What Is the Highest Version of Internet Explorer That XP Pro Will Support?

By Nick Davis

Windows XP is compatible with a variety of Internet browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera. The operating system is bundled with Internet Explorer, also known as IE. The highest version of IE you can install on your Windows XP system is IE 8. Windows XP is not compatible with IE 9 or higher versions of the Internet browser due to the use of Direct X 10's hardware acceleration component within the browser.

Direct X 10

Direct X 10 is a Windows application component that processes graphics and videos. The component is embedded within IE 9 and is not compatible with Windows XP's design. Direct X 10 is designed for Windows Vista and not XP. DirectX 9.0c is designed for Windows XP and works hand in hand with IE 8. You cannot download and install Direct X 10 and make it work on your Windows XP system -- the installation process will detect Windows XP and automatically download and install DirectX 9.0c instead of Direct X 10.

IE 9 and Higher Downloads

If you attempt to install IE 9 or higher from a CD-ROM onto your XP system, the browser's installation wizard will inform you that the application is not compatible with Windows XP. If you navigate to Microsoft's Internet Explorer download website and attempt to download the browser, the website automatically detects your computer's operating system and prompts you to download IE 8 instead of IE 9 or higher.

IE 8 Compatibility

IE 8 is compatible with computers running Windows XP 32-bit version containing Service Pack 2 or higher and Windows XP Professional 64-bit version. Your computer needs a Pentium 233 MHz or faster processor and 64MB of RAM (if running a 32-bit system) or 128MB of RAM (if running a 64-bit system). Your computer also needs 150MB of free hard disk space (for 32-bit systems) or 200MB of free hard disk space (for 64-bit systems).

Downloading IE 8

To download IE 8, navigate your browser to the "Download Internet Explorer 8" link (see Resources) and click the "Download" button. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete the download and installation process. IE 8 replaces the IE version you currently have on your Windows XP system.