How do I know what browser I am using?
There are many different Internet Browsers (the software you view a website through) and they all treat web pages slightly differently. So if you have a problem with your site, the first thing we'll probably ask, is "what browser are you using?" as that can help get to the route of the problem in no time!
Below are some screenshots and icons to help you decide which browser you use:
If you click on an icon like this (left) when you wish to access the Internet, then you're using Internet Explorer, version 7 or 8. If you don't click on an icon to open your Internet, then the Internet Explorer window looks like this - note the "e" icon with the yellow flash through it in the top left:
In the example above, enlarged below, you can see how after the "e" icon in the top left and our Title Tag "Welcome to 18a Productions Limited", it says "Internet Explorer provided by Dell".
Sometimes it can be really useful to know if your version is "provided" by another company; maybe Orange or BT if that's who you get your Internet from. This is because if it's provided by another company, it means it's not the standard version, and so might have peculiarities that the default Internet Explorer, available directly from Microsoft, doesn't have.
To confirm what version of Internet Explorer you're using (7 or 8 at the time of writing this), at the very top right hand corner of your window, click on the 2 little arrows/darts to the right of "Tools" and you'll get a menu appear, starting with the option "Help". Click on "Help" and another menu will appear, and in that one, click on "About Internet Explorer".
You'll then have a little window pop up that tells you everything you need to know!
If your Internet Explorer (also known as "IE") icon doesn't have a yellow flash through it, and instead has a blue flash, then you're probably using Internet Explorer 6. You can check by using the process above if your window looks like that, or by using the instructions below:
Internet Explorer 6 windows look more like this (it's short because it's on my little netbook and I only use it for testing - no one should be running IE6 now a days if they can help it!)
To check your version, go to "Help" from the top menu, and select "About Internet Explorer":
The window that pops up will tell you exactly what version of Internet Explorer you're using.
If you are using Internet Explorer 6, then I highly recommend you upgrade to the latest version. Internet Explorer 6 is very old now, and had it's problems when it was new! If you want to get the best out of websites now a days, you need an update to browser. Also, because of the extra work often involved for web developers in supporting IE6 (you can make a website look great on newer browsers, but then you need to rebuild lots of bits for IE6) many are phasing it out. Google recently announced that during 2010 they will stop supporting IE6 on their online services.
You can upgrade at the Microsoft website. It may be that your computer is running a very old version of Windows and it won't let you upgrade, but it's worth a try!
By the way, if you're using Internet Explorer you should be on a PC (laptop or desktop). If you're using an Apple / Mac and you're using Internet Explorer, then stop doing so right now! Whilst Internet Explorer 6 is badly out of date, Microsoft stopped making Internet Explorer for a Mac at IE 5.5! It was poor, so they quit whilst they were behind. If you use a mac, use Safari or Firefox instead.
If you're using Firefox, Chrome or Safari, you're more likely to know about it - because in the case of Firefox and Chrome you probably had to install it yourself. And if you're using a Mac then it states the name of the browser at the top left of the screen. But below are the logos and screenshots of how to find what exact version you're using.
To find what version you're using, click on the spanner icon on the top right of the screen, and then on "About Google Chrome":
Firefox (on a PC):
Simply go to the "Help" menu along the top of the window and click on "About Firefox".
Firefox (on a Mac):
Same logo as above, but rather than the menu being on the top of the browser window, the menu is along the top of your screen. You then click on "Firefox" from that menu to view "About Firefox".
Whilst you can get Safari for a PC, most users use it on a Mac. Simply click on "Safari" from the menu along the top of your screen and then "About Safari".