Multiple IEs in Windows


I, like so many other's, have struggled with ways to test designs, css, etc. in multiple versions of Internet Explorer.

Usually the only solutions were to have multiple OS's installed on multiple partitions, or running some sort of emulation software such as VMWare.

While working on a project recently that I realized at the last second would be running in Internet Explorer 5.5, I had an immediate need to test this application in this browser.

Essentially this whole thing was stumbled upon out of necessity and a lawsuit that Microsoft lost.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit involves a patent which it was deemed Microsoft had infringed upon. Details about it can be viewed here.

A new version of Internet Explorer is going to be released next year that will remedy the issue.

Microsoft has since put out a developer's edition of Internet Explorer 6 with this update in place for testing purposes available at msdn

The Stumble

Now, being with a forward-thinking company (Insert Title Web Designs), I jumped on the opportunity to begin testing against this new version

One thing that struck me is that the testing version ran side by side my already installed version. This was incredibly interesting. Also the fact that it was only a handful of files that made this browser version run was also interesting.

  • browseui.dll
  • dispex.dll
  • ieupdate.txt
  • iexplore.exe
  • IEXPLORE.EXE.local
  • inetcpl.cpl
  • jscript.dll
  • mshtml.dll
  • mshtml.tlb
  • shdocvw.dll
  • urlmon.dll
  • vbscript.dll
  • version.txt
  • xpsp2res.dll

Now while testing how this new version will effect flash movies I was prompted with an alert that read

"Press okay to continue loading content" - this is essentially what we have to contend with due to this lawsuit.

Now, also being the curious type, I wondered about this "IEXPLORE.EXE.Local".... so I deleted it.

I now saw that this message about "Press Ok to load content" was gone when loading a flash movie and soon realized that this "IEXPLORE.EXE.local" file was the one thing that was allowing the browser to run separate from my default browser. Wow!

I immediately went to and downloaded an older versions of IE, which is well-known for being the cause of many CSS designer's headaches... IE 5.5.

After downloading this, I knew that by installing it I would be overwriting my existing version of IE, so I hunted through the installation files.

And after much debate and discussion on the web, I think I have some of these browsers running perfectly as they should... imperfectly!

The Process

Safest Universal Technique (XP Pro/XP Home/2000)

Find the following files in the installation files of IE 5.01 or IE 5.5 SP2


Use WinRar extract theses files to a new directory.

Then do the same with the resulting files

  • IENT_1.CAB
  • IENT_2.CAB
  • IENT_3.CAB
  • IENT_4.CAB
  • IENT_5.CAB

Next delete the following files

  • COMCTL32.DLL(found this in IE 4.01 SP2, which I am working on now)

And finally create a blank text file named... you guessed it... "IEXPLORE.exe.local"

And BAM!!! - you got yourself a standalone version of IE!

Windows XP Pro IE 5.01 - Optimized

Find the following files in the installation files of IE 5.01


Use WinRar extract theses files to a new directory.

Then do the same with the resulting files

  • IENT_1.CAB
  • IENT_2.CAB
  • IENT_3.CAB
  • IENT_4.CAB
  • IENT_5.CAB

Next delete all but the following files

  • and the following 2 thanks to Roger Ly
  • and another late finding by myself (these provide text highlighting and form interaction)

And finally create a blank text file named... you guessed it... "IEXPLORE.exe.local"

And BAM!!! - you got yourself a standalone version of IE5.01!

Windows XP Pro IE 5.5 SP2 - Optimized

Find the following files in the installation files of IE 5.01


Use WinRar extract theses files to a new directory.

Then do the same with the resulting files

  • IENT_1.CAB
  • IENT_2.CAB
  • IENT_3.CAB
  • IENT_4.CAB
  • IENT_5.CAB

Next delete all but the following files

  • and the following 2 thanks to Roger Ly
  • and another late finding by myself (these provide text highlighting and form interaction)

And finally create a blank text file named... you guessed it... "IEXPLORE.exe.local"

And BAM!!! - you got yourself a standalone version of IE5.5 SP2!

One thing is that the "Favorites" will cause either to crash

And while the about screen may have info showing IE 6.0 the browser is rendering as IE5 or 5.5.


Pass it along

Please spread the word about this, I'd like to see others testing and improving on these techniques

Email me at:

Additional Considerations

These are essentially additional files that you may want to include into your optimized version of IE, these concepts have not yet been verified by myself or anyone at Insert Title Web Designs, and therefore please use caution when testing these out. Or when in doubt just use all the files and delete only those mentioned in the Safest Universal Technique (XP Pro/XP Home/2000)

c/o Reed Wiedower

My website ( uses the .png transparency hack detailed at WebFX:

Unfortunately, once I setup IE5.5 to see my webpage, the transparency effect didn't work. I figured out that the two .dll files needed to enable it to function properly are:


Once I copied those two files into the proper directory, IE5.5 displayed the website as it should.



Thank you for the discovery you`re the MAN! i`ll try this soon.


Awesome stuff ... thanks :)

I`ve also managed to do the same with IE 4.01 following the guidlines above for 5.01. Some of the files are missing but it sort of works.

1 problem the address bar doesnt seem to function, but you can still navigate around links and can view any page by changing your homepage under options and then clicking `home`.

