Browser

A visual history of Internet Explorer from 1 to 9

Internet Explorer keeps evolving

It's a safe bet that most Windows users have used multiple versions of Internet Explorer. After all, it has been around for years now!

As each new version comes along, we move right into the new user interface and new features and promptly forget what it was like to use the previous version. As such, with IE9 looming, it is quite a trip down memory lane to take a look back at the earlier versions.

In this gallery, you'll be able to browse through the main user interface and several common dialog boxes from Internet Explorer 1 to Windows Internet Explorer 9.

By the way, you can now test drive IE9.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

75 comments
Awahili Guni
Awahili Guni

I can recollect the very beginning of IE of MSFT when it first came out, oh joy, the finding of them; yet, over the years gradually mainly due to hackers, hijackers, and all the other bad "junkies" who comes out to manipulate the IE Browers (x86 platform) 32 bit and 64 bit has changed everything. But are there still eggs is the question? YES and NO - depending on your Security System to AD (Active Directory) / Server or whatever type of DNS/IP Provider you use in which many have their own self-protection of such which eliminates this precious "egg hunting" all with due respect because of vulnerabilities. Kind of takes all the fun out of everything today ... even though other MSFT Programs do have eggs and we can use but as far as Browser goes, one must imply it's pretty tight reigns there. Not to ramble or to be on the "Soap Box" but with all implications; do you honestly and sincerely want to put yourself at a security risk and position your own OS (whether Win, Linux, Mac, etc) at a risk just to find an egg or eggs on a Browser or possibility find "cheat sheet"? In my humble opinion, this is one area I'd rather not mess with and why? Sufficient enough as is .... damages are everywhere - world-wide; everyone is vulnerable, whether a Server or an Operating System - simple as that, I could careless if you were a Mac, Windows, Linux, Whoopie-Do-Dah-Day ... however, if you elect to build a throw-away OS and could "careless" whatever happens to it ... have fun and let us know what you find and what kind of destruction had happened in your travels!

mattpam99
mattpam99

My browser is My Yahoo (Mail) and It keeps dropping out and rebooting with an attempt to recover it's last screen. I am using Win.7-SP1-home edition. Has anybody else experienced this? How can it be rectified?

Seotop
Seotop

IE still suxx ( Waiting for revolution with IE 10+

johja
johja

I'm just waiting for a version of IE where I don't have to make coding exceptions. IE 8 was an improvement, but there are still exceptions for which to code. C'mon IE, play nice like other browsers.

Zenith545
Zenith545

OK ,yeah,yeah,yeah (*hand in up and down motion over groin area*). Another thinly disguised shill for Microsoft. QUOTE:"As each new version comes along, we move right into the new user interface and new features and promptly forget what it was like to use the previous version.":UNQUOTE Who the heck is WE??? Please don't include me in whatever group that inane comment refers to. Oh , look I have Windows 7 and I have promptly forgot XP. Really, now. A good reason why this society does not progress :) "Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -George Santayana

Jaqui
Jaqui

in IE7/8 both are seriously flawed. they put he address bar at the top of the window, right where the MENUS are supposed to be. and I can't see any MENU in the pics. makes me glad IE don't run on my operating system, if the ui is that badly designed.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

In 2002, my desktop and laptop were Windows 2K and my classroom computers were still on Win 98SE. I started using Phoenix, I mean Firebird, I mean Firefox when the first public beta was released, and really haven't looked back unless IE was absolutely required (e.g. Windows Update). The single most irritating feature of the latest releases is the inability to move the menu bars; what idiot came up with that idea?

jimmyreed4tech
jimmyreed4tech

I was using IE1 in 95, boy I wish things were that simple now! :-)

russoisraeli
russoisraeli

#1 browser to set a proxy with authorization on, or remove privileges that allow execution for regular users... Though before malware came along, versions 5 and 6 were my favorite. They replaced Navigator for me back then.

nitebmet
nitebmet

MICROSOFT REALLY PUSHING AWAY FROM XP because IE 9 is only for vista and windows 7

Mad Mole
Mad Mole

Fun wander into the past and a brief glimpse of the future. However re-reading the 3yr-old posts, on what is clearly a devisive topic, is fascinating. Have opinions changed? Where will IE9 fit in? Will IE9 lead the way in something?! I'd like it to be as secure as FF and fast as Chrome. If it doesn't look better FF and ignore the broken interface of Chrome I'll be very dissappointed. Can't wait to find out!

greg
greg

You forgot the blue screen of death....

randy.sigler
randy.sigler

Thank you for a nice article ! Now I am feeling really old ;-)

ggainey
ggainey

A nice addition to the history of IE would have been the easter eggs that were included in most of the versions.

