What is a bullet-proof way of finding out the Internet Explorer version?

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I have a client on the phone who unfortunately does not know his Windows and Internet Explorer version. I’m trying to debug an issue they’re seeing, but in order to reproduce it I will have to find out what version of IE they run.

What would be the easiest way to have him get me the information, via phone?

Note that I cannot send him any URL that he could click, and he can’t create screenshots for me. And I, as I have a Mac and no Windows installation, cannot even test out all the various possibilities…

This is somewhat related to finding out the Windows version, but that’s secondary to my problem.


  1. You can press Alt+L, A to open the About dialog.
    However, note that this might only work properly in the English version of Internet Explorer. For other languages, either determine the correct hotkey, guide the user manually or resort to another method.

  2. You can use the website
    Which version of Internet Explorer am I using?
    or ieversion.com.

  3. You can navigate to javascript:alert(navigator.userAgent) or visit http://ifconfig.me/ua to display the user agent string.

  1. Press left Alt.
  2. Click Help.
  3. Click About Internet Explorer.
  4. A window with IE version appears.

Newer versions of Internet Explorer hide menubar by default, but left Alt will show it on IE7+ or activate it on IE6, so it’s consistent on all versions.

You can also ask your client for his Windows version, it’s easier to find out (always visible on the login screen) and will give you a clue what his IE version may be. No Windows version lets you install older IE version than the one included on installation.

Minimum IE versions for different Windows versions:

  • Windows XP – IE 6
  • Windows Vista – IE 7
  • Windows 7 – IE 8
  • Windows 8 – IE 10
  • Windows 8.1 – IE 11

in IE click on Help and then click “About Internet Explorer” and it should give you the details. In some versions the help button could look like a blue circle with a question mark in it at the upper right corner. In IE 10 its under Settings in the upper right corner.

To see the windows version right click on “My Computer” on the desktop or “Computer” in the start menu and click on properties. the version of windows will be shown under the “Windows edition” section

According to this site, it can be determined by searching the registry for the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftInternet Explorer. The version number will be shown there. Seems to work up to IE6, not sure about later though.

As a note, there was a -v option from the command line before when running IE, but its obsolete and Microsoft no longer provides a description of what it did

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