Understanding the Compatibility view list

Understanding the Compatibility view list

Websites that are designed for older versions of Windows Internet Explorer don't always display as expected in the current version. We addressed this in Windows Internet Explorer 8 by adding the Compatibility View function that allows users to "revert" to a previous browser version.

Examples of incompatibility issues that are addressed by Compatibility View include incorrect browser or feature detection. Today many sites use browser detection instead of feature and behavior detection to give Internet Explorer (IE) markup that is not interoperable with modern web standards.This can result in major functionality breaks on sites when rendered in newer versions of IE.

Compatibility View allows content designed for older web browsers to render well in newer versions of Internet Explorer. The Compatibility View (CV) List automatically displays the content of websites in Compatibility View without further interaction.

Why is a site added to the CV List?

We only add a site to the Compatibility View List when the site:

  • Is designed to run in an older version of Internet Explorer
  • Doesn't run well in Edge mode.
  • Doesn't declare an "X-UA-Compatible-" meta tag or header

Updating the CV List

The CV List is an XML file on "Microsoft.com". We can update the list monthly, which means we can accommodate site developer requests to remove updated sites. Users automatically get updates.

In order to continue to reduce the size of the CV List, we encourage site developers to update their sites and serve the same markup they use with other browsers. At a minimum, sites should take advantage of the "X-UA-Compatible-" meta tag to specify a legacy document mode until the site is updated.

Steps to remove your site from the IE CV List

  • Verify that your site works well in in the latest web standards or Edge mode. Start by turning off compatibility mode in IE before navigating to your website so that compatibility issues will appear. Do this by clearing the Use Microsoft Compatibility Lists check box in the Compatibility View Settings dialog box (ALT key to show menus -> select Tools -> select Compatibility View settings).

Compatibility View Settings dialog box with correct check boxes selected

Microsoft Edge

MS Edge has removed legacy IE technologies like ActiveX controls, Toolbars, BHOs, Vbscript, etc. If your site relies on these controls, you should:

  1. Investigate moving away from these controls as much as possible. For video, please see the MS Edge Blog “Moving to HTML5 Premium Media
  2. Communicate to your users how they can continue to use your website. For instance, Our site is currently testing the new Microsoft Edge browser. Until our tests are complete, it may not function correctly. Please continue to use Internet Explorer until we are done with our testing and provide a notice of compatibility
  3. Lastly, email iepo@microsoft.com with the following information and ask that your site be removed from either the IE or MS Edge CV List when your updates are live on the web:
    • Owner Name
    • Corporate Title
    • Email Address
    • Telephone Number
    • Company Name
    • Street Address
    • Website Address
    • Target platform (Desktop, Phone, Xbox)
    • CV List(s) from which the website is to be removed.
    Microsoft will review the provided information and remove your site from the Compatibility View List at the next scheduled list update.

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