Taming Your Multiple IE Standalones

Published in CSS on Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

Though I posted it in the Browser Links and Resources a while back, and it's been around for awhile now, I feel the need to say something more about this because if you are using multiple Internet Explorers on a single Windows install, this is just waay to cool.

Multiple IE standalones

A while back Joe Maddalone uncovered how to set up multiple standalone versions of IE. This was great news, but one of the shortfalls was that they didn't accurately handle conditional comments.

Thank you Manfred!

Well, a short while ago over at PIE, guest author Manfred Staudinger revealed two little tricks that do the following:

  1. Adds the IE version number to the title bar of the browser window.
  2. Gets Conditional Comments working in the IE Standalones, versions IE 5.01, IE 5.5, and IE 6.0

I know that I'm not the first person to this party, but it's only the 35th most popular page on the site (strange because this is super useful), and having finally done #2 from above, it's like breathing fresh air now that conditional comments work in their respective browsers on my computer. So if anyone hasn't done this yet, get to it!

Comments and Feedback

Here's a better link:


Man, I forgot to link it, nice.

There, all fixed up - twice in the text for good measure. Thanks Scott.

(...and I proof-read that twice before posting - go ahead, check for spelling errors ;-)

Just got my IE 5.01 and IE 5.5 stand-alones running, a very wonderful thing indeed. Thanks for the PIE link Scott, without conditional comments working it's pretty much useless for testing.

I wish I had found this sooner, here I am sitting working on an XP with IE 6, a Mac OS 9 next to me, and next to that, a Windows 2000 with IE 5.5 on it.

What a sucker.

Hey Justing, glad it helped.

I'm actually going to go back and edit this post, because the whole point was the link that Scott provided, not simply the standalones, and I think I was a bit unclear in my excitement!

Can't find Window Title key in my HKCU\\Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main registry. Any ideas?

If the key isn't there, you're good to go. The key is usually there if you've got a "custom" version of IE, like the SBC Yahoo! one.

Go to the PIE link ( http://positioniseverything.net/articles/multiIE.html ) and read it carefully, follow the steps perfectly and you will have IE 5.01, IE 5.5 and IE 6 running stand-alone, along with IE 5.01 and IE 5.5 identifying themselves as such via the title bar (with the DLL provided). Make sure to get conditional comments workin too, as that is the main purpose of the article.

Guys, I don't mean to rain on anybody's parade (honest!), but I strongly urge you not to install multiple IEs side by side.

The trouble with IE is that it's not only a browser, it's much more. It's a part of the OS itself. Often times you're looking at a window in WinXP and don't even realize it's the same IE COM object.

I've developed in C++ for Windows for years and I know how deeply ingrained IE is. If you simply need to load up a page and hit F5 multiple times for testing, that's fine, but if you want a stable and usable OS, I don't recommend this approach.

As an alternative, I can suggest Microsoft's VirtualPC which allows you to run images of various Windows flavors. It's a low-risk way to test things and it's easy enough to roll back the whole image in case something goes wrong, or if you simply need to start with a clean slate.

Who would want to get multiple versions of IE running side-by-side to *all* be fully functional as ingrained components of the OS??

I'd argue that anyone who is concerned about how their sites functions/looks in these older browsers would never consider IE their browser of choice in the first place. Now that's irony.

Hey Milan, I hear your concerns. When this first came out I waited several weeks before giving it a go (I had older versions on hand in other machines).

However I've now been running concurrent versions for as long as I can remember, and had no problems with WinXP.

I have a feeling that if you combed thru the original write-up you may find that this set up is fairly harmless...

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