Anybody with ideas to get the address bar working under IE 4.01 ?

Joe Maddalone

Instead you could open a file by Ctrl+O (file > open) and entering the URL in this box.


This is going to save me so much time, and free up 2 other machines in our office, thanks!


As of today I cannot run ie5.5 - gives a fatal error and crashes. Probably to do with the update I uploaded today. Ah well multiple IEs were good while they lasted. 5.0 and 4.0 still work

Joe Maddalone

Is that an SP2 issue? I`ve only been getting bits and pieces about SP2 issues, but no solid findings yet.



Seems to be working now - it was the latested IE update on XP SP2 - gave the old "please inform microsoft of this problem" box. Sorry to alarm.


I`ve tried to make the original IE 5.0 (NOT the optimized version) myself, but I can`t seem to do it - is there any reason why it shouldn`t be possible?


I can`t get session cookies to work properly with 5.01 or 5.5 under XP SP2 -- the server just issues me with a new SessionID every time I load a page. I tried restoring all the other files to no avail. Any ideas?


I used the optimized technique for both 5 and 5.5 on Windows XP SP2, and it worked perfectly. Thanks so much. Having NN4, NN7.2, Firefox, Opera, and IE5, 5.5 and 6 all on one machine is unbelievably convenient.


I have a question. Can I have IE5.5 installed in my Windows ME and use (as this page says) IE6 with no problem?

Joe Maddalone

Yes, if you follow the directions in this article, you can.

when I click on "about internet explorer" it shows a picture of IE5, yet the version number is 6.

Also I need to test IE version 5.00.3700.1000co. Is that compatable with this system.

Finally, thank you for posting this knowledge online!! It has really helped me out.


This doesn`t work for me. I tried both the safe and optimized versions for both IE 5.0.1 and IE 5.5SP 2, and both of them just use IE6 (verified with I am running a pretty fresh install of Win2k (SP3 I believe).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

David Laakso

Crashing anything and everything in IE55SP2_NT, including Microsoft`s home page, possibly related to install of SP2 (or the direction of the wind) in: winver: Version 5.1 (Build 2600.xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-5158: Service Pack2). Any suggestions appreciated.


I`m having the same problem as Tim, since installing SP2 on XP I have had no session cookies, which is a real PITA since I am trying to test a site that needs them! Anyone with a suggestion? Cheers Paul

I have tested this and it seems to work properly, and was verified at, but when you open the About Internet Explorer in the Help menu it shows all versions as 6. Is this accurate? Thanks.


Sam: What you have doing for "it was the latested IE update on XP SP2 - gave the old "please inform microsoft of this problem" box" I have the same problem and cant find a way :-)

Thank you for help! Mike


Thanks for figuring this one out. It has saved my ass.

Peas out.


If this isn`t working for you-- make sure you have "show extensions" enabled in that folder and that the .txt extension is taken off the IEXPLORE.exe.local file!


Just to thank you! Works great!

Marcus Duke

So if I`m running Win 98, then I`m out of luck? I would love to be able to still test for 5.5 despite most of my clients using 6.0 or now Mozilla (University where network admin has much sway on browser installations and always installs latest IE on all public machines, ergo most single-user machines also go this route).


Hi & thanks for finding out and making this available!

I am using Win98SE and the standalone versions seemed to work (based *not* on the `About` window which still showed IE6 but on user agent tests, see for example).

However, I was wondering whether it could be that my css website would really look the same on IE5.01 and IE5.5 without having tested before. So, I renamed iexplore.exe and iexplore.exe.local to iexplore_501.exe and iexplore_501.exe.local respectively (same for IE5.5, of course), and voila: I could see the CSS problems I (didn`t) want to see ;-).

BTW, renaming the files lead to a message being shown on startup about the browsers being in `compatibility mode` and the `About` window speaking of `Version: Side-By-Side Mode` instead of the usual (IE6, in my case).

Maybe, this will be of help to someone who is still not entirely sure...


Being new to Windows, I don`t quite follow your instructions for XP Home. Do I only use the files you say to extract from the installation set or are you saying to remove those files before you launch the installer?

Joe Maddalone

creativejam... You never run an installer. You delete all but the files listed.

Then create the empty .local file and run the actual Iexplore.exe... no installation involved.

Martin Jones

Somebody has even done the work for us now! :

Guy Cotton

Thanks for making this available!

I`m suffering from same problem as Tim & PaulW - session cookie is not returned to webserver with all IEs tried (4.01, 5.01 & 5.5 - all on XP SP2 box). Not sure if this applies to cookies/SP2 in general.

Has anyone else had same problem and discovered a workaround?

Thx in advance


I get the same issue with session cookies not working... :(


Mozilla Firefox Rulez...


THANKS! This is fantastic, an I`ve successfully loaded IE 5.5 in parallel with IE 6.0 on my WinXP system. But now I need to do the reverse. Does anyone know how to load IE 6.0 as a standalone inside of a Win2K system with IE 5.5 already installed? (It`s politically difficult to upgrade to IE 6.0 and then install a standalone 5.5, although I realize that this would be a much better solution)


I have a big problem with IE. Whenever I open a link of any kind the previous window closes and I can not go back to it. Does anyone know what causes this? Hope someone can help me soon!



