How-To Geek

Run IE6 and Other Old Apps in Windows 7 with Spoon

Would you like to run programs on your PC without installing them?  Whether you’re wanting to run an outdated app or just want to try a program before installing it, here’s how you can run many programs online with Spoon.

Spoon is an application virtualization service that lets you run many browsers, apps, and games on your PC without installing them.  It streams the app from their server to your PC, letting you try a mirage of programs from outdated browsers to indie games without installing them.  Let’s see how this works.

First, you’ll need to install the Spoon browser plugin.  Head to their website (link below), and click Install Spoon plugin.


Once the program is downloaded, run it as normal to install it.  You’ll see an indicator as Spoon is setup on your computer.


Seconds later, you’ll be informed that the Spoon Plugin is installed on your computer.


Now, visit the Spoon app library (link below) in your favorite browser.  Spoon works in recent versions of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari for Windows.  Hover over the bottom of an app’s icon and click the blue arrow to launch it.


Alternately, click Start Now from the application’s description page.


You’ll see a small notification in the bottom of your browser window as the app is buffered to your computer.


As soon as the app is streamed to your computer, it’ll open just like any normal program you have installed on your computer.  The app should run fairly smoothly, but it may pause for a few moments if you open a menu or settings dialog that you haven’t used yet.


You’ll see the program’s icon in your computer’s taskbar, and the app will be fully integrated with Windows just like any installed app.  The only difference is, you didn’t have to install the program, and once you close it, you’ll have to re-open it from the Spoon website.


When you’re done using a Spoon app, you can save files to your computer as normal.


Test Your Site in Different Browser Versions

One of the best things you can do with Spoon is test your websites in older versions of popular browsers.  Spoon includes Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9 beta, as well as several versions of Firefox, Safari, and Opera.  To test your site in one of these browsers, simply run them as you would any other Spoon app.


Moments later, you’ll see an older version of IE running directly in Windows.  Here we have IE6 running on our Windows 7 PC that has IE9 beta installed.  Normally you can’t run different versions of IE side-by-side, but Spoon makes it a snap to do this.


Here’s our site open in Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9 beta, all on the same Windows 7 PC.  Notice their individual icons on the left of the taskbar.  This is one of the few ways you can quickly test out your sites in older versions of IE, and it worked great in our tests.


Spoon is a really neat way to run apps on your PC.  We were amazed at how well it ran, and plan to use it for testing sites in older browsers and more.  Whether you’re wanting to run apps without installing them or just want to try out an older program, Spoon is an exciting tool.  Give it a try, and let us know how you used it in the comments.

Install Spoon and Find Out More

Browse and Run Available Spoon Apps

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 09/28/10

Comments (14)

  1. Peter Dexter

    Just tried this on two machines, to run IE6 and IE7 …. both machines now report a virus in the Spoon temporary files … uninstalling.

  2. Matthew Guay

    What antivirus are you using?

  3. Peter Dexter

    AVG 9.0.856 (Free Edition)
    I don’t rule out that it might be a false positive, but it’s an alarming notification to get…

  4. Matthew Guay

    Right, I definitely understand. VirusTotal is reporting 3 out of 43 – … which means most think it’s clean (including, oddly enough, AVG), but 3 rather obscure ones are reporting Backdoor/Poison.bxep. I’m running Microsoft Security Essentials, which didn’t show anything with Spoon. Hard to say. I’m leaning on the side of it being a false positive, but that is alarming. I had a false positive on a download manager I used to use years ago, and I never felt that comfortable using it again :)

    At any rate, I believe Spoon is fine to use. You could contact them with what AVG prompted you over…

  5. Haralambos "Harry" Mavromatidis

    Just an FYI, the application does in fact also drop a new program group on the workstation called “Shop to Win 8” which did not throw ANY alerts via VirusTotal. Seems likely that the Spoon application is being flagged for the process that will install this “Shop to Win 8” application which also dumps a browser helper object onto the system.

    Scuzzy thing to do – I am automatically suspicious of because of their association with this junk which is likely going to be generating revenue for them.

    Forget “buyer beware” this is a case of “downloader beware” where they are preying on people’s innocence/ignorance!

  6. Lucas

    I have used spoon previously – I think it is the best method I have found to test sites in ie6.

    Both computers I have used have reported virus warnings – once in AVG and once in Avira.

    Even though there was no sign of infection I have been a little suspect on it ever since.

    Now that HowToGeek has recommended it though… If you guys say so it most be OK!

  7. Kenji Obata

    Hi guys,

    I’m the founder of Spoon.

    – Re the AV warnings: The antivirus vendors have confirmed this as a bug with their products and most have already issued fixes for the problem. Updating to the latest AV database may resolve the warnings. I believe one of the vendors still has an update pending, but that should be pushed out shortly.

    – @Harry: Spoon has absolutely nothing to do with “Shop to Win 8” and does not install any kind of adware, malware, junkware, etc.

    Please feel free to report any warnings or other issues to us directly via mail (, Twitter (@spoonapps), or our Facebook fan page (


  8. spoon

    Hi, My name is Lee and I am an account manager with Spoon. We appreciate the article and the feedback. I just wanted to clear up any confusion about the Spoon plugin.

    I can confirm that the AVG warning is a false positive and we’re working to resolve it.

    Harry, we don’t have any affiliation with “Shop to Win 8.” I’m not sure where it came from, but we will investigate on our end. Do you remember what app you ran?


  9. Matthew Guay

    @Lee – Thanks for stopping by and letting us know. Spoon’s a pretty neat service … so we’ll be looking forward to see how you innovate and expand it over time!

  10. Gautam

    I wonder y would sm 1 wish to install…older apps??? :P

  11. Dirk

    Had to reinstall my computer here at work after getting a trojan. I have no admin access, and all software I’ve got is legal (adobe package etc.).

    Anyway, I just googled “ virus” and ended up here.

    I’m more than a little suspicious, after getting my computer screwed over like that, and finding this here.

    Since the company doesn’t find it worthwhile to invest in virus scanning software (DOH!) I’ll let you know if it happens again.

  12. Matthew Guay

    Quick Update: looks like Microsoft has asked Spoon to take IE off their list of programs, so for the time being, you can’t use IE 6 or other versions with it. Hopefully they’ll work it out to restore access…

  13. Haralambos "Harry" Mavromatidis

    @Kenji Obata & @spoon – the app which was run that dropped “Shop to Win 8″ was IE 6 which according to @Matthew Guay above has been removed – I did not try any other applications since the impetus for the test was to see about getting sites that need something before IE8 to work (which is also resolved with XPMode & MED-V, the latter being what I am deplying now).

  14. darkflux

    of course you will get linked to this page when you google and virus together. the words are both used on this page! you could just as easily google Windows and virus and get HUNDREDS (of thousands) of matches. doesn’t mean Windows ships with viruses (frankly…nevermind. cancel that thought >:) i won’t go into it here).

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