Internet Explorer 11 Compatibility View: The Talk

If you run Internet Explorer on Windows 7, you may recently have noticed that some of the web pages you visit don’t look quite the same. Worse, you may have discovered that some of your favorites don’t work the same as they used to, just don’t look right or at times don’t work at all. This is due to a recent Windows 7 update provided by Microsoft: Internet Explorer 11, also known as IE 11. Fortunately there is a solution: compatibility view. From the Wikipedia article:

“A compatibility mode

[in this case, compatibility view] is a software mechanism in which a software emulates an older version of software in order to allow obsolete software or files to remain compatible with the computer’s newer hardware or software.”

In simpler terms, compatibility mode lets us access older technology.

The compatibility view function of Internet Explorer has been around for some time, allowing users to view older web sites whose code doesn’t conform to modern web design standards. Here we learn how to use compatibility view in Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11).

Internet Explorer 11 Compatibility View: The Tech

While it’s not as simple as in earlier versions of the Internet Explorer browser, enabling compatibility view in IE 11 isn’t too difficult, either. Simply open the site and do the following:

  1. Click the small gear icon in the upper right corner of the Internet Explorer 11 window.
  2. From the drop down menu, select Compatibility View Settings.
  3. The Compatibility View Settings dialog box opens.
  4. The current web site is listed with a friendly Add button to its right.
  5. Click Add and then click Close in the bottom right corner of the Compatibility View Settings dialog box.

The added web site will now be viewed in compatibility mode. Please be aware that when you clear your browsing history, your list of Compatibility View sites will also be cleared.

For a visual summary of these steps, please look to the bottom of this article.

Internet Explorer 11 Compatibility View: The Takeaway

Like many Microsoft updates, the changes to Internet Explorer weren’t actually intended to break anything. Updates to the core functionality of the browser provide greater speed and security. In general, the changes to Internet Explorer 11 are welcome, demonstrating that Microsoft is still trying to keep pace with its competitors in the browser market. This is great news for consumers as it forces all browser providers to work harder to provide us with more robust, speedy, secure software.

Unfortunately, companies make mistakes. In this case, the geniuses at Redmond moved the easily located compatibility view function from the browser bar to a menu where many might not look for it. Now that you know where to find compatibility view in IE 11, you can return to browsing as usual.