I am wondering if people find that IE9 compatibility mode is sufficient enough to complete testing sites for multiple IE versions. In comparison to IE collections, virtual machines, etc.

  • What are IE collections?
    – dzieciou
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 19:55
  • Utilu IE Collection contains multiple standalone versions of IE, which can be used at the same time.
    – Mike
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 20:17
  • I've never had a good experience with those collections. They always seem brittle, and I would wind up cross-referencing them against an actual full install anyway. I just stopped using them and learned to maintain VM images.
    – maznika
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 19:27

4 Answers 4


This Stack Overflow thread suggests that there are differences and the modes are not totally accurate. Depends on your definition of risk and how accurate the results have to be for you and your stakeholders

  • Pretty much this. There are definite differences in how things will be rendered. It's up to your individual level of risk assessment as to whether it's "good enough" to rely upon.
    – maznika
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 18:58

Sadly, years of playing with emulators of one form or another has taught me a very simple lesson:

There is no substitute for testing your software on it's target

No matter how good a simulator or emulator you are running, there will be enough situations that the sim/em-ulator doesn't cover 100% accurately that you are leaving potential problems

I've also had lots of problems with the Windows 7 XP compatibility mode, where the compatibility mode cannot handle a number of technical applications (it's OK for Office...)

So, whilst I don't do browser software, I would be very cautious about relying on IE9's compatibility mode.


Nope. Compatibility mode is not 100% Trustable.

I have also faced problems with IE simulators/virtual images. I have tried :

  1. IE Tester
  2. Browser Stack
  3. IE Compatibility Mode
  4. Virtual Box

But all have some flaws. Recent issue i faced with Browser stack was that it was not showing table background color.

Thus, the best solution I find is to execute the flow at original browser only.

It's hard to switch Laptop's or PC's but this is the only way to get 100% assurance as compare to IE software/images.

  • What is the flaw of Virtual Box?
    – dzieciou
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 19:47
  • Are you saying Browser Stack emulates IE? I was always thinking they simply expose VMs with Web browsers in the clouds, so no emulation at all.
    – dzieciou
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 19:48

Have you tried IEtester? I have had success using it and it did not present any particular problems.

  • Have you verified compatibility tests results made with this tool by using real browser?
    – dzieciou
    Commented Nov 12, 2012 at 9:14
  • I have. then again this was more than a year ago.
    – Nik
    Commented Nov 12, 2012 at 10:19
  • I've used IETester quite extensively in the past and things that worked in IETester didn't always work in native versions of IE6/IE7. use a virtual machine instead.
    – Ardesco
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 22:28

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