If you haven’t heard about this cool beta, check it out here.

Basically, Microsoft are (amongst other things) offering up a free and pretty easy way for us web designers and developers to test our websites in Internet Explorer 7 – 10.

Installing using a Virtual Box for Mac

One thing the blog documentation is missing is how to install on VirtualBox for Mac, that is why I’ve written this post.

  1. Firstly, head over to the link above.
  2. Choose Mac and then VirtualBox for Mac
    Virtualisation choice
  3. Download any of the VMs you desire, I’ll use Windows Vista running IE7 as my example.

Extracting the zip

This is the first stumbling block, the default Mac Archiver doesn’t unzip the zip at the moment, Microsoft are looking at a fix, so head over to StuffitExpander or similar.

Once you’ve extracted with Stuffit (or similar), move the .ova file to a sensible location, I put mine in the Documents in a “VMs” folder.

Installing in VirtualBox

First time I tried to do this, I tried to mimic Microsoft’s VM Fusion demo – that doesn’t work. Luckily with VirtualBox its much simpler.

  1. Double-click on .ova
  2. It should now launch Virtual Box
  3. When VirtualBox launches, it will bring up the following panel, make sure you tweak the RAM settings to a minimum of 1024 MB.
    Tweak RAM settings to 1024MB
  4. It will now probably tell you it will take thirty minutes, it didn’t for me, it took about two!
  5. Now boot up the VM as usual by double-clicking
  6. Once started up, make sure you install Guest Additions (Devices > Install Guest Additions)
  7. Restart the VM and you’re done.


If there are any steps I’ve missed out, please let me know.


Happy Internet Explorer testing everyone!


(Please excuse the Americanisation in the title, but I thought it would be better for people searching the issue through Google etc.)