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How to: Install multiple versions of IE on your PC
Step by step

 10:18 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here's how to install multiple versions of IE on one PC. Before continuing you will need:

• a PC with Windows installed, the later the better
• WinZip, PowerArchiver, or equivalent

Personally I use PowerArchiver, but the instructions apply to WinZip and other equivalent software as well.

Step 1 - Download:

Download the IE versions you wish to install from browsers.evolt.org [browsers.evolt.org]. The instructions in this thread assume that you have downloaded 5.01_SP2 and 5.5_SP2, but should apply to all other versions in a similar way.

Step 2 - getting the CAB files we need:

Run PowerArchiver. Open the installation file you just downloaded. (Let's start with ie501sp2.exe)

If you are using NT, 2000, or XP - extract the CABs from following files to a folder ('IE5.01' on your Desktop, for example):

If you are using 2000 - extract these as well:

For 98 or Me - extract the CABs from these files:

Step 3 - extracting more files:

Extract all files from your IENT_*.CAB (or IE_*.CAB for 98/Me) files to your folder. For 2000, extract the IEW2K_*.CAB files last, overwriting files if necessary.

Step 4 - getting it to work:

Delete SHLWAPI.DLL and COMCTL32.DLL, if they exist. Create a new (empty) file and name it IEXPLORE.EXE.local.



The number of CABs may vary from one version of IE to the other. You will need all. Also, if there are any files named IE###_*.CAB, where ### is the OS (such as W2K or MIL), you need these files as well. Just extract the files from these last.

Note: You may not be able to use your favorites in these versions of IE (which causes IE to crash), but it should function well otherwise. Your system version of IE is not affected at all.

[edited by: DrDoc at 10:54 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2003]



 10:24 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey DrDoc,

I think this was covered here [webmasterworld.com]... Hmm, never mind, you were there, I must be confused (all the sugar and caffeine gets to the 'thinkin' nerves :-} }


 10:27 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I know it was covered there, but a lot of people had problems understanding exactly what to do, so I was (in this thread [webmasterworld.com]) asked to put the instructions together in a more comprehensive way.

Still, all kudos to Jobarr for bringing it up in the first place.


 10:32 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

asked to put the instructions together in a more comprehensive way.

Great idea - having a couple of machines around I didn't even bother reading it as it was a bit fragmented, though a gem it is!


 5:47 am on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

DrDoc a thousand 'thank-you's for putting this into a logical format. I'm not even going to go into all the mistakes I made trying to follow that initial thread. I made a few. With these directions I was at least able to get IE 5.01, IE 5.5 & IE 6.02 all on the same machine. It works equally as well on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Startup is still quite slow...it takes these versions of IE about 40 seconds to open on my new 3Ghz workstation on a clean install of XP with no other software installed. On my old 450Mhz machine it takes 1:30 or so...However, once it's open it works just as quick as normal IE, which was a problem for me before. Also, I can now select form elements and the like.

I could not get this method to work with IE4 at all. I think I'll give up on that one now as that version of IE is about as prevelant as Netscape 3 in the wild.


 5:55 am on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have looked and looked for a way to do this and finally gave up believing all I read that said "it ain't possible"

Thank you! DrDoc :) :) :)

This should go into the library


 6:01 am on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

You're most welcome, bill (and nancyb) ;)

I had issues with IE4 myself, and though I got it to work, it never worked all that great. So, for anyone that wants to attempt getting IE4 working, you're left to your own destiny ;)

Then again, I don't test in NN4 anymore, so why should I test in IE4? :)

Just remember to thank Jobarr [webmasterworld.com] too. He started it.


 7:25 am on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just to clearify:

You must make sure to have the iexplore.exe.local file in the folder to make IE use all the local files. Otherwise it won't work properly.

Help > About is always going to show 6.0 (or whatever the system version is), since that info is grabbed from the Windows registry, and not affected by the local files. However, you still see that info displayed on the browser's about page. You do get a true working IE5.0 or 5.5 or whatever you set up, even though parts of it may appear not to be. And, no matter what the about page tells you, the user agent string won't lie. As long as the UA string matches what it's supposed to be, then you did things right. :)


 7:01 pm on Nov 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Great solution here! I've now got full working copies of IE 5, 5.5 and 6. Works great!

I've zipped up the folders I "installed" to; if I send the zip files to friends, will they simply be able to unzip to a particular directory and have things work? Don't see any reason why not . . .


 7:07 pm on Nov 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, they will... Well, as long as you are using the same OS type -- NT based vs. Win95 based


 10:35 pm on Nov 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Risking looking like an idiot.. how to you 'create a file'? Is it a txt file? Or a folder? The rest of the instructions I understood perfectly, and I thank you for them. I can't wait to test it out...

Create a new (empty) file and name it IEXPLORE.EXE.local.


 10:51 pm on Nov 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks was the BEST tip Dr.


Thanks a ton. I used it and this was wanted for LONG.


 12:34 am on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tips!

I was waiting or this thread!


 5:05 am on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks so much for posting this. We currently have multiple computers set up to handle this problem. Now we can free up those resources.



 9:32 am on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


i was wondering the same , but in the original thread jobarr says (msg # 39)
Then create an empty text file called IEXPLORE.EXE.local

so im going to give that a try.

thanks drdoc and jobarr, invaluable post!