Joanne Lowery
Joanne Lowery

Why did MS place the Stop and Refresh so far away from the back/forward buttons? It's a pain if you mistakenly click on a link and the try to stop a page loading. I would have left both the stop and refresh next to the back/forward at the top left. Just a niggle though.

lance
lance

I have been proving technical support for the last 10 years. Excellent compile, thanks for the laugh and brief walk down memory lane.

thephpdeveloper
thephpdeveloper

M$ copied Mozilla's Firefox for the new features of IE7. i don't like them. however, what i like is the thumbnail preview of all the tabs. that's nice xD

jandclinan
jandclinan

I wonder if you can still a get a copy of IE 1.0 and install it just for kicks. LOL Those were the days.....

Gennady
Gennady

It is important to add that Internet Explorer 3 brought "Internet Mail and News" program, which later became Outlook Express. Even in IE6 the exe of Outlook Express is still called "msimn.exe", which stands for Microsoft Intrenet Mail and News. Until IE3, Microsoft's POP3 client was exchange-based (aka Windows's Inbox), which later became Outlook.

dryd
dryd

I remember using a text only version of Explorer back in the Dos/XTree Gold days, before Dowz 3.x became the norm. There was no "history" as such, you had to enable "capture mode" to save anything from a session on line. Anyone have any idea what that would have been? Nice article btw.

hollywood.ron
hollywood.ron

The amount of spelling and grammar errors in this article is stunningly high. Still, the idea is neat. Like taking a trip to Jurassic Park! Kudos all around.

Awahili Guni
Awahili Guni

LOL! That was the ONLY browser we had .... www.com ... :P

Awahili Guni
Awahili Guni

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AND FIND WHICH APPLIES TO YOU: If you are using Win 7 64 bit OS - MSC (or MSE - aka "Microsoft Security Essentials") - it would be a good idea to move the settings on the MAPS configuration from Advanced to Basic, if you have it set there, or if on Basic - move it to off. Win 7 64 Bit OS runs on a Server R2 which MSC (aka "Microsoft Security Client") is not yet compatible... unless you had it already installed long before this came to being. If you are on a Win XP or Vista (either 32 bit or 64 bit) there is a known issue with MSE when one is also using another Anti-Virus or full blown Anti-Animal-Malware-Virus System in conjunction with each other. To illustrate it best this way; picture it as two battering Rams fighting over 1 female (your OS). ================================ 64 bit IE is not intended to use as an IE Browser for things such as Yahoo, keep that in mind - use the 32 bit - that is if you are using a 64 bit OS; I don't care what type of version of OS - Windows, Linux, et al; this also includes MAC. ============================================ Do not attempt to install a 64 bit IE Browser on a x86 platform or aka 32 bit OS, it is not backwards compatible; it will result a blue screen, reboots, and others. ----------------------------------------------------- Here are some suggestions of what YOU CAN do if you are running on Windows: Start ----> RUN ----> type in CMD Right Click and run as Administrator (make sure you have the Administrator privileges or under the Administrator account) 1st - type in SFC/SCANNOW Reboot - proceed as above 2nd - type in CHKDSK - even if no errors are found, it does not matter Reboot - proceed as above 3rd - type in CHKDSK/F ("F" means FIX) - Reboot - proceed as above See if this clears up everything because running System Restore or System Repair Operation isn't going to be functional here without the Command Prompt, due to possibility of errors, corrupted files, et al. Even if you are running on a Solid State Sata - I could careless - RUN DEFRAG - there are several great and awesome downloads better than Windows have to offer. ================================= On the final note, if all else fails - the good old Malwarebytes.org - just make sure it says "m-bam(dot)exe" - because often those mirrored sites will state wise and otherwise; from there - select the FREE version - this will WIPE OUT any garbage that might be hiding in your OS and give them the boot. You might want to save this on a pocket (flash), I keep an eye on the updates and keep the latest update checked every so often and delete the old and update the latest one - use it for emergencies. I leave it alone in the Registry, but even though I uninstall it once I use it and do delete the software out of HKLU and HKLM - that is it, everything else stays put in the Registry because it automatically becomes disabled but with the Malwarebytes still intact, it becomes handy and speeds up the installation in the event of such things like this. ================================ THE FINAL COMMON ISSUE: If you have an AUTOMATIC SENSOR DETECTION on your MONITOR - it WILL cause your Operating System to reboot or even shut down - the best option is to go to Services via the Administration - and DISABLE IT in Services; this mode has been exceeding troublesome - you can control this feature via your own graphic card so there is NO NEED for this Service to be running even if it is set on Manual!

