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Running IE 11 with VirtualBox on Mac

jenc profile image jen chan ・3 min read

As of my time of writing, I am using a mid-2017 MacBook Pro on Catalina. (ymmv)

Prerequisites:

The app should already be provisioned to support Angular on IE 11, or the login page may not render.

Example:
Login page that doesn't render on IE 11

If you plan on testing locally, then your app should already be running localhost:4200 on your machine.

If this still doesn’t work, there may be a firewall, VPN or other things preventing you from accessing localhost, in which case you are probably better off accessing a deployed version at a stable url

Now you need:

  • at least 10GB of free hard disk space

  • download VirtualBox for Mac OS

  • Download the VirtualBox file at this free Microsoft VM page

  • Unarchiver for unzipping the file above

  • patience (your computer may heat up and run slow. this VM doesn’t allow copy and pasting… etc etc)

  1. Install VirtualBox in your applications

  2. Unzip the MSEdge-Win10-VMware file.

  3. Open VirtualBox

Setting up the virtual machine

  1. Click “New”

VirtualBox Interface

  1. Select “Windows 10”

  2. Click “Continue”

  3. Select 2048MB RAM and click “Continue”

Select 2048MB RAM and click “Continue”

  1. Select “Use an Existing Virtual Hard Disk File” and find the .vmdk in the VM file you just downloaded

The vm disk image is now imported!

Configure the VM

Right-click “IE Edge” or whatever you named it, and click on “Settings”.
The interface of VirtualBox on Mac after you import a new virtual machine image

Under “Networks” > Adapter 1 you may select “NAT” or “Nat Network”

Under System > Motherboard, set “Pointing Device” to USB Tablet

Click “Start” in the Virtual Box GUI, or “Run” to start the VM

Get the env showing up on localhost

Open Command Prompt and type ipconfig. Make note of the last line. Mine says 10.0.2.2

To get IE 11 to show localhost on our windows VM, go to the File searcher in the lower left hand corner and right-click “NotePad” to “Run As Administrator”.

Go to the File searcher in the lower left hand corner of the Windows desktop and right-click “NotePad” to “Run As Administrator”

You’ll be asked:
After finding “NotePad” and selecting “Run As Administrator"

Click Yes.

When Notepad opens, open C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts.conf
Go through the file system from C drive to Windows folder, System32, drivers, etc, select hosts.conf inside and open it

Add 10.0.2.2 localhost to the last line of the Notepad file you opened, and save the file (not as a .txt, just agree to overwrite the original)

Open IE 11 and hopefully, you see the app in http://10.0.2.2:4200

Tips:

Command + E to take a screenshot of the VM desktop.

A snapshot is not a screenshot. This creates a tiny copy of the state of the machine so that you can boot it up. Pretty useful for trying to keep this on beyond the 90 day free use.

For other ideas on how to get IE 11 for cross-browser testing on a Mac, check out:

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