IE8: Compatibility View Settings – set for all sites


Less than a day on IE8 I’m really getting frustrated. It’s not IE8’s fault of course, but the majority of sites I visit have problems rendering (my own included). Yes, it is up to the site owners to fix their sites, and yes they should have been more standards compliant in the first place, etc, etc, but hey, then there’s reality!

Anyway, I’m going to try and stick with IE8 (at least for longer than I did last time) – let’s see how long I last.

One thing that will help is to turn on Compatibility mode for all sites by default. It’s under the Tools menu:

IE8 tools menu

Turn it on here:

Compatibility View settings

There are other quirks I’m experiencing (eg my own site hangs in IE8 when switching between pages, even in Compatibility mode) which I need to investigate. Minimising and then restoring seems to fix the hang – bizarre.

Happiness rating so far: 1/10

Categories

48 Comments

Add yours
  1. 1
    Thomas Suters

    I was looking through videos of Microsoft Channel 9 and found a 33 minute interview with Dean and Andy of the IE8 developer team at http://visitmix.com/blogs/Joshua/Privacy-Features-in-IE8/, and although they discussed the new Privacy features of IE8 in a very enlightened way, like identifying sites that might share images and javascript code and IE8 can look at this behaviour and allow the user to block that sort of info getting relayed to another site. But when asked the question that is on everyone’s lips "Will IE8 break the web" in other words will websites that have been build with lazy code which IE7 allowed designers to get away with…. IE8 is now stricter so some websites will not display correctly or even crash as you have found. Yet Dean seemed to BYPASS the question entirely. He continued to talk about what he knows.

    So I can’t help but wonder has the IE8 team REALLY addressed this problem. Is it therefore up to website developers to check every page of their website under IE8 and tighten it based on the stricter rules and compliancy. Sounds like nightmares ahead for many web developers?

  2. 2
    Thomas Suters

    I was looking through videos of Microsoft Channel 9 and found a 33 minute interview with Dean and Andy of the IE8 developer team at http://visitmix.com/blogs/Joshua/Privacy-Features-in-IE8/, and although they discussed the new Privacy features of IE8 in a very enlightened way, like identifying sites that might share images and javascript code and IE8 can look at this behaviour and allow the user to block that sort of info getting relayed to another site. But when asked the question that is on everyone’s lips "Will IE8 break the web" in other words will websites that have been build with lazy code which IE7 allowed designers to get away with…. IE8 is now stricter so some websites will not display correctly or even crash as you have found. Yet Dean seemed to BYPASS the question entirely. He continued to talk about what he knows.

    So I can’t help but wonder has the IE8 team REALLY addressed this problem. Is it therefore up to website developers to check every page of their website under IE8 and tighten it based on the stricter rules and compliancy. Sounds like nightmares ahead for many web developers?

  3. 3
    Craig Bailey

    I fear you may be right Thomas.
    I spent a bit of time over the weekend getting this site a little more ‘compliant’. Fortunately it’s pretty easy with a small site, but those people/companies that have huge sites the problem is going to be painful to fix.
    After visiting a number of large retailing sites lately (that all failed under strict IE8) I can see plenty of work ahead for them.
    Could be a niche consulting gig for someone… Specialist IE8 Compliance Consultant :-)

    • 4
      Dale

      Microsoft needs to ship that code back to India for a rework! Try their own dynamic menu control under IE8. How much more compliant can you be that using their own .NET with C# and their own control that won’t work correctly on their own browser? Its pathetic! Nitch market Anti Virus Software that removes IE8 and installs Safari! These problems are more closely related to the 55% in the ACID2 test that IE8 earns. Safari score 100% Opera 89% FireFox 85% Hmmmm Someone needs to tell Bill there’s a problem Houston!

  4. 6
    Craig Bailey

    I fear you may be right Thomas.
    I spent a bit of time over the weekend getting this site a little more ‘compliant’. Fortunately it’s pretty easy with a small site, but those people/companies that have huge sites the problem is going to be painful to fix.
    After visiting a number of large retailing sites lately (that all failed under strict IE8) I can see plenty of work ahead for them.
    Could be a niche consulting gig for someone… Specialist IE8 Compliance Consultant :-)

    • 7
      Dale

      Microsoft needs to ship that code back to India for a rework! Try their own dynamic menu control under IE8. How much more compliant can you be that using their own .NET with C# and their own control that won’t work correctly on their own browser? Its pathetic! Nitch market Anti Virus Software that removes IE8 and installs Safari! These problems are more closely related to the 55% in the ACID2 test that IE8 earns. Safari score 100% Opera 89% FireFox 85% Hmmmm Someone needs to tell Bill there’s a problem Houston!

  5. 9
    Jamin Szczesny

    thank you for the quick answer I was looking for.
    If microsoft was smart however "hint hint" they would probably skip this compatibility view stuff for atleast another version or two… UNLESS the webpage has a specific line of code within that tells the browser to do otherwise.
    right now, i found that most sites (even yahoo and google, oh yes and some microsoft sites too) don’t even display properly in ie8 unless you click "that button", and i don’t want to click "that button" on every site i visit just to see if i’m looking at what i’m supposed to be looking at.