IE sucks, my problem is that the styles and backcolor of the tables are missed.



I have IE5 installed like it`s decribed and nearly every thing works properly. But only Cockies are not working. This is a Big Problem for me because I want to test a Website with a Login-Area witch works with Cockies. I need Some Help about this !!!! Thanks.


I have just discovered this page. I have windows 98SE and I.E 6.0.2800.1106 as my default browser. Can anyone refer me to info on how I could set up earlier versions of I.E with my current OS and Default browser. Thanks


Half of my problem has been solved. For some reason I can`t login to my pages when using the standalone IE. Any ideas?

Joe Maddalone

If you are using cookies in your login, that may be the problem, as of yet, unresolved


LIke Tim Guy and paul - no maintainable session in ie 5 standalone ???? anyone


Great Job Joe! I couldn`t get the `universal` technique to work, but I was able to get the `optimized` to work. As for the IE 4 problem with the address bar I didn`t encounter that. Suprisingly the CSS works pretty well in 5.5, but goes downhill from there.

Thanks again for posting the info, it`s a big help!

Joe Maddalone

Glad to hear people still find this information useful. Thanks for supporting the site.


I`ve done everything as you said. Sorry it doesn`t work for me at all. It doesn`t start any IE, nada....:(


I like it, well done.

But...I am using Win 2k pro with IE5.5. So far IE 3,4,5 work though IE3 doesn`t try to use CSS, anyone know why or how to fix it, I need this to check that it is bailing out rather than using scripts, I`m not going to code that far back ;-)

Secondly I cannot get IE6 beta 2462 to work or eolas. Beta just bombs and Eolas gives "Entry Point AssocIsDangerous could not be located in SHLWAPI.dll" - any ideas.



Good work!

I found similar instructions at

But it lacked the explainations and options of yours. Even so I managed to get multiple versions of IE ranging from 3.0 - 6.028 working on an Win2K Pro box! The only version I had trouble with was 3.02 which 4.0sp2 over rode, apparently it ignored 3.0.


Thank you thank you thank you! :) I followed a few different sites to get this done but none of them worked, your instructions worked first time. I really appreciate you taking the time to put this together, thanks again!


Oh, I thought I should also add that I was able to get IE 4.0 working by following the Safest Universal Technique. I only extracted the cab files 1-5 (even though there`s six of them), and then I didn`t delete any files at all or even create the IEXPLORE.exe.local file, I just ran the exe and it loaded up fine.

I`m just hoping I`ve done it correctly because it comes up with the IE 4.0 info and interface, but it runs CSS like IE 6.0; however when I followed the universal technique to the letter with IE 4.0 it crashed every time (DLL error). Hopefully some of that can be helpful.

Thanks again!


Thanks a lot Joe for the insight. I have downloaded the pre configured instalation files from Evolt. Big thanks to Ryan for sorting out these packages.


I just downloaded those pre-configured installation files from Evolt, and while 5.5 works like a charm, 5.01 crashes upon startup. I`m using XP Pro.

Has anybody else experienced this?

Thanks Joe and Ryan!


Have IE 4.01, IE 5.01, IE 5.5 and IE 6.01 (6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158, to be precise!) installed and all work on an XP Home SP2 machine (all patches installed), save for one peculiar issue:

When running ANY version of IE, clicking a link that should open in a new window gets me nothing. I can`t open the link, no matter what I do. Right clicking and trying to force it to open in a new browser window yields nothing. I have to manually enter the link URL in the address bar. How odd. This issue started the minute I installed the previous versions of IE per the instructions.

I am also running Norton Internet Security far, trying to monkey with its settings seems to have no impact (still testing).

Anyone else seeing link issues after installing multiple IEs on WinXP SP2?!?


Anyone having problems with XP SP2 crashing should download the IE standalones from They don`t seem to crash.

The stand alones have all the unnecessary files already removed and they come as ZIP files rather than EXE. The standalone link is at the bottom of the list under Internet Explorer browsers. Download the NT versions for XP Pro.

I have not yet tested for the cookie issues people have been having. The only glitch I have run into is a few don`t want to access addresses that I type into the address bar. However, if I ctrl-O to go to a new site, it works fine.

Good Luck! And, thanks to those who took the time to figure this out!


Hey Alex, does it matter which method`s used to open the new window, or does it always fail no matter which method? Might be a clue there.

Don`t suppose anybody had my problem (third message up) and fixed it?

ps - the best site (that I`ve yet found) on browser quirks:


John Davies

Good idea, and your browser.asp reports the correct user agent strings being supplied by the evolt standalones. The splash screen also identifies the version on startup.

However, rendering seems to be as in IE6 - I created a broken box model demo and it renders exactly the same in IE 5.01, 5.5 and 6. I was expecting it to show broken in 5.0 and 5.5, but it wasn`t.

Any ideas anyone? John


Conditional comments don`t seem to be working for IE5.5 (can`t get IE5 working so can`t test it). Anybody else have this problem?


Conditional comments:


Hey Joe, any idea why IE 5.0 doesn`t work, while IE 5.5 does? :(

Dave Kim

I`ve been trying to get IE5.5 running on my Win2K Server machine alongside IE6.0 but I can`t seem to get it. I know that when I go into the About IE panel it will still read 6.0, but when I check your browser.asp page, it still shows up as being IE6.0.

