The 7th of Diduary: Did you know you can run Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 7?

Today is the seventh day of Diduary. You can see links to all of the published articles in the series here.

Let me start this post by stating that if you’re running Internet Explorer 6, you really need to stop. There are entire movements to get everyone to stop using IE 6. Google is dropping support for it. Microsoft has released a security advisory for Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6.

OK, now that you’ve heard why you should upgrade to a new browser, I’ll concede that some of you have to support applications that only work in IE 6. For those of you that have that issue, you probably feel restricted to living in a Windows XP world. The point of this article is to show you that you can have all of the security and features of Windows 7, while still having the ability to run certain applications in Internet Explorer 6 and Windows XP. Here’s how it works:

1. Get your machine running Windows 7

You can get that plenty of places. This should be the easy step. If you really need a place, Amazon.com has a reasonable price.

2. Get Windows XP Mode

A simple download, you basically get a virtual machine with a fresh XP installation. Click here to get Windows XP Mode for Windows 7. If you haven’t done this already, you’re going to need to make a change to your BIOS settings. You need to make sure that Hardware Virtualization is not only possible, but enabled as well. Once you’re back from your reboot, we can do the rest.

3. Installing XP Mode

The next step is to get XP Mode up and running. You’ll find it (by default) in the “Windows Virtual PC” folder in your Start Menu. After agreeing to the EULA:

The installer will ask you for credentials, and an installation location. (It rhymes, but “Installation Destination” seemed a little over-the-top.) I kept the default location, and gave it a password. By default, you can’t change the username, but once you’re in, you could create other user accounts.

Next, you’ll be asked to protect your computer. ALWAYS turn on Automatic Updates. Unless you’re prepared to manage all of the updates for your machine manually, it’s the right thing to do. This is a fresh install of Windows XP, with none of the updates you need to protect it.

Finally, it lets you know that it will be sharing your drives available to Windows 7 with XP. This will make it MUCH easier to move files in and out of the Virtual PC.

I thought this post was about Internet Explorer 6…

Yes, yes, it is. I just wanted to make sure you got set up first. So, after you’ve completed your install of Windows XP Mode, open up Windows Explorer (in the XP window), and navigate to:

C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersStart MenuPrograms

Create a shortcut to Internet Explorer 6 in this folder. I just dragged the icon from the default desktop setup, but you can do it any way you’d like. (Click to enlarge.)

After a few seconds, return to your Windows 7 Start Menu, and navigate to:

Start > Windows Virtual PC > Windows XP Mode Applications

You will see that there is now an Internet Explorer 6 icon in that new folder. Go ahead and close your entire Windows XP Mode Virtual PC window now. It will hibernate the machine for you.

Go back to your start menu, and click that Internet Explorer icon that was created. You will actually ONLY get the IE6 window, without all of the XP operating system. Here’s a screenshot of Internet Explorer 6 running next to Internet Explorer 8, in Windows 7 (click to enlarge).

7 thoughts on “The 7th of Diduary: Did you know you can run Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 7?

  1. Thanks for the kind comment. It really keeps me motivated to know that people appreciate my work.

  2. This is one article that got me doing a 180 degree turn – from strongly yukky to strongly yummy.Teaching people how to do IE6 in Win7 appeared like just a bad turn-off. Then it makes the sweet support case, and I slid up in the scale and kept reading.In the end, (I discovered for the first time — shame on XP mode documenters), that XP mode is a really a special bridge environment rather than just another VM. I used to use it like just any other VM. But to my sweetest surprise, I just learned that those apps (eg: Great Plains Finanacials)can just simply open as if running on Win 7.I came all the way from my feed client to pay my respect to such a well-crafted smart-made-to-sound-dumb-at-first-sight article.

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