When browsed in IE6, the left part of each question is wrongly aligned.

How to fix it?

Don't tell me to abandon IE6, seriously.

Be technical, thanks.

  • 14
    Upgrade to a newer IE. I am serious, IE6 is not CSS conform, it is just terrible. Do yourself a favor and upgrade...
    – Felix
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 8:33
  • 1
    What were you going to do with the answer? Hack stackoverflow to fix the CSS? Or were you going to hack IE6 to make it conform? Not really sure where you were hoping to go with this question...
    – peirix
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 8:40
  • IE6 is outdated and e.g. youtube no longer supports it. Of course you can still use it but then you have to live with restrictions and display issues...
    – Felix
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 8:42
  • well, belongs on meta Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 8:48
  • 5
    Think of it this way: it's not the left side of the questions that is wongly aligned, it's your browser that is wrongly aligned. You're driving a 9 year old car with a broken engine. You want to/have to Fred Flintstone it, it's not the highway's fault your driving experience isn't pleasant.
    – Matt
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 8:51
  • Can you guys be more technical towards IE6?There are still many IE6 users in the world anyway.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 8:51
  • 5
    "More technical" apparently means "don't tell me something I don't want to hear". Interesting.
    – womble
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 9:21
  • 16
    @Anonymous no, we can't. IE6 is a terrible browser, it's the browsers fault that SO doesn't display properly, so why not email Microsoft and ask them to fix IE so it works properly. If some one came to me with a 9 year old computer and said it was slow, I'd tell them to get a new computer, not try and bodge a fix for there old one, the same is true with IE. If you feel you must, or have to use IE, then you have to put up with it's experience. Yes there still IE6 users in the world, there is also war, famine and pestilance, doesn't mean its our fault!
    – Sam Cogan
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 9:51
  • 1
    We've supported IE for a long time, it is still a headache. If we don't start dropping old browser support (considering that IE6 is, what, 8 years old?), people will never learn because "it all looks fine in IE6, why should I upgrade".
    – Jimmie Lin
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 10:01
  • SO should pop up a <div> element: you are using IE6 which sux0rs; get a new browser already! just to drive the point home.
    – Ether
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 16:22
  • 3
    Please stop supporting IE6! bringdownie6.com
    – Strawberry
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 18:01
  • 5
    There are also Issues in Netscape Navigator 4.78. Commented Jun 6, 2010 at 8:42

8 Answers 8


Upgrading to IE8 will fix IE6 issues.

Just kidding (not really). I think Jeff Atwood has said that they will only support IE6 so far as guaranteeing that the content (text) will be displayed on the page, but they won't make any special IE6 formatting fixes, so you're stuck with bad formatting.


Responding to "be technical" and "Can you guys be more technical towards IE6?"...

Making the conscious decision not to bend over backwards to support a broken browser is a technical decision. It's all about pros and cons - bearing in mind that SO is a site for developers, I'd expect the browser distribution to be skewed towards modern browsers - whether that's newer versions of IE or other browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.

Jeff and the team have a limited amount of time on their hands: do you really think they should spend significant amounts of time trying to get a broken browser which isn't used by that many SO users to display SO decently - while trying to keep it working on working browsers of course - rather than spending time on features which benefit everyone?

Admittedly StackExchange probably changes this a little - I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Fog Creek could be spending more time on this, for example - but accusing people of not being "technical" just because they have made a decision you don't like isn't really going to help.

  • 10
    It's not just a broken browser, it's a broken obsolete browser.
    – womble
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 9:22
  • 1
    Jon says " I'd expect the browser distribution to be skewed towards modern browsers" but what are the stats? Surely the fact that this question is still active suggests that there are users stuck on IE6. Clearly time constraints for developing this site are relevant but we should not assume that all the users of the site that SO wants to attract can move away from IE6.
    – user147674
    Commented Jun 6, 2010 at 5:30
  • 3
    @user it stands to reason that the percentage of SO users stuck with IE6 is significantly smaller than that in other target groups.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jun 6, 2010 at 10:24
  • Oops...we really need an undo on up-voting comments. Anyhow, @user, if there were more support for this cause, the question would have more up-votes.
    – IAbstract
    Commented Jun 6, 2010 at 13:59

Rendering problems specific to Internet Explorer 6 are not going to be fixed.

From Podcast 65:

Atwood: Well, using IE6 is becoming its own penalty because we have rendering problems in IE6 that we're just not going to fix any more, I mean the site will work, but it's going to look a little weird...

Spolsky: There are companies out there that think it is better to put their employees on IE6 because it is more “Tested, stable, reliable” than IE7 or 8, where 7 has been out for a couple of years, and I'm not saying go crazy here and get firefox, I'm just saying eh, just, eh, and I'm not even saying that IE6 isn't stable and you tested it with all your in-house applications and you know that it works with all your crazy in-house applications, all I'm saying is that IE6 is a worse browser than 7, it is less stable, the very thing you are claiming about requiring people to use IE6 for is the thing that you are not getting my using IE6.

