How to preview websites in Internet Explorer 6 on Vista with IE6 Emulator

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 23, 2008 in Development, How To, Testing

We are often asked how we test our sites in IE6 and earlier on our Vista x64 development machines as it is not possible to install IE6 - even as a standalone browser - on Vista.

We did - for a while -rely on various sites (Netrenderer for example) to take a snapshot of pages under construction.  While this allowed us to view a page in IE6, we were unable to “use” the site to check for those oh-so-frequent IE6 CSS bugs.

The best method of testing in older browsers on older operating systems is to run a browser on that operating system, but having several machines purely for testing is expensive and takes more space that we would like.

Having a dual boot machine is an option, but switching between operating systems gets to be time consuming and frustrating.

Our weapon of choice for testing is Windows Virtual PC. Virtual PC for windows allow you to run a windowed version of Windows 98, NT Workstation, 2000, XP, Vista,  NT Server, 2000 Server, Server 2003, Server 2008 and even OS/2 with various configurations.  This means full testing in IE6 on an XP machine, through a Vista machine.

You can download the Virtual PC from Microsoft here.

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