How to improve Maxthon’s compatibility with Internet Explorer 8

If you have installed the latest version of internet explorer already, you would have noticed that the compatibility of Maxthon 2 with IE8 is less than perfect, particularly when it comes to supporting IE8’s improvements like the faster speed and better websites designing standards compatibility. Also there are some IE8 problems and bugs that affects Maxthon.

So here’s a few tweaks that should bring the goodness of IE8 to your comfy Maxthon 2 installation and even fix some of IE8’s issues:

1- Turn on “Standard Rendering Mode” of IE8

One of the major changes IE8 brought was a more standard, faster and generally better version of Trident engine (IE’s rendering engine), Microsoft has spent a lot of work making sure Trident will no longer be that old outdated engine it used to be before, so they introduced the new standard mode which is accompanied with a “compatible mode” that renders websites in the same way as IE7 did, in case you stumbled upon a websites that doesn’t work with the standard mode.

The problem is that this new mode is kept an Internet Explorer 8 feature only by default, that means any other IE-based browser user will  have to modify the registry to switch to the standard mode, luckily Maxthon 2 has a simple option in Tools > Maxthon Setup Center > Advanced to turn on the standard rendering mode with no registry tweaks needed, just put a tick next to the “Use IE8 Standard Rendering Mode” option and restart Maxthon.

If you are using the classic version of Maxthon you can use this plugin instead to switch between the rendering modes.

2- Install the “Compatibility View” plugin

Now that we have set the standard mode as default, what about when we reach a website that doesn’t work in the standard mode? do we have to restart each time to switch to the compatible mode?

No, this is another IE8 feature that is IE kept it only for itself, quick switching between the two rendering modes just by a click of a button, it’s nearly impossible to have the same feature in a browser like M2, but that didn’t stop the plugins wizard/forum admin “Abc@home” from making a plugin that quickly switches between the two modes, which can be downloaded from here.

How is this possible? simple; the plugin uses Maxthon’s filtering features to change the page source code on the fly to add a tag in it that tells IE to switch to the compatible mode, it’s a tag Microsoft made available for the lazy websites designers who don’t want to stick to standards, and that’s how this plugin works exactly when you click it to switch to the compatible mode.

3- Replace “template” folder  of 2.1 with the 2.5 one

The lack of a normal window frame in the 2.5 branch is bothering you too much that you can’t update your 2.1 build to it? you are obviously giving away a lot of things just for a simple window frame (I can imagine the hate mail of the frame-fans now). One of the things you should be aware of is that 2.1 doesn’t play well with IE8 installed especially Maxthon setup center (the options page); which has been tweaked a bit to improve the compatibility with IE8 in 2.5 (see? there is another change in 2.5 than just removing the frame).

So If you are having problems displaying the setup center using 2.1 and IE8, you can download a portable version of the latest version of 2.5 from my fellow blog and just replace the template folder of 2.5 with the template folder of 2.1, the problem should be gone now, you don’t have to use a frameless build anymore (till now ;)).

4- Fix the small buttons issue

Another not really Maxthon related tweak but rather a fix for an IE8 hiccup, basically all the un-styled button in webpages using IE8 standard mode are very tiny, you can work around this problem by using a Maxthon 2 filter, Maxthon 1 users have a workaround for them too.

5- Increase maximum connections per server

Another unexplained change that came along IE8 was limiting IE-based programs maximum connections they could make per server, this makes Maxthon actually slower than Internet explorer 8, which isn’t exactly IE playing fair, luckily Maxthon’s forum admin JarC was able to dig into the problem further and was able to come up with a registry tweak that can increase this limit, making IE8’s faster speed more apparent to Maxthon users.

6- Change useragent

Changing useragent is a good workaround for some problems with websites compatibility, especially Gmail, which shows in a very odd way in Maxthon only when using IE8’s standard mode, you can change the browser useragent from Tools > Maxthon Setup Center > Advanced > Customize UserAgent String, Recommended value is “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1)”, thanks goes to ntzphyr for the tip.

That’s all for today, hopefully those tweaks will bring you a more enjoyable browsing experience (till we have webkit in M3 and ignore all of this altogether :P)

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3 thoughts on “How to improve Maxthon’s compatibility with Internet Explorer 8

  1. Pingback: Talking about How to improve Maxthon’s compatibility with Internet Explorer 8 « Maxthon Resources - Vikram’s Link & Photo Blog

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