Awahili Guni
Awahili Guni

I came, I saw, and didn't see any difference between the IE 10 and IE 9; therefore I quit Win 8 ... don't know for sure what to expect out of it considering it contains full of bugs at the moment - it is not even compatible with any Security Systems at all so it's "Users Own Risk" - likewise Win 8 Preview ... is still User's Own Risk! :-/

dogknees
dogknees

Just because they've been there for some time doesn't mean it's the best way to do things or that they should stay. If we find a better way, we should follow it. Anyway, the "standard" comes from Apple/Xerox/MS. If you don't want to be part of that world, then how about working out our own set of standards? It's like people who belittle geeks. If they feel that way, they shouldn't use anything invented by them. Would you buy a car from your enemies? No, you wouldn't want to support them. Same thing applies.

Awahili Guni
Awahili Guni

The first Internet browser was actually Prodgity and the first website was www.com; then America Online aka "AOL" came to being then the others including "Nutscape" as it was affectionally known (Netscape) - and oh, if only they would leave the original www.com as so it was so that people could view the past ... the original INTERNET, the BEGINNING - and MAN was it a cram-jam page! LOL! You are absolutely correct - Firebird before it was called FireFox (due to trademark which they had to change it in Mozilla.org which now is Mozilla.com). Back then in the beginning - there were only 3 browsers: 1) AOL 2) Nutscape 3) IE And all were under dial up - the speed load up is according to my end: 1) AOL - 9 Mbps 2) IE - 8.1 Mbps 3) Nut - 4.8 Mbps - and often caused me to be booted and lose the page; deleted it -------------------------------------------------------- TODAY - running at 1.0 Gbps Up time - no O/C (overclocking): 1) IE 9 (E - "enhanced" - but with quite a few features disabled) - 123.89 Mbps 2) FF 13.0.1 (still crashing after BETA) - 142.01 Mbps 3) MSN - ? - (Blue Screen Every Time!) - clocked at 98.7 Mbps 4) DNS/IP (my provider's) - 151.9 Mbps Down Time (for downloading) 1) IE 9 (E) - 223.33 Mbps 2) FF (13.0.1) - 279.04 Mbps (but crashes) 3) MSN - can't use it due to Blue Screen 4) DNS/IP - 288.46 Mbps (they run on low encryption so I avoid this unless it is VIP) How's that for a huge dramatic change over the decades from the beginning since dial up to the latest up-to-date technology since IPv6 (6over4) - part of it has a lot to do with the Military Bases and Headquarters which surrounds me; who demands the fastest and highest speeds of everything as it is imperative; with all due respect to Military and Feds all over the place. Before you know it - we will be running at Giggle-bytes per a second! (LOL! I love calling that .... "Gigglebytes" :-D - got to love it!)

Awahili Guni
Awahili Guni

Just the standard IE 9 (not the enhanced version) works for Windows XP Pro; but not for Windows XP ... go figure ... :-/

johja
johja

I second that!

pkrdk
pkrdk

is the total lack of mentioning the non-existing security, and the gaping loopholes for anybody who wanted control of your PC Oh, forgot. It's still a problem. I also recall when w/95 first came out MS didn't have browser, they were counting upon the world to adapt Microsoft Network. The world didn't, so MS made a deal with Mosaic to supply a browser the be paid by royalties per sold copy. MS then gave it away, so there was no royalties. Naturally Mosaic got pissed off and sued, and got a sum to keep quiet. I don't like MS, too many of such things, tried to keep off them, and it is possible without losing anything. I use it professionally though, steady work and secure income keeping it running.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

If you want to go to IE8, there is an option to put them before the Address Bar. Right-click on the Toolbar, go down to Customize and click on Show Stop and Refresh Buttons Before Address Bar (I'm using Windows 7 which comes with IE8, although I'm typing this in Firefox).

mg156
mg156

Nice collection of images though I did find myself cringing at the sight of some. :) If you installed IE 1.0 while running any recent MS OS, you'd essentially be giving your OS a lobotomy. I'm sure you'd encounter interesting side effects on XP or Vista, if it installed at all. :) I am glad that IE has improved for all those users using their OS out-of-the-box but am more impressed and relieved with the leaps in connectivity technology since I got into Computers in the early commodore/amiga days. I prefer firefox for browsing and all my functional testing. Sadly, I need IE for compatibility testing because of its market share.

