Internet Explorer & Edge Online Simulators: Evaluating Their Effectiveness for Modern Web Testing

Developers may find it difficult to test apps online on out-of-date platforms like Edge and Internet Explorer online, though, given the release of more recent browsers. Online simulators have become popular tools for testing websites on these browsers without requiring local installations as a solution to this problem. We explore the usefulness of Internet Explorer online simulators for contemporary web testing in this extensive blog.

Internet Explorer & Edge Simulators:

Internet Explorer was originally the industry standard browser, but Microsoft Edge offers better performance and compatibility with modern web standards. As a result, Internet Explorer has gradually being displaced. Despite this shift, businesses and consumers still use Internet Explorer and Edge extensively for a range of uses, therefore support and testing for both browsers will always be required.

Online simulators for Internet Explorer and Edge provide developers with a useful method of testing their websites without requiring them to install these browsers on their computers. These simulators simulate the behavior of Internet Explorer and Edge in a virtual environment, enabling developers to assess compatibility and identify potential issues.

Criteria for Simulator Evaluation:

Several crucial factors need to be taken into account in order to evaluate how successful the Internet Explorer and Edge online simulators are:

  • Support for numerous Browser Versions: Simulators should be able to run numerous versions of Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, including older versions that are often used by businesses and academic institutions.
  • Accuracy of Rendering: To guarantee that webpages are shown exactly as they would appear in the real browsers, simulators should faithfully imitate the rendering engine and behavior of Internet Explorer and Edge.
  • Feature Compatibility: JavaScript execution, CSS rendering, DOM manipulation, and HTML5 compatibility are only a few of the fundamental browser capabilities and functionalities that simulators should offer.
  • Performance and Responsiveness: Simulators should have sufficient performance and responsiveness to enable real-time website interaction and performance metrics assessment for developers.

Characteristics and Advantages:

  • Browser Compatibility Testing: To ensure compatibility across different browser versions, developers can test their web apps on different versions of Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer using online simulators. For legacy apps that must support earlier browser versions, this is especially crucial.
  • Testing for accessibility: Web development requires accessibility, and online simulators offer the tools and functionalities needed to assess an application’s usability on Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Developers are able to assess elements like keyboard
  • Reporting bugs and working together: The majority of online simulators provide built-in tools for taking screenshots, making movies, and keeping track of bugs. Developers can quickly report problems they run into during testing and work together with other members of the team to find effective solutions. The problem tracking and resolution process is further streamlined by integration with project management and communication systems.

Limitations of IE Simulator

IE Simulators are slower than the actual Internet Explorer browser and essentially replicate the experience of using an Internet Explorer browser. The precise CSS support and the way in which specific interactions will work on an actual device running an IE browser cannot be replicated by developers or QA testers. It is insufficient to administer the tests using Internet Explorer in lieu of an actual device.

Browser Emulators

Browser emulators serve as valuable tools for assessing website responsiveness. However, they may not fully replicate differences in API, CSS support, and specific behaviors observable only on actual mobile browsers. For comprehensive testing, it’s advisable to assess your site on browsers running on genuine devices to ensure everything functions as intended.

Firefox Responsive Design View

Firefox offers a responsive design view, encouraging users to shift from focusing on specific devices to exploring design changes at common screen sizes or their own screen size by adjusting window edges.

EdgeHTML Emulation

To simulate Windows Phones, utilize the built-in emulation feature of Microsoft Edge (EdgeHTML).

IE 11 Emulation

For testing how your page may appear on older versions of Internet Explorer, employ IE 11 emulation.

Device Emulators and Simulators

These tools simulate not only the browser environment but the entire device, allowing testing of elements requiring OS integration, such as form input with virtual keyboards.

  • Android Emulator

While Microsoft Edge isn’t available on Android emulators, alternatives like the Android Browser, Chromium Content Shell, and Firefox for Android offer viable options for testing.

  • Chromium Content Shell on Android

To install Chromium Content Shell for Android, follow specific commands to set up the emulator.

  • Firefox on Android

Similar to Chromium Content Shell, you can install Firefox on the emulator using the provided APK file.

  • iOS Simulator

The iOS simulator is available with Xcode on Mac OS X, allowing you to test iOS apps directly on your Mac.

A plethora of real IE browsers are available on LambdaTest. On real operating systems, you can conduct automated and live-interactive browser testing on a variety of Internet Explorer versions, including IE11, IE10, IE9, IE8, and IE7. To begin testing on IE, simply register on LambdaTest, choose setup, and get going. LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform enabling users to perform cross browser testing across 3000+ browser versions and operating systems.

Microsoft Edge DevTools

Microsoft Edge DevTools are built-in web development tools of the Microsoft Edge browser. A group of web development tools called DevTools show up in the browser window next to a webpage that has been rendered. A strong method for examining and debugging webpages and web apps is offered by DevTools. 

With DevTools, you can:

  • Inspect, tweak, and modify the styles of webpage elements using live tools with a visual interface. Examine the sources of webpage content, including .html, .css, .js, and .png files.
  • Debug JavaScript with breakpoint debugging and a live console. Detect memory issues and rendering problems in your web applications.
  • Identify and resolve accessibility, performance, compatibility, and security issues in your products using DevTools.
  • Sync changes in DevTools with your file system and the web, creating a cohesive development environment.

Microsoft Edge Extensions:

  • Develop an extension for Microsoft Edge to add or modify browser features, enhancing the browsing experience with specialized functions for a specific audience.
  • Create a Microsoft Edge extension if you have an idea or product that enhances browser features or specific webpages, such as ad blockers or password managers.
  • A Microsoft Edge extension typically includes:
  • An app manifest JSON file with basic platform information.
  • A JavaScript file defining the behavior of the extension.

Microsoft provides tools called that allow users to test websites across a variety of browsers, including mobile and outdated Internet Explorers.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) use open web technologies to achieve cross-platform compatibility. On compatible platforms, they function like native apps, while on other browsers, they behave like regular websites.

PWAs merge the advantages of the web and native apps to offer users an app-like experience tailored to their devices. Essentially, a PWA is a website enhanced to operate like an installed native app on supported platforms but behaves as a standard website on others.

Moreover, PWAs have significantly lower cross-platform development costs compared to compiled apps, which require distinct codebases for each platform, such as separate ones for Android, iOS, and various desktop operating systems.

Characteristics of PWAs

When developing a Progressive Web App (PWA), consider the following key characteristics:

  • Installable

Studies show that users are more engaged with installed apps than with visiting websites. By offering your product as a PWA, you provide users with the appearance, feel, and engagement level of a typical app.

  • Discoverability

As PWAs are essentially enhanced websites, they should be discoverable via search engines to generate additional traffic. This is an advantage over native apps, which are not searchable in this way.

  • Cross-Platform

Since PWAs are developed as web apps, they must function across all browsers and operating systems, not just a select few. Users should be able to use them in any browser before deciding to install them.

These characteristics provide a general overview of what PWAs offer. Understanding the comparison between PWAs and native apps can further clarify their respective advantages and uses.


Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge continue to play a role in web browsing, particularly in enterprise environments where legacy applications and compatibility requirements persist. Online simulators offer a practical solution for developers to test their websites on these browsers without the need for local installations. While each simulator has its strengths and limitations, a combination of tools like LambdaTest, and built-in developer tools can provide comprehensive testing coverage for Internet Explorer and Edge. 

By evaluating simulators based on criteria such as browser version support, rendering accuracy, feature compatibility, performance, and accessibility, developers can make informed decisions and ensure the optimal user experience across all browsers.

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