Add *subdomains* to the compatibility view list

By | September 11, 2013

If you try to add “” to the Compatibility List via IE’s Internet Options, you’re met with an error and your only recourse is to add the full domain, “” to the list instead – which might not be ideal if the rest of works great, but only has compatibility issues.

However, there is a way to add just the subdomain to the compatibility list once you understand how the CL works. I’ll spare you those details and get right to the nitty gritty. Before I do, though, make sure you do not have Compatibility View turned on for the entire domain.

The secret lies in how a company can manage its own compatibility lists: via Group Policy.

To add the problematic subdomain ( to your CL, do the following (you must be an Administrator on your machine in order to perform the following operations):

Start the Group Policy editor by going to Start | Run (or Window + R) and typing ‘gpedit.msc’


Navigate to Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Internet Explorer \ Compatibility View and choose Use Policy List of Internet Explorer 7 sites:


Double-click the option, and set it up as shown:


Logout and log back in to your PC and you’ll see that now won’t use Compatibility Mode, but will! Enjoy!

  • becosses

    Tanks for the solution .It seem working great! !

    • Brandon

      Good deal, glad to hear it!

  • Matthew

    FYI it seems like the images within the article are all broken links. None of them show.

    • Brandon

      Thanks for alerting me to this. I’ll get working on it right away. Must’ve been something caused by my move back from Azure.

    • Brandon

      looks like I’ve taken care of the issue. Thanks again for the report!

  • sodajunkie

    This could be a huge win for my team at work. Our vendor, Oracle, has software that is only certified for IE8 and our user base is constantly updating their browsers. Now, my subdomain has IE8 compatibility without waiting for my vendor to provide access to the latest browsers!

    • Brandon

      Awesome news! Don’t forget to click ‘like’ and share the post since you found it helpful. And feel free to come back w/ what you find out while trying to roll this out at your company!

  • sodajunkie

    We use an F5 for load-balancing and it points to one of two actual webservers. Do I enter the subdomain of my F5 or the subdomains of each of my servers?

    • Brandon

      I can’t be sure as I haven’t tested a ton of things with this, but I believe what you’ll add to your group policy is the base address of the endpoint. Meaning regardless of where the traffic ends up hitting, you want the URL in the group policy; nothing more, nothing less.

      In other words, if a user types in and the traffic is routed in the background but the browser always reports that, that’s what you enter. If I put in and might be bounced to mystuff2 or might not, then you’d want to enter both those.

  • gurupi98

    Please update the screenshot for the “Use Policy list for Internet Explorer 7 Sites”. I don’t think you meant to have a screenshot of ”
    Use Policy list of Quirks Mode sites”.

    • Brandon

      good catch, thanks! update done!

  • G

    Brandon – will this work with virtual directories? like in native mode and in Compatibility Mode.

    • Brandon

      It certainly accepts the format as input to that list, so presumably it would work. I haven’t tried it, though… Give it a shot and reply back with out it worked out!

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  • Name goes here

    But this is a policy setting. It will override anything the user has already set. I want to set this as a preference.

    • I’m not sure what you mean by “as a preference”… Group Policy is inherently a bunch of preferences… While my post shows changing it under the Computer Configuration node, the same can be done under the User Configuration node which would apply to only the current user, making it a “user preference” at that point.
      There may also be ways of setting this via Powershell or Registry that you might be able to wrap with a simple application to make it easier to change, if that’s your concern.

  • Stefan K.

    Is this a valid solution for IE11 Enterprise mode?

    • I’m not sure, Stefan. I can tell you I’m running IE 11 on Windows 8.1 *Professional*. I’m not sure what “Enterprise mode” is as it relates to IE and I (of course) don’t have the ability to test all permutations of IE installs. The best thing I can tell you is to give it a shot and comment on this post to help out anybody else that might be wondering the same thing. Thanks!