I can get the favorites panel to crash in the version that`s supposed to be IE5.5, so I`ve done something right.

I`ve also tried the pre-packed standalone versions with no joy either.

Any help would be great.

Dave Kim

Figures. I sorted out the problem minutes after posting. the iexplore.exe.local file stayed a text document type even though I changed the extension. Managed to get it to a LOCAL file type and it`s working fine.


Joe Maddalone

Could you swing by and drop some off for me?


Cookies not working could be caused by the fact that the cookies folder is in use by the "real" version of IE on your PCs. It`s a system folder with specific program permissions. Perhaps trying to set the cookies folder in the side version(s) of IE might help with that. (Or it can f*** up your system, I don`t know... it`s still MS, after all...:-)

Older IE versions closing windows when a new window is opened can be caused by the Yahoo Companion. It`s a separate install when you have the Yahoo Messenger (installed by default), so it has its own entry in Add/remove programs.


IE is only good for testing perposes!

Are you guy`s girls using it for every day use or just testing?

Use Firefox!

Joe Maddalone

Not to open up a Browser War conversation... but it is only a matter of time before enough people are using Firefox and we begin to see the security issues there as well.

Joe Madddalone

While I am known for the Multi IE soultion above, I felt it required posting the article, "Firefox Vs. World", in order to divert any FF vs IE wars and to let it be known that I am not on the Anti-IE bandwagon.


I have downloaded a package from and it seems to work just fine...

One question - Is your technique safe in terms of registry settings? I`m not that omniscient in these but I know IE 5 and 6 uses the registry to manage their configuration. I don`t want the most terrible thing to happen so please console my soul about the topic...

Thanks for your intelligence...

Joe Maddalone

The standalone IE`s are fully independant of the system registry 0- no changes are made whatsoever. You do have the option of implementing the Conditional Comments method also located on this site, which of course could intefer with registry settings.

Soul consoled?

Iain McDonald

Has anyone had any luck getting these stand alone to not use the common cookies? This really is a pain. Nice to have the old ones back for testing though, nice one.


spent some time wrangling with this technique earlier in the week - it seemed to work for me on some machines but not others. I finally realized that some browser additions (toolbars), if installed on the full IE version, will prevent the new partial versions from running correctly.

If you`re having trouble with this technique and you`ve confirmed that you`ve renamed iexplore.exe.local correctly, a good next step is to remove/uninstall any special toolbars; in my case it was the earthlink toolbar, but I expect the google, yahoo!, or other toolbars could cause similar problems.


Don`t move that cache folder in WinXP SP2. IE 5.5 standalone crashes on launch now that I moved it. Any way to reset the browsers to their default states?


Hey, this is great stuff. I downloaded IE 5.01 and 5.5 from the Syxsyx site. IE 5.01 worked fine, but 5.5 puked all over my XP Pro, so I`m very grateful for this page. I cobbled together the 5.5 XP Pro Optimized version and now all three versions are running side-by-side blissfully...I think we are going to use cookies for this project I`m working on, so if anyone comes up with a solution, let me know. (Mainly I`m using the older versions to check XHMTL/CSS compatibility.)

Once again, thanks, Joe!


Similar to many of the posters above, I`m having a ton of troubles with IE 5.5 under XP SP2. IE 5.01 works fine, but whether I download the standalone version of IE 5.5 or set it up like the instructions listed above, IE 5.5 crashes whenever a page is loaded.

Anyone been able to get IE 5.5 to load under XP SP2 with all the current security updates installed?




I seem to have IE5.5SP2 running on XPProSP2. As the Help, About doesn`t show version 5.5, is there any quick way of proving that 5.5 is running i.e. is there a site that might highlight browser behaviour differences between version 5.5 and version 6.0?

Joe Maddalone




Awesome site. I found another page, where older browsers can be downloaded. Standalone IE versions too. See

M Cain

After some testing, I found that including the WININET.DLL file seems to allow session cookies to work fine. Not sure of any other implications.


This is Great!!!! Thanks!!! I have the 3 IE versions running side by side as well on my XP Pro SP2. (downloaded from )

However, the IE 5.1 and IE 5.5 crashes whenever i click on the menu "Favourites". Can anyone figure this out???

Jonas Flint

I have been using the standalone versions for quite some time and they have worked great. I now have a new computer with WINXP home sp2 and I have problems now. IE 5.5 is partially using IE6`s rendering engine. I know this because the site that was working before in my standalone IE 5.5 on my other computer (and many others that have IE 5.5 installed on them) is now rendering all funky in this computer. I also know this because when I look up at the toolbar my standalone IE 5.5 has a green colored msn messenger icon. (An ie6 feature). Somebody please help. I would love to have my preciouse standalone 5.5 back again without having to hop to different computers everytime I test for 5.5.

mary ann

i paid and downloaded the game luxor. every time i try to play it a window opens and says i can`t run multiple instances it`s the only download i have of it what does this mean and can i fix it? i have to reboot my computer every time i want to play this game

thank you mary ann


AJ: running 5.5 here, on 2k with 6.0 installed - no problems concerning the Favorites-Menu.