Atwood: Yeah I don't really understand that, on some level I empathise with what you're saying which is these companies are making decisions so bad, that maybe they're dinosaurs, but hey! There's a lot of dinosaurs out there. I don't know. But my position at the moment on IE6 is that we want the site to work – we make no guarantees about, if it's going to look kind of bad.

Spolsky: Yeah.

Atwood: The alignment is going to be off and there's so many crazy little CSS things that are wrong with IE6 now that we're just not going to fix, but we do sort of semi-guarantee that you'll be able to use the site at a basic level. But yeah I would love, and I'm sure the whole world would, for IE6 to just poof disappear overnight. But I'm not sure how realistic that is. So let me get back to, let's finish up what we were talking about which is – the serving of static content fro ma different domain is, once you get to a certain volume of site, is substantial, and I definitely recommend it, I'm sort of shocked – the site appears much more responsive. Because you're parellellising those requests, and they come from a dedicated server, and I think it's easier for the browser to cache it?


Don't tell me to abandon IE6,seriously.

Well, seriously, even its creator refers to IE6 as 9 year old milk:

  • 1
    And yes, that would be 10 year old milk this year!
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 13:08
  • Yak, 12 year old in 2012.
    – Arjan
    Commented May 25, 2012 at 1:22

IE6 needs to be put down, there's really no avoiding it.

Developers need to stop supporting it, not as far as actively blocking it, but they need to communicate more clearly to users that "If you're still using IE6, any problems you have are your problems, not ours."

If you seriously want to avoid being told that you need to upgrade, then you seriously need to stop asking about IE6.

The only correct answer to your question is that you need to upgrade. People still on IE6 need to upgrade, the rest of the world should not suffer because of this.

If you think "it isn't much that needs to be done" then consider how many websites that probably have IE6-related layout problems, and how many man-hours that needs to be put into fixing things like this.

Personally, I would rather have the SO-team spend their time on far more important things (like fixing the minor problems left with markdown in some corner cases) than spending even 1 minute on trying to fix an IE6 problem.

If the only problem you have is a minor alignment problem, then I'd say that this IE6-problem shouldn't even be considered.

In fact, the time people here, me included, spend on giving you "answers", is probably more time than the issue deserve.

I understand that you're serious, and you probably cannot upgrade, for whatever reason (you don't say), but in reality you're just one guy, and even if we count all of the users still left on IE6, they will be a minority, and many of them could upgrade, so if we limit the discussion to all those that cannot upgrade, and want to use SO on IE6, having a minor alignment problem is a price you'll have to pay.

In contrast to everyone paying for it (time being taken away from things that will benefit everyone instead of a minority.)

So yes, you really should abandon IE6.


And don't forget about Opera.

  • 2
    Even though I love Opera, If the site is working on 70% of browsers but has only a few glitches on Opera, then I can understand they spend more time making new features, and fixing bugs for browsers which are not around 5% of users. I use Opera all the time, and I got used that some sites have glitches. If these glitches are blocking, then i click "open with..." in the Opera contextual menu, and use another, wider spread browser. That's as simple.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 9:25

Use chrome: http://www.google.com/chrome

Anyway, the site doesn't look that bad in IE6 anyway.


I also have to use IE6 from work machines. We are not allowed to upgrade and we are not allowed to use other browsers.

  • 10
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jun 4, 2010 at 20:13
  • But: are you developing software then? If not, while your only other account is at Stack Overflow: why should SO adapt to people who're not even a target audience?
    – Arjan
    Commented Jun 4, 2010 at 20:33
  • Setup remote desktop with a decent browser.
    – user138231
    Commented Jun 4, 2010 at 20:59
  • 1
    I'm a seniour software designer/architect for with a CS degree and 21 years experience working on development on projects ranging from Operating Systems, low level comms firmware to high level web based business applications. So I think I am the target audience. However, we have strict controls on what we are allowed to install and run on our stystems for security reasons. This is not uncommon in similar large organisations.
    – user147674
    Commented Jun 6, 2010 at 4:01
  • 1
    Also, the very large (e.g. government and other multi-national) customers for whom we develop systems also demand that we provide standard pre-built computers for them with IE6 and support IE6 for any applications we produce. IE6 is far from dead in the business world. The IT industry needs to make it more attractive to our business customer base to move away from IE6 rather than individuals of sites who's use is optional making unilateral decisions.
    – user147674
    Commented Jun 6, 2010 at 4:05
  • 8
    @user - You can't use "for security reasons" and "IE6" in the same line of reasoning... Commented Jun 6, 2010 at 13:38
  • 1
    I know that 'security reasons' and IE6 sound contradictory. For various complicated reasons (which are not security related) the company's standard build still uses IE6 (as is the case in many large organisations). Separately the company's policy is that we are not allowed to download and install ANYTHING onto our machines is a security policy. The network is monitored and if anyone does donwload anything, they are sent an email from the head of security asking them to explain themselves.
    – user147674
    Commented Jun 7, 2010 at 8:59