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I'm doing web development on a Windows 8 system. I'm running the latest IE, but I need to test the app with older versions of IE as well (especially IE7 and IE8).

Is it possible to run these legacy versions of IE on Windows 8?

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8 Answers

up vote 51 down vote accepted

You use virtual machines to do this, it is the easiest way. You use Hyper V and the VHD images provided by microsoft (or use a third party tool like virtual box).

First off, setup Hyper V as per the instructions given by Kronos here.

enter image description here

You can then download the respective vhd images from Microsoft and create a virtual machine for each version of IE.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11575

Running the vhd

Open the Hyper V manager and create a new virtual machine. enter image description here

Enter the name, memory details etc, but then for the hard disk image, select use existing hard disk.

enter image description here

Click finish and you will have your VM that has the legacy versions of IE.

HowToGeek has a large tutorial of getting the individual VM's running here.

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Not as easy as I was hoping for, but yeah, this solves the problem. Thanks! –  jsalonen Nov 7 '12 at 11:05
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@jsalonen this is the same option that MS has provided for old versions of IE since Vista launched. The only major change since then has been that the more flexible activation in Vista/W7 allows you to recreate new test VMs from the same download when the old one expires while the XP/IE6 image needed redownloaded each time (Vista added an expires X days after first use option, XP only had expires on a specific date and MS needed to create new images to increment it.) –  Dan Neely Nov 7 '12 at 13:59
    
When creating the virtual machine, if you see an option to choose "Generation 1" or "Generation 2", choose the first one, it support the 'vhd' file that Microsoft supply. The second option only supports 'vhdx' hard disk files. –  Greg Woods Nov 29 '13 at 9:59
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If you need a stand-alone testing tool you can try BrowseEmAll. It runs IE 7, 8, 9 and 10 alongside.

enter image description here

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Does that tool work in 8? –  HaydnWVN Nov 7 '12 at 11:13
    
@HaydnWVN: Yes: i.imgur.com/ZE1GS.png –  Oliver Salzburg Nov 7 '12 at 11:40
    
Thanks! I think I'll try this as well! –  jsalonen Nov 7 '12 at 12:08
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Its not free, just 30 day trial :( –  avirk Nov 7 '12 at 13:44
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Yes, maybe you can get a free license? "If you are a do-gooder of any sort (non-profit, charity, educational organisation or open-source contributor) email me with a short message and I'll send you a license FREE of charge." from browseemall.com/Buy –  megaperlz Nov 7 '12 at 14:10
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For simple testing purposes I find IETester works pretty well.

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I've also used IETester and it is ok, the tabs crash quite a lot, but usually when left alone and not while testing. And it's free. –  Holger Nov 8 '12 at 14:29
    
I've used IETester for years and I've been happy with it but I've lately found that it no longer works well enough (at least on Windows 7). Some IE versions crash every time, or clipboard doesn't work, or JavaScript doesn't run... –  Álvaro G. Vicario Apr 11 '13 at 8:07
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You might be able to work around the problem with the Developer Tools. Open IE (desktop mode) and press F12 (or go to Tools > Developer Tools).

In the toolbar, you can select the Browser Mode and the Document Mode. There's an extensive explanation on how it works and what the difference is between these two mode.

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They differ slightly from the actual legacy IE versions, though. –  Joey Nov 7 '12 at 9:02
    
Already tried this, but yeah, they don't work 100% exactly as old versions of IE. Thanks anyway! –  jsalonen Nov 7 '12 at 11:03
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Microsoft have now provided some Windows 8 / HyperV specific instances for various combinations of IE and Windows. You can download them from: http://www.modern.ie/virtualization-tools.

http://www.modern.ie also has some testing tools based on Browser Stack to simplify legacy IE testing.

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And it's free for 3 months :-) –  NicoJuicy May 21 '13 at 8:33
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You can use this site to test browser compatibility: http://browsershots.org/

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Thanks, but I need to run the whole page, not just get screenshots. –  jsalonen Nov 7 '12 at 11:04
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What's wrong with just pressing F12 in IE9 and set compatibility mode to IE7/IE8 ? I have never noticed any differences between the real browser and IE9's built in browser simulator.

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This is exactly what I'm doing, but I got feedback from customer the page is not working with old version of IE so I need to get exactly the same browser to replicate the problem -- the page works with emulator mode just fine. –  jsalonen Nov 7 '12 at 16:32
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VMWare Thin App, might be something you want to look at for not just the browser but any app that must be run in an environment that the host OS cannot support.

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