    Thanks and goodnight!
    Jamin P Szczesny

  6. 10
    Jamin Szczesny

    thank you for the quick answer I was looking for.
    If microsoft was smart however "hint hint" they would probably skip this compatibility view stuff for atleast another version or two… UNLESS the webpage has a specific line of code within that tells the browser to do otherwise.
    right now, i found that most sites (even yahoo and google, oh yes and some microsoft sites too) don’t even display properly in ie8 unless you click "that button", and i don’t want to click "that button" on every site i visit just to see if i’m looking at what i’m supposed to be looking at.

    Thanks and goodnight!
    Jamin P Szczesny

  7. 11
    Dale

    It’s a sad day when the .NET Menu control won’t work with dynamic menus using IE8 unless it runs in compatibility mode. Under Windows 7 you are not allowed to change to compatibility mode and you receive a message stating that IE8 is part of the operating system and can’t be changed. Well, the .NET Menu control works fine with Chrome, Safari, FireFox, and all the other browsers. Who would think that development using Visual studio 2008 professional and .NET with C# wouldn’t run on Microsofts own browser? Now how lame is that?

    • 12
      Craig Bailey

      Thanks for the comment Dale. Could you give me some further details on the issue under Windows 7. I’m not sure what you mean when you say the compatability mode can’t be changed – I’m on Windows 7 and can change it no problem. But perhaps I’ve misunderstood you?

  8. 13
    Dale

    It’s a sad day when the .NET Menu control won’t work with dynamic menus using IE8 unless it runs in compatibility mode. Under Windows 7 you are not allowed to change to compatibility mode and you receive a message stating that IE8 is part of the operating system and can’t be changed. Well, the .NET Menu control works fine with Chrome, Safari, FireFox, and all the other browsers. Who would think that development using Visual studio 2008 professional and .NET with C# wouldn’t run on Microsofts own browser? Now how lame is that?

    • 14
      Craig Bailey

      Thanks for the comment Dale. Could you give me some further details on the issue under Windows 7. I’m not sure what you mean when you say the compatability mode can’t be changed – I’m on Windows 7 and can change it no problem. But perhaps I’ve misunderstood you?

  9. 15
    tom

    windows 7 has been a bust for me. as a non-techy, when i buy a computer/laptop, i don’t care how it works, i just want it to work… same with cars, cooking appliances , and paracheuts. i’m thinking of having windows 7 uninstalled and getting XP put on my new lap top. if i do that, will the “stuff” of the laptop— dvd, screen etc, still function.
    Nice job microsoft. windows 7 is a good arguement on why we should break up monopolies in the computer industry.

    • 16
      Craig Bailey

      Tom, I’m not sure what you are saying. Have you had a bad experience with Internet Explorer on Windows 7 like Dale above? I’m assuming not since you describe yourself as a non-techy. Is there something in particular that is troubling you?

  10. 17
    tom

    windows 7 has been a bust for me. as a non-techy, when i buy a computer/laptop, i don’t care how it works, i just want it to work… same with cars, cooking appliances , and paracheuts. i’m thinking of having windows 7 uninstalled and getting XP put on my new lap top. if i do that, will the “stuff” of the laptop— dvd, screen etc, still function.
    Nice job microsoft. windows 7 is a good arguement on why we should break up monopolies in the computer industry.

    • 18
      Craig Bailey

      Tom, I’m not sure what you are saying. Have you had a bad experience with Internet Explorer on Windows 7 like Dale above? I’m assuming not since you describe yourself as a non-techy. Is there something in particular that is troubling you?

  11. 19
    maria

    i have two websites, and only discovered this during the week, the firt screen is made up with frames using dreamweaver, and doesnt show up properly unless in compatability.
    i dont know how to upgrade the website , any tips anyone. thanks

    • 20
      Craig Bailey

      Yes, you just need to add the following line into the head section of your html:
      [meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" /]
      but replace ‘[‘ with ”
      Unfortunately this comment was deleting the code line if I had the angle tags included.
      Feel free to email me if this doesn’t make any sense :-)

  12. 21
    maria

    i have two websites, and only discovered this during the week, the firt screen is made up with frames using dreamweaver, and doesnt show up properly unless in compatability.
    i dont know how to upgrade the website , any tips anyone. thanks

    • 22
      Craig Bailey

      Yes, you just need to add the following line into the head section of your html:
      [meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" /]
      but replace ‘[' with '< ' and ']‘ with ‘>’
      Unfortunately this comment was deleting the code line if I had the angle tags included.
      Feel free to email me if this doesn’t make any sense :-)

  13. 26
    wilson

    Ha! I am having the exact opposite problem! while testing a website in IE 8, if Compatibility View is turned ON (the default), the page won’t load, but if Compatibility View is turned OFF, the page loads instantly! I don’t get this.

