IE Compatibility View

Having done some intensive research over the last couple of days to define exactly what happens when you set your IE browser to Compatibility View I thought it was worth noting a few things down.

  • IE uses Compatibility View to let website developers/administrators define how a website is displayed regardless of the version of IE being used. This is because MS are moving away from their bespoke CSS implementations, used for < IE7, to the more recognised W3C version.
  • The Compatibility View also affects the level of support applied to JavaScript code as functionality will change between versions of IE.
  • By default, any IE user running in the Local Intranet Security zone is automatically forced into Compatibility View. However, this option can be changed either by a user with sufficient permissions or Group Policy.
  • There is no way to programmatically stop users from running the site in Compatibility View. Adding the <meta> tag correctly disables the option from the Tools menu but the site can still be forced into Compatibility View either by:
    • Using the default Compatibility View settings and running in the Local Intranet security zone
    • Adding the site to the Compatibility View settings (this is a separate option to the Compatibility View switch in the Tools menu).

These are some of the useful links I have found whilst scouring the web for relevant information:

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