 9:35 am on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

create an empty text file called IEXPLORE.EXE.local

Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Editor.
When the editor opens, leave the file empty, click 'Save as...', enter 'IEXPLORE.exe.local'. That's it.


 1:50 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks Jobarr and DrDoc

I've just fixed a 5.5 bug for a client (and they didn't have to buy the virtual OS software I told them I would need)


 2:42 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Don't know if you have seen this site, [skyzyx.com...] All of the ie standalone browsers are ready for download.


 3:19 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Those downloads may not work on some systems, since they are based on the minimum number of files required. Unfortunately, that may cause certain content not to appear correctly. I discourage anyone from downloading those files.


 2:08 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here are pretty much all IE versions





 2:47 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks DrDoc,
I was tempted to install them but now I won't.


 12:54 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is absolutely wonderful news Dr. Doc - only I don't seem to be able to get it to work, and wonder if anyone here might be able to help. I've tried following these instructions with ie5.01 SP2 and ie 5.5 SP2 so far, to the letter. As an extractor I used 7z, and open source file compression/uncompression agent. What happens on double clicking on iexplore within the file manager utility (the thing you get when you double click on a folder on your desktop - I think it's also called something like iexplore) is: nothing. If I open up the task manager, it shows up for a little while in Processes, and then disappears, with one of those Windows bug feedback boxes regarding IEXPLORE. I also noticed that with 5.5 SP2, if IEXPLORE.EXE.local is deleted, iexplore does work; but clicking on the 'about' in help reveals the version running to be 6 something (my default iexplore).

Upon decompressing, I was told that IE_NT*.CAB (except for 1) had one or more files it wanted to rewrite which were already present: I've tried letting it rewrite, or not rewrite these files. Also, with each of these files that were to be rewritten, whether I tried to rewrite them or not, 7z said that there was an error: the file in question was broken (I take this to be an error in 7z, since if I told it not to rewrite, it shouldn't even check to see if it's broken or not, no?).

I'm running XP Professional SP1 with all but the very latest updates; Mozilla Firebird is my default browser, but I also have Opera and Mozilla (and ie6) installed here, but I'd guess this is a setup similar to a lot of you all's. I've closed all browsers, and this also doesn't seem to help.

Some basic questions then: you think I should try this with a different decompression agent, like the windows commandline? Do I need to get out of that explore file manager thingie, and execute iexplore from the command line prompt? Or do I seem to be missing something?

<edit>Downloaded one of the versions at skyzyx.com : this made a browser window appear, which subsequently crashed. I failed to mention: I also have the google toolbar installed (doesn't everyone here?). Following the instructions for the 'optimized' version at [insert-title.com...] makes an ie which shows a dialogue box, asking me if I want to download something from Google.com, without any browser window - another crash and burn.
I also have a thing by ATI called Hydravision that's used with their dual head cards for managing multiple desktops (not very impressive, b.t.w.) - this also produces shadows around windows, and I'm noticing weird shadows without windows when I try to start the old ie's.</edit>

<edit2: progress report / for whoever else might be in same boat>After uninstalling TweakUI for XP and Hydravision, the skyzyx version works; 7z might be doing something funny with .cab files. If you get problems and want to follow me on this one, uninstall all stuff that seriously influences your desktop shell, and things *might* work.</edit2>


 4:15 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, here's the key to getting it to work for you, mincklerstraat.

When you open IENT_S1.CAB in 7z, don't click on the next CAB file (it's probably called IENT_1.CAB, right?) you see, just extract it to a folder. Do the same thing with IENT_S2.CAB, etc. Then you open the first of the CAB files you extracted (it's a multi archive) and extract all files.

That should take care of step 2 and 3 ;)

If you get prompted to overwrite files, then something wasn't done right.

Hope that helps :)


 4:18 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

As for "tweaking" software and other desktop handlers... I have some of those installed too, but that didn't affect the functionality of IE at all (and shouldn't).


 4:46 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I got mine to work in XP but I had to extract the W2K files after the NT cabs. So If you have XP and forgot the W2K cabs you will get an error in KRNL32.DLL



 7:26 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Now, that's interesting, pcguru333!
Which version of XP are you running?


 9:59 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good post, DrDoc.
Even so, I use an alternative way to have installed many versions of IE in my PC...
It's very easy: I'm not only a webmaster, but also a programmer, so I need to have many platforms to test my software... I have now a WinXP running with IE6, a Win98 with IE4, and I'm gonna install a Debian with Konkeror. :P
But I'll try to put IE 5.0 and IE 5.5 together with IE6 in the XP partition... when I can get my new harddisk! ;):P
To thoose who need both IE5.x or 6 and IE4.x or fewer, I suggest a multisystem environment. I have now 4 systems installed in a 10Gb hardisk, waiting to buy very soon a 120Gb disk and a DVD-RW to keep backups XD



 4:57 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)


I have SP1

As for specific version I'd have to look when I get home. Last time I ran an update was a couple months ago (I only get 28.8 on my dial up)



 5:02 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

SP1 is good enough ;)

Hmm... Which browser were you trying to get to work?


 5:36 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was installing IE5.01 SP2 and it has worked fine since I used the W2K cabs. I guess that makes me weird huh...?

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