Multiple Internet Explorer versions in Windows

Monday, 11 April 2005

You can install several different versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer concurrently on Windows. Finally I could see how awful my site looked in IE5 — and the truth wasn’t pretty.

You can download standalone versions of Internet Explorer 3, 4, 5, 5.5 and 6 from the browser archive at

Update: The different versions of IE share their configuration and tend to look the same — only the internals are different (rendering, Javascript, etc.) — so it can be difficult to tell them apart. In fact, if you have IE6 installed, then the “About Internet Explorer” menu item always shows version 6, even if you’re actually running a different version.

I have seen a method of changing the IE title bar to include the version number. I didn’t like this because you had to download a hacked DLL and edit the registry: call me paranoid. Here’s a much simpler way, using a bookmarklet.

Just drag the following bookmarklet to your Internet Explorer Links bar:


Whenever you need to know the version of IE you’re running, just click your new Version button. Quick and easy.

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  1. Is there a way to tell which version is running?

  2. I’ve updated the article to include a simple way of differentiating your Internet Explorer versions.

  3. Heh, I just hit that javascript link in Firefox and it came back saying I was running 5.0… Maybe Mozilla version?

  4. You’ll get more useful information by using ‘navigator.userAgent’ rather than ‘appVersion’.

  5. nice tools for testing the website …

  6. Remember, this bookmarklet is useful only for differentiating which version of IE you are running. If you want more detailed information then you’ll probably want to use some other method.

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