs, and Reading List are always up to date no matter which device you’re using.
iCloud Keychain securely stores your user names, passwords, and credit card numbers and keeps them up to date on your trusted devices. So you can easily sign in to your favorite websites — as well as in apps on iOS and iPadOS — and quickly make online purchases. And everything is protected with robust 256-bit AES encryption.
With Bookmarks in Safari, your favorite sites are always close at hand. Bookmark a web page on your Mac, and it automatically appears on all your iCloud-connected devices.
With Tab view, the last websites you had open on your Mac are available in Safari on your iOS and iPadOS devices — and vice versa. So you can go from one device to another without having to search for the web pages you were reading.
Save web pages you want to read later simply by adding them to your Reading List. Then view them on any of your iCloud-connected devices — even if you’re not connected to the internet.
The fastest way to browse on a Mac. And faster than any Windows browser, too.
Safari vs. Windows 10 browsers
Safari vs. Windows 10 browsers
Safari vs. Windows 10 browsers
Search more. Stream more.
Explorer For Apple
Safari is optimized specifically for Mac, so it’s more efficient than other browsers on macOS. And Safari plays HTML5 video — the format used by your favorite streaming services — whenever it’s available. So you can explore the web for up to three hours longer and stream video for up to four hours longer than on any other browser.2
browsing compared to Chrome and Firefox
streaming videos compared to Chrome and Firefox
The best browsing experience.
Features in Safari help you surf smarter and easily manage and share what you find.
Pay easily and securely with Apple Pay. Apple Pay is the easiest and most secure way to pay when shopping in Safari. Look for Apple Pay on your favorite shopping sites, then complete your purchase with Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad. You can also use Touch ID on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, or double-click the side button on your Apple Watch. Your credit card details are never shared when you use Apple Pay, and your transactions are protected with industry-leading security.Learn more about Apple Pay
Updated start page. Easily and quickly access your favorites and frequently visited sites. And Siri suggestions surface bookmarks, links from your reading list, iCloud Tabs, links you receive in Messages, and more.
Desktop-class browsing on iPad. Safari now shows you a website’s desktop version that’s scaled for the large iPad display and automatically optimized for touch input. Faster and more fluid scrolling makes browsing feel better than ever. And a new download manager means you can easily download and share files right in Safari.
Stop auto-play videos. Safari prevents unexpected and unwanted videos with audio from automatically playing while you browse. Just click the play button if you want to view them. Have a favorite site where you always want videos to play? Use per‑site settings in Safari to enable media auto-play.
Download Mozilla Firefox For Mac Os X
Turn on website icons in tabs in Preferences to easily see what you have open. Pin your favorite sites and they’ll reappear in tabs every time you open Safari. You can also mute the audio on any tab right from the Smart Search field — perfect for stopping the music without having to hunt for where it’s coming from or, if you prefer, silencing all the audio from your browser at once.
Personalize your browsing experience in Safari with settings for individual websites, like page zoom level, location services, and content blockers. So each website appears just how you like it.
Automatically use Reader for every web article that supports it, so you can read without ads, navigation, and other distractions. Customize your view by selecting your font size and style, and choose Sepia and Night themes.
Play video from a web page to your TV with Apple TV — without showing everything else on your desktop. Just click the AirPlay icon that appears on compatible web videos and you can watch your video on the big screen.
Microsoft Internet Explorer For Mac
Float a video window from Safari over your desktop or a full-screen app on your Mac or iPad. Play the video in any corner of the desktop and resize it to see more or less of what’s behind it. So you can watch videos while you browse photos. Or catch up on your favorite show while you catch up on email.
With Spotlight built into every Mac, you’re never far from the information you want. As you type in the Smart Search field, you’ll see Safari suggestions from sources like Wikipedia, news sites, Maps, movie listings, flight status, weather, stocks, and sports.3
Share anything you come across on the web without leaving Safari. Just click the Share button, then choose how you want to send it off. Use Mail, Messages, or AirDrop or add it to a note.
Deep WebKit integration between Mac hardware and macOS allows Safari to deliver the fastest performance and the longest battery life of any browser on the platform, while supporting modern web standards for rich experiences in the browser. WebKit in macOS Catalina includes optimizations and support for additional web standards that enable even richer browsing experiences.
Mozilla Explorer For Mac Shortcut
Mozilla Explorer For Mac Installer
Safari Extensions are a great way to customize your browsing experience on macOS. Find and add your favorite extensions from the Mac App Store.