But the Print + Print Preview functions do not work. Does anyone have this problem, too. Or possibly a fix? IE 5.5 complains, that it cannot access preview.dlg inside SHDOCLC.DLL, which I copied to the ie5.5-directory .. Anyone?


I tried downloading IE 5.5 standalone from skyzyx and it`s trapped in winzip, but when I try to open it it says "the IEXPLORE.EXE file is linked to missing export SHLWAPI.DLL:wnsprintfA". I think I downloaded the sp2 without meaning to also... I already have just IE4. Any help would be much appreciated.


If IE5.5 crashes on you, try opening IE6 first. Then, open IE5.5. That worked for me.


Thank you Thank you Ryan Parman and thank you Joe Maddalone!

10 minutes of shock and disbelief - that I couldn`t install both IE6 and IE5.5 - was followed by 10 minutes of relief and understanding. You packaged it all up for me! No hacking or fiddling necessary. And it *is* working. I know from ""

Rahul Dev Katarey

thanx, its very useful for all web developere i`ll try this soon then i`ll reply


Frankly, I think I prefer to run a VPC to load the individual IE -- I really don`t want to mess with my working machine.

On a separate but related notes: does anyone have any success on running multiple versions of Safari on the Mac?


M Cain: You said you got the session cookies working with WININET.DDL. How did you do that? When I place the WININET.DLL in de IE dir, it will not start up and I have to kill the iexplore.exe process. I use the IE 5.01 and 5.5 from Of course I use the correct version od the WININET.DLL for both versions.

Peter Hewitt

The computers at school are crippled on Windows 98SE and have IE5.01. It`s impossible to upgrade due to issues with the vile company that does the networking software

I was wondering if it`s possible to use a higher version of IE in this way. We have Firefox 0.9 living on the server but it would be nice to have IE6 as an option.

Joe Maddalone

Maybe I should start a forum or something for this.... there are way too many posts to scroll through anymore.


M Cain, make some of your wininet dll`s available...


So Brilliant, Too Wise! Keep it up Master Maddalone, Your the Bomb.


Can someone please elaborate on how to use wininet.dll to fix the cookie bug? TIA!


Re: Carl No doubt. Automatic XP SP2 installation is killing me.


What about when you right-click a hyperlink, you cant open it in a New Tab, only a new window.


I followed the instructions, and I can get IE 5.5 to start, but when I try to go to a webpage IE asks me to save the html file. After I do, or click cancel IE closes. Any ideas?


I figured out what seemed to have gone wrong. The first time around, I winrar`ed the individual cab files, which threw errors that it couldn`t find the next cab. When I extracted all the cabs together, it seemed to work fine.


Thanks! It actually works. Added up this will save years! Maybe I start smoking again!


To Joe Maddalone: the webbies are speculating since 2003 if you were the guy (Jobarr) that wrote this comment on the webmasterworld forum (a debate about who is the first person that discovered standalone IE versions) - My guess - Jobarr is you:

Joe Maddalone

This has actually been answered in the past, and I used to have a link to both that forum as well as another article located at (non-english) which apparently came out way before either myself or JoBarr even looked at IE6 Eolas version.

I released my original article in early November 2003 and it was reworked a number of times to become what you see here. The very first mention of it is still avialable at where I originally offered it up to the CSS gurus of the time. Steve Clay, Roger Ly, Brett Merkey began discussions and further testing of the original steps i had published and bit by bit refined the entire process. The conversation went offline on November 4th because the man himself, Eric Meyer, asked us to take it elsewhere until we had it figured out. (

With all the hooplah at the time I found out about the JoBarr writing and the non-english writing very quickly and on November 8th,2003 I added those links as other un-researched resources working on the same problems. I still have to stand by the fact that myself and the others including Ryan Parman are the ones who really broke this, a lot of tinkering was happening elsewhere, but no refinement or actual test cases really being run.

The webmasterworld post apparently fizzled out the day after it was posted.. which is probably why no one had really heard about it at the time. However 3 days after my article came out webmasterworld put out a How to: Install multiple versions of IE on your PC post (

At that point I started to notice a lot more is Joe Maddalone / JoBarr the same person ? stuff... and a little of the ol` "You saw it here first!" on wmw.

I am sure there are a number of people who, once they got a hold of the IE Eolas edition, found the same thing. It just so happens that JoBarr and myself told others about it where people would hear... maybe I told it a little louder and to the right people. There has really never been any discussion about who came up with what first with me, not really an issue, it seems different people were simply finding the same thing at different times.

If you need a close timeline...

12/2002 asian guys discovered it.

10/2003 JoBarr discovered it.

11/2003 I discovered it.

11/2003 Parman gave it to everybody.


Thank you, Joe for explaining this (I guess a zillionth time). Myself, I dont care about who did when and why or where for that matter. It is teamwork that did it. My findings: tried the same thing to make IE5.0 work as a standalone version (does not seem to work ok using the `unwrap then delete some files`-method), I downloaded it from Also remarked that IE 5.5 proprietary filters actually work (??) on the standalone version IE 5.1 WIN For one, Dont know why? Now we can do the same (make it stand side by side with the other IEs) for IE6, as the IE7 beta has become a real version ??


Hey everybody...