  14. 27
    wilson

    Ha! I am having the exact opposite problem! while testing a website in IE 8, if Compatibility View is turned ON (the default), the page won’t load, but if Compatibility View is turned OFF, the page loads instantly! I don’t get this.

  15. 28
    Sarah

    I just download IE 8 to see if my website looks the same as it does on my Google Chrome and FireFox (my husbands choice on his computer) and guess what??? It doesn’t!!!,Half of the graphics did not show up and the page is not lined up correctly,It looks horrorible! I also tried viewing my website in IE7 and the same thing happened…

    My website was made at Blogger.com, it shows on everything, except IE~

    I am so GLAD I switched to Google Chrome, after this I won’t look back to IE no matter what they fix on it..no wonder so many people are leaving IE!

  16. 29
    Sarah

    I just download IE 8 to see if my website looks the same as it does on my Google Chrome and FireFox (my husbands choice on his computer) and guess what??? It doesn’t!!!,Half of the graphics did not show up and the page is not lined up correctly,It looks horrorible! I also tried viewing my website in IE7 and the same thing happened…

    My website was made at Blogger.com, it shows on everything, except IE~

    I am so GLAD I switched to Google Chrome, after this I won’t look back to IE no matter what they fix on it..no wonder so many people are leaving IE!

  17. 30
    lorna smith

    Came across this and wondered if this is what is happening to our website. Some of our customers have said they cannot see our website but tried one in compatibility view and it worked. We use magento for our CMS is there any easy way of rectifying it easily in Magento if this is the problem?

    • 32
      Murrah

      I came across something interesting with IE compatibility – if you have clear history on exit enabled and try to enable compatibility mode, it just does not get saved. Every time it needs to be reconfigured. I think this is probably a bug!!

    • 34
      maria a

      I am about to give up on IE .. have tried just about everything and still can’t get compatability view to work.. using windows 7 .. any suggestions besides going back to XP?

      • 35
        Craig Bailey

        Hi Maria,
        If the setting described above doesn’t work I’m not sure what will.
        XP may help, but I doubt it – this is an IE problem. Depending on what version of IE you install on XP you’ll likely have the same problem.
        Sorry, I can’t help further.
        Regards,
        Craig

  18. 36
    ocpjp

    I don’t want to enable compatibility mode for all sites but only specific sites. When i add a site it gets added and works fine. But when i repoen the browser, it just not saved. Is there any other that i am missing.

  19. 39
    Jan Staecker

    funny – i understand microsoft in case of a really odd web site.
    But why force to render different to other browsers with this “compatibility mode” ?

  20. 40
    John S

    After many attempts at fixing IE9 crashes and having Microsoft keep blaming a Add on even though it had the same issues with no add ons. I finally set IE9 to render all sites in Compatibility mode. Guess what? No crashes? Go figure. Microsoft screwed themselves a long time ago by convincing sites to develop just for IE.
    Every version of IE since has had to have a compatibility mode. But even that is a joke because I have seen sites not give you that option in the URL bar to switch to Compatibility mode but indeed the site works better in that mode. I end up manually adding it. Something is terribly wrong when your at IE9 and even now IE10 and need a compatibility mode.

  21. 42
    Dodger

    How about you stop spreading this bad information to people.

    All of you asking how to turn on compatibility view, stop.
    All of you who already did, turn it the *&*$# off.

    Jesus. You’re going to turn on compatibility view for all sites, then browse to a standards-compliant site with the right doctype, and it’s going to be all $*(%*#ed up, and then you’re going to bitch to some poor tech support person about how their site is all broken, when it wouldn’t if you didn’t have this stupid idea in your head.

    Cut it the EFF out.

    • 43
      Craig Bailey

      Always amusing to read comments like this on a post that is 4 years old. Yeah, blame the end user. That’s the way. Good job.

  22. 44
    Beiland

    While I’m at this IE browser subject, I’m having another problem that perhaps someone might throw me a few hints. I have my desktop computer running the good old faithful Windows XP and the IE browser. BUT it keeps ‘hanging up’ on reloading new pages (particularly ones with lots of advertising). I have to keep clicking the page 3-5 times sometimes to get it steady state.

    Whereas with my laptop running Windows7 and IE browser I do not get such a problem?

    What is it with all this ‘compatibility’ bulls__? Can’t this Microsoft company put out anything that works correctly with the existing web, or do we have to continuously try to sort thru this technical crap while not understanding all of this ‘new’ language. I’m a senior citizen who just wants my good old XP and IE to work surfing the internet, without calling in a $100/hr technican every couple of months when they decide to change things so they can make new profits

  23. 48
    Ezasri Y

    Hi Mr. Bailey. Am really need your advise as to how to downgrade IE11 to IE10. Am currently using Windows 7. Thanking you in advance.

+ Leave a Comment