Can You Get IE for iPhone or iPad?

Is there an Internet Explorer app?

Whether you love Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or something else, you'll want to use your favorite web browser on all your devices. But what happens if your favorite web browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer (also known by its abbreviation, IE)? IE works great on desktop computers (unless you use a Mac; IE hasn't existed on the Mac for years). If you also use an iOS device, you'll need a workaround to get IE for iPhone or iPad.

IE for iPhone
iPhone image credit: Apple; IE logo credit: Microsoft

Internet Explorer on iPhone or iPad? No

The short answer is no; there's no IE for iPhone or iPad. If you love Internet Explorer or are required to use it for work, there never will be IE for iOS. There are two critical reasons for this:

What About the Microsoft Edge Browser? Yes

Even though IE isn't available for iOS, you could switch to Microsoft Edge. Microsoft released a version of its Edge browser for the iPhone and iPad. You can download Microsoft Edge from the App Store.

Edge existed on other platforms for a while before Microsoft brought it to iOS. As a result, it once seemed that Edge would likely never come to iPhone, but then Microsoft released the iOS version in early 2018. This is excellent news for Edge fans.

In addition to running Edge, there are a few other ways to use Microsoft browsers on an iPhone or iPad.

Change Your User Agent

You might be able to fool some websites that require IE into thinking it's running on your iPhone by changing your user agent. The user agent is a bit of code that the browser uses to identify itself to each website you visit. When you set your user agent to Safari on iOS (the default for iPhones and iPads), your browser tells sites that that's what it is when you visit the site.

If your iOS device is jailbroken, you can grab a user-agent switching app from Cydia (though remember that jailbreaking has its downsides). With one of these apps, you can make Safari tell websites that it's many different browsers, including IE. In some cases, this may be enough to get you into the IE-only site you need.

If the site you're trying to visit requires IE because it uses technologies that only Internet Explorer supports, these apps won't be enough. They only change what Safari appears to be, not the fundamental technologies built into it.

Use a Remote Desktop

Another way to use IE on iOS is with a remote desktop program. Remote desktop programs allow you to log in to a computer at your home or office over the internet using your iPhone or iPad. When you do that, you have access to all the files and programs on that computer, including Internet Explorer, if you installed it there.

Using a remote desktop isn't for everyone. For one thing, since you have to stream data from the remote computer to your iOS device, it's slower than using a native app installed on your iPhone. For another, it's not something that the average user will generally be able to use. It requires some technical skill or a corporate IT department to help you configure.

Still, if you want to give it a shot, search for Citrix or VNC apps at the App Store.

Alternative Browsers for iPhone and iPad

If you're adamantly opposed to using Safari on your iPhone or iPad, you can always try Chrome, available as a free download from the App Store.

Don't like Chrome, either? There are a lot of alternative browsers available for the iPhone and iPad, many of which offer features not available on Safari or Chrome. Maybe one of them will be more to your liking.