This is the real Jobarr (Jeremy Williams). I can also say that I am not Joe Maddalone. :)

I`m glad other people took my work (well, accidental finding) or figured it out on their own because now we all can use multiple versions of IE on the same computer. Definitely helped out webdesigners everywhere!


I found a solution for the cookies problem for IE 5.0:

1. Go to and download the file. 2. DO NOT RUN THE EXECUTABLE (I never ran it, so I`m not sure what it will do, but it`s possible that it could overwrite important files with older versions) 3. Open the downloaded file in your favorite compression program 4. Extract wininet.dll into your IE501SP2_NT folder. 5. Enjoy!


hi all how can i do this whif ie 6 is it possible to use windows update whiff a standalone version of ie i get this erer Windows Update has encountered an error. Please try the following:

Install the latest version of the Microsoft XML Parser from the Microsoft Download Center:

In the Worldwide Downloads list, select the appropriate language for your computer and then click Go. In the Keywords box, type Microsoft XML Parser (MSXML) 3.0 Service Pack and then click Go. In the list of available downloads, click Microsoft XML Parser (MSXML) 3.0 Service Pack 4 (SP4). Follow the instructions on your screen. After the installation, try the Windows Update site again.


its pretty good... i really like it...


Awesome discovery, I just downloaded the stand alone versions from of IE 4 5 55 and they work great except from the 4 version (address bar doesn`t work) but the trick of changing the home page works perfect. One thing I noticed it`s that the 4 version is incredible fast, like 5x the others. Thanks to all the guys that make this possible.



thanks for solving that cookie issue.. YOU ROCK!!!!!!! finally have it working well yay!!!!!

Rahul Dev Katarey

hay i am back yes i did check it, its good thanx, its very useful for all web developere

Steve Kemp

Have you considered the ramifications of the mental breakdowns of webmasters checking their logs to find MSIE 3.02 running on WinXP?


And how to make that Active Channels in such "installation" of MSIE 4 work ?


sir i want information about the difference between the ie6 and ie7

Todd Huss

I`ve been using standalone IE for this purpose quite succesfully. As others have mentioned you can get it here:

Mike, the Biggest Loser in the World

I wanted to say thanx to youse all fer showing us dumb, amateur webmonkeys how to run IE 5 and 6 side-by-sidey. I have been told repeatedly by books, experts, other DHTML-wretches and my Oracle that this was not possible. Am going to try it out for the first time, this week. I was wondering if somebody could take a look at MY website in the meantime, with a few differnt browzers, and shoot me a quick e-mail, telling me how badly I screwed up. It would rally help, while I am cursing and swearing at my 166 Mhz, Win98SE-running monster, for the next week. Thx.

Kurt Symanzik

I`m running XP Pro SP2 on a laptop and was unable to get the standalone versions (5.01 and 5.5) running until I used the Cygwin utility chmod to set permissions on both the executables and the DLLs.

Before I used chmod, trying to start the executable would give me a permission denied message. After running `chmod a+x IEXPLORE.EXE` IE would start but not appear. It would continue running as a task though but was not visible. After running `chmod a+x *.DLL` IE would run.

I`m sure there is a way to do the same thing without Cygwin`s chmod if someone knows how that might be done.



amazing, astounding, bewildering, breathtaking, extraordinary, impressive, marvelous...

the coolest thing I saw last year :))

really! :)

Erik Kramer

I have a problem. I want to use IE 5.5 to launch index.htm. I put IE 5.5 and index.htm both on a CD. How can I start the index.htm within IE 5.5 automaticly? I used autorun: [autorun] open iexplore.exe http://www.<><><><>.nl This works well, but it launched IE 6.0 (default browser) Another name like Aiexplore.exe causus errors. Does anyone know a solution for this problem?

Thanks if you know a solution.

Gr. Erik Kramer


For my web tests work fine. Before this option I use virtual machine and time consuming workarounds. Now it`s wonderful. Thanks very much!!!


man you just saved me a load of headache! i`m a web designer and i was going to set up separate computers to test my pages on


Really cool stuff thanks for posting it!! This is going to save me so much time you are indeed the man!! Keep on rocking.


I installed IE7 beta on my laptop. Later I wanted to install the free Comcast McAfee virusscan but it would not install from IE7 nor Netscape. The IE5.5 using the standalone failed due to the cookie issue (McAfee site needed it). The WinInet DLL to 5.0 worked in my 5.5 folder.


BTW, my other PCs use IE7b using the standalone technique instead of an install.


I posted some questions on executing the above steps... in the forum listed below. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!


Got it...

5 and 5.5 work fine.



Any updates on the lawsuit about Microsoft patent infringing?


I had some problem with IE 5.5 crashing all the time on my XP SP2, but I realised that when I first launched IE 6, keep it open and then launch IE 5.5, it will work properly, I guess this can help some people.

Cuban Joe

This is incredibly helpful... NICE WORK to everyone involved getting this up and running properly. It`s a godsend for testing CSS compatibility across different IE versions...

Does anyone have a solution for getting `Print Preview` to work in IE55SP2? I have print stylesheets that I would like to test in this browser, but it just pops up a permission error with preview.dlg... And then just a blank, gray window...


