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Microsoft Edge is the latest web browser from Microsoft, which aims to replace Internet Explorer in the latest versions of Windows for desktop PC, Surface and Windows Phone. While most Mac users don’t need or need to use the Microsoft Edge web browser, others in Mac OS X may need Edge to access specific websites, and it is especially common for web developers and web designers to have a wide variety of web browser. browsers for testing purposes. That’s why we’re going to show Mac users how to easily run Microsoft Edge directly in Mac OS X, and all for free.
This walkthrough focuses on using a virtual machine to run and test Microsoft Edge in OS X, which is currently the only way to run Edge on a Mac without Boot Camp or a full Windows 10 installation to use. Eventually, Microsoft Edge will be available through Azure, similar to how OS X users can run Internet Explorer 11 on the Mac through Microsoft Remote Desktop, but for now, the VM approach is how we’ll use the Edge browser on a Mac. If you have had an IE VM before, you will find that it is very similar, but with different Windows and browser versions.
How to Run Microsoft Edge in Mac OS X on a virtual machine for free
The system requirements are light and this is widely compatible, but for better performance, you’ll want a newer Mac with lots of RAM. The first few steps involve getting VirtualBox and the correct MS Edge virtual machine running Windows 10, both are free downloads:
- If you haven’t already done so, download VirtualBox for free from Oracle and install it on the Mac
- Go to the official Windows VM page and go to the “Mac” tab
- Select ‘MSEdge for Win10’ from the drop-down menus, then choose the large ‘Download .zip’ button, the file will be somewhere around 5 GB and may take a while depending on the speed of your internet connection
- When the MS Edge virtual machine zip file is downloaded (it’s probably located in ~ / Downloads /), open the zip archive in The Unarchiver * to extract it, then double-click the extracted virtual machine image to open it within VirtualBox
- In the “Appliance Settings” screen in VirtualBox, click “Import” button to bring the Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge virtual machine into VirtualBox, it expands to about 11 GB
- When done importing, you will be taken to the general VM VirtualBox Manager screen, select the option “IE 11 – Win10″ on the left (yes, it says IE 11 despite it being Microsoft Edge) and click ” Start” button
- Wait for the Microsoft Edge Virtual Machine to load, you will be greeted by a thank you message on a Windows virtual PC with the Edge browser open, you are now ready to use Microsoft Edge on the Mac if needed
The Mac is now running a full version of Microsoft Edge on top of a Windows virtual machine, it’s full featured so open up the Edge browser if you haven’t already and go on the web as usual.
The full set of Microsoft Edge Developer Tools is available as expected, which is perhaps why many Mac users will be able to access this VM to begin with.
You can shut down and shut down the VM at any time that requires a normal boot, or you can create a saved state if you want to return to the exact place you left off in the VM.
Running a Windows VM like this has some advantages over using the Remote Desktop approach to running Internet Explorer, including offline access, but perhaps the most obvious drawback is that you’re using more system resources and that the virtual machine up about 11 GB disk space. But since this is primarily aimed at developers and designers, or those who need MS Edge to access a particular website, that shouldn’t be much of an issue, especially when compared to the ease of running virtual machines versus dual boot with a complete installation of Windows 10 alongside OS X in Boot Camp.
* You are welcome to try to decompress the Microsoft Edge virtual machine zip file with another extraction app, but don’t be surprised if the zip file turns into a cpgz, so we recommend using The Unarchiver to avoid that problem. Moreover, The Unarchiver has tremendous compatibility for extracting archives of all kinds and is a great addition to Mac users’ app toolkit.
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