PScottC
PScottC

Remember when you had to go out and buy an off the shelf browser, like Netscape or Mosaic? I remember seeing "World Wide Web" content on Mosaic for the first time and thinking, "Damn, this is slow!" and "The ANSI graphics on that BBS I was on an hour ago was faster." I feel old. PSC

Vitamin
Vitamin

I think you mean the NUMBER of errors is high...

mattpam99
mattpam99

Thank for your suggestions.I am out of town until Aug. 29 but will run your suggestions on my return to New Orleans. -Matthew Gould

Awahili Guni
Awahili Guni

I don't think so .... LOL! I third to that!

randy.sigler
randy.sigler

I do not think IE took over (and hosed) the OS until 4.0, correct me if I am wrong. You were safe up to 3.0 As I remember, IE 4.0 problems caused a lot of Windows 95/98 reinstalls (and maybe some NT problems).

beachboy11
beachboy11

Lets see, paid $99 for Mosaic so I could have what was called a GUI on my 386.(light years ahead now) Remember when the page would load a graphic 20% then 40%..... Then there was IE1. I'm looking at my Win95 Installation Disks right now. 12 Floppies to install the entire OS. Think IE9 would even fit on 12 floppies??

t.rohner
t.rohner

I used to connect to the internet over Compuserve for a while.(bundled Spry Mosaic with external Jpeg-viewer with it.) Later used Netscape with Win3.1 and Trumpet Winsock...

randy.sigler
randy.sigler

Ahh the old days.. Yes, TR should go back further and remember the BBS days... I ran a Searchlight BBS that used RIP graphics, (remember those?), and then moved on to a Mustang software (Wildcat!) system that tried to look like Windows95/8 GUI.

RknRlKid
RknRlKid

I purchased Netscape 3 when it first came out. It was $19.95 as I recall. (I still have the disk and almost all of the documentation!) Mosaic came with Sprynet, which was one of the first ISPs I ever used (on a 2400 baud modem ::laffs::).

hollywood.ron
hollywood.ron

The use of amount with count nouns has been frequently criticized; it usually occurs when the number of things is thought of as a mass or collection (glad to furnish any amount of black pebbles -- New Yorker) I'd say this counts as a mass or collection of mistakes, personally.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

After your comment I went in our software cupboard and found our old copy of MS office 95 - 25 floppies my friend. Never mind that our copy of Win XP is 424 of the buggers. Now, if someone could just invent a new media type with more storage we may be able to get some better programs and not have to play disc-swap all day long when building user workstations. We ran out of floppies when we were breaking up the W8 preview for installation. We got to 937 floppies and it still wasn't halfway done. Why can't someone come up with a media with more space? I'm sure the videos that my DVD and BluRay players display are larger than these programs and they fit on a single disc. Why can't our computers use these sorts of things?? Now excuse me. I need to go ant repair the A500+ that's running our BBS before our managers kick off.

michaewlewis
michaewlewis

IE9 x86 is 17.3MB, so it would need at least 13 floppies to fit. :D

eyesak
eyesak

Yes, I was supporting Trumpet Winsock 16 bit program on Windows 3.1, and believe it or not for Windows 95 and 98 - hard to explain, but the proprietary dialer program we used, used Trumpet Winsock to connect. Was glad to see that go, when we started making people use the built in connectivity in Windows 98, 2000, Mac OS 7, etc. Fun to think back - much easier now - just more vulnerabilities.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

I remember struggling through loading Chameleon into DOS. Kids these days don't have a clue how easy they have it. ;-)

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Like switching the meanings of "bring" and "take", using "amount" when you mean "number" is WRONG, no matter how much spin you put on it. Amount of sand, amount of water, number of runs, points, or mistakes. Simple.