The latest IE6 upgrade can cause issues if you have been running IE7 beta 1 in standalone configuration. Symtoms can be one or more of - multiple IE windows launching (40 or so, until the machine runs out of resources), urls typed into the address bar launching in your default browser instead of IE and other issues. MS have released info on how to resolve it here


u can get quite a few stand alones from AS well as every browser in existence... ie 1.0 anyone?

Tom Maneiro

Nice trick! Now i have a nice IE5 in only 7.5MB (even less than Firefox), although it stills share some IE6 files. Tested under Windows Me, it works fine, no crashes, no conflicts, no worries (it even loads my addons like Google Toolbar).

Here are my list of files from Spanish IE5, from Office XP CD (i`ve included jses.dll for localized resources in Spanish). BROWSELC DLL 39.424 29/11/99 10:43a BROWSELC.DLL IEXPLO~1 LOC 0 21/12/05 9:51p IEXPLORE.EXE.local MSHTMLER DLL 58.880 29/11/99 10:43a MSHTMLER.DLL SHDOCLC DLL 346.112 29/11/99 10:43a SHDOCLC.DLL URLMON DLL 434.960 29/11/99 10:43a URLMON.DLL JSCRIPT DLL 487.481 29/11/99 10:43a JSCRIPT.DLL JSES DLL 24.576 29/11/99 10:43a jses.DLL DISPEX DLL 45.112 29/11/99 10:43a DISPEX.DLL BROWSEUI DLL 810.256 29/11/99 10:43a BROWSEUI.DLL IEXPLORE EXE 60.848 29/11/99 10:43a IEXPLORE.EXE INETCPL CPL 263.888 29/11/99 10:43a INETCPL.CPL INETCPLC DLL 70.144 29/11/99 10:43a INETCPLC.DLL MSHTML DLL 2.351.888 29/11/99 10:43a MSHTML.DLL MSHTML TLB 1.049.088 29/11/99 10:43a MSHTML.TLB MSHTMLED DLL 254.400 29/11/99 10:43a MSHTMLED.DLL SHDOCVW DLL 1.102.096 29/11/99 10:43a SHDOCVW.DLL 17 archivos 7.399.153 bytes


matgorb: Yup same issue here, didn`t used to happen though :( If anyone figures a work around that would be cool :)


With the beta IE 7 out now, can this technique be tweaked for either IE7 or the latest IE6 in order to run both at once?

Anyboy have IE6 + IE7 running at same time in the same PC?



Thanks Joe, for keeping this alive! Many sites have dropped the topic altogether. See my small contribution at IE6 and IE7 public beta seem to coexist at the moment. I only use them to test my pages` CSS though. Power users may judge differently :-)


Basakwards is good! IE7 B2 installed as primary. Stand-alone version of IE6 seems to work fine.


Hi! Who knows still sites similar to this?


Hi Petr

Refers to this magic site, & has some more info.


you are the man!

Martin V

Perfect job!

Did you check to run IE v6 parallel to the new beta version of 7?

Tested as for v5.5 unfortunately does not work properly.

Would be great, if you have a clue.



This is a really cool hack. Have we established whether its possible to run IE5.5, IE6, and IE7 on the same machine? I suppose you install IE7 beta as your primary browser then use the standalones. Anyone know how to get IE5 mac running on my PC!? cheers Joe, Jeremy and that asian guy!


thanks to Jonathan for post on Jonathan 8/17/2005 10:18:07 AM!!

about fix probkem with cookies!



While downloading ie5.5 (I got ie6on cd..) I thought I tell you all how good it to know now that its possible to run different ie`s: After installing ie7beta2 I was shocked how different it reenders my stylesheet from what ie6 does. I believe that we will allways need to use different sheets for different browsers...


How about this workaround for running both ie 6 and 7. I am just about to try it. It looks more promising than the method described above where you actually have to install 7.



IT TOTALLY WORKS! NOW that is the way to go!!!

No install and I am running 7 and 6 side by side.



Josh P


why was my message about the standalone browsers only opening IE6 removed?

Joe Maddalone

Accidental deletion due to frustration with comment spammers. Sorry about that.


Does this work with IE7 Beta2?


Yes, I have it working with IE7 Beta 2 on a Windows XP SP2 Box

- IE 3 works - IE 4 gives a /// syntax error. Can`t fix - IE 5.0 works - IE 5.5 works

How do I do a standalone IE6 install?


got cookies working again for all 3 versions: use the wininet.dll from this file for all versions



This works great! Got my copies from one of the sites listed above.


Anyone got this working on x64 (IE7BETA2-WindowsServer2003-x64-enu.exe) ? Mine crashes on startup. BETA1 works great though. IE7BETA2-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe works like a charm too.


works great . many thanks


I`ve noticed that all the Eolas versions of the IE 6 standalone that are available for download from various places still use the popup dialogue for plugins. Has anyone seen or created an IE 6 that uses the new "click to activate" treatment of plugins?


Well, this doesn`t really seem to work for me. Always the new version of IE starts up.

Although I got the iexplore.exe.local (downloaded IE 5.5 from ). Anybody got a solution? Tried to get it to work under Linux with crossover office as well. Same problem.


I stumbled on this page a few months ago but never thanked Joe for his hard work. Thanks Joe! I came back when I started using some conditional CSS and noticed that the IE5s use the CSS meant for IE6. Jeff seemed to notice a similar problem over a year ago (see his post on 2/23/05), but I wanted to clarify it so people don`t get as confused as I just did: IE7b2 and IE6 standalones correctly interpret conditional CSS, but through some fluke IE5.01 and IE5.5 standalones seem to only interpret [if IE 6] statements. At least that`s how it`s working on my setup. If anybody knows a why, please post! Thanks agian.


Just wondering if anyone has been able to get IE standalones working with IE7 Beta3 as the primary installation??? I had the standalones working beautifully alongside IE7 Beta2 until I installed IE7 Beta3. Cheers, Matt.


For the cookies issue I add WININET.DLL in the current directory like M Cain said and it`s working perfectly! Thanks.


I am using the standalone explorer 6 (IE 7 as default). However, I`m testing a site that need the user to log in, but the explorer cannot retain user sessions, do you know any patch to solve this? Thanx


This is for Justin`s comment on 7/3/2006 5:43:14 PM..

I am having absolutly the same problem. My conditional IE 5 statement to load patch_IE5.css does not appear to work. Does anyone know how to solve this issue??

Guorri Hugo

Very many thanks for a good work. Nice and useful. Like it!


Great! This page makes Firefox ( Mac Os X 10.4.7) kinda crash, when trying to change the unreadable fontsize.

Harlamp Hurrik

I would like to wish you much luck. And a lot of money. Thank you.


EXCELLENT!!!!!! Between the original article (Thanks, Joe!) and all of the additional comments, solved a problem I was facing very quickly.


Wow, you got tons of spam comments. :(

One thing I noticed in my IE5.x standalones was that repeating background images do not repeat when there`s a SWF displayed in the same window. That`s not the case with the real thing, is it?

The non-repeating image problem didn`t happen in a standalone IE5.01 I tested on a different XP machine. Incidentally, I tried running the IE5.5 standalone on that same machine but got it closed "due to an error" every time. Maybe that system has a different set of updates?

Anyway, just thought you`d want to know about these quirks. Thanks for inventing this process, by the way. You`re a lifesaver!


IE4.01 kept crashing on SP2 (XP Home). Through painstaking trial and error, I was finally able to determine that I needed to include MSVCRT.DLL.


Moltingo astreo areo? Lastey vaios. Ima.


I had everything working well but when let windows install IE 7, IE 6 didn`t do as well as id did before.

mainly the css -positioning is not as it should be. Anyone facing the same problem?

Thanks for this thread, this `thing` has helped a lot.


when testing browsers 5.01, 5.5 and 6.0 they all seems to be 7.0 (positioniseverything -> multiIE.html)

but on -> browser.php they are identified as should (5.01, 5,5. 6.0).

Do anyone know how to fix this? Unistall IE 7?


ok. got it work again. it was too easy to spot. IE 7 setup had modified registry, so version vector had value 7.000000000. that`s all.


hi sir, Help me to find the technique to check my site that is it supporting the multiple browsers or not.


thank we have ie 7 and we want a ie 6 version :) ..can this be done?


Thanks for the interesting solution to testing with multiple browsers. The larger problem we`re facing is how to restrict usage to a single browser, to solve database update collisions. We have not only multiple browser problems, but the ability to use the "back" button allows users to overlap differing Java data updates. Does anyone have insights on these two problems?


It is healthy, I shall come on your site more often, thank.


It is healthy, I shall come on your site more often, thank.


test comment

Nandy Oiona

Green peace, blue sky


hi i was wondering how can you delete an extra internet that you dont want? ok say if you have aol and then theres this other internet thats not susposedto be there how do i take care of that?

ebofd nocsx

rcki pxlqkmbj heltxyos pindtxvfz rape ulyxzgjps tewv


Hello, it is simpa to be able to use some version of IE on a pc. But it does not work under Windows Vista. have you a solution of this problem?




Where do I find the instructions? I ran the multiple program and it loaded fine but they are all really IE6.. ugh I`m not a desktop person so I need simple stupid ;-( Can anyone help


Hello Very very good site! You are doing great job. G`night


Now that IE7 is out, does anyone know how to get 6 running again (I`ve already installed long ago). IE5.5 sp2 is working fine for me now.


I meant to say "I`ve already installed IE7 long ago".


Hi At you the excellent site, a lot of useful info and good design, thank. G`night


Hi all! Very interesting site, beautiful design, thank. Bye


Hi Your site is great! Very useful. Good resources here. Thanks much! G`night


Hi all! Very interesting information! Thanks! Bye


Hi Excellent work... much respect dudes...


Hi, I was wondering how do I turn off the internet when I don`t use it?

Joe Maddalone

Just testing new comment system


It does not work for CSS and browser sniffing methods (like <!--[if IE 7] ). I`m courios of getting things working, but I think it is not possible on an easy way. What do ya think? Has anyone an solution?

On my site it gets always the css files for ie7. However on another machine with only the ie6 installed it works fine.

Gary Schankula

I have not been able to get Joe Maddalone`s technique to work. I`ve tried it with IE 4.01, 5.01 SP2, 5.5 SP2 (Charles), & 6.0. Each time, I try to run IEXPLORE.EXE, and it loads according to the Task Manager, but the interface does not appear. I believe I`ve followed all the steps. I have WinXP 2002 SP2 (Home Edition), with IE7 installed. Help please?

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