Rey Bango

Web developer, honey badger

Submitting an Internet Explorer Bug to Microsoft

Today, I got this tweet by Patrick Kettner asking how to submit an IE bug report:

I’ve been asked this a number of times and this was a great opportunity to post the steps on how to do it.

I’m not going to sugar coat it because I personally think the process is WAY too complicated and I’ve complained to the IE team about this. Thankfully, they agree and are looking at how to streamline the process.

First time Submitting a Bug

If this is the first time submitting a bug to Microsoft, you’ll need to register on the Microsoft Connect site.

Go to Microsoft’s Connect site. You’ll need to sign in to use the site. It requires a Microsoft Live account. If you already have a Live account, then login and follow the steps below. If you don’t, you’ll first need to create one (you’ll be presented with that option). I’m not going to show you how to register for a Live account because it’s very straightforward. Yes, I hate the fact that you need to do this too but thankfully it’s a one-time deal.

Once you’ve created it, follow the steps below.

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When you’re back at the Connect homepage, do a search for “IE10 Public Feedback”:

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This will pull up the entry where you can join the IE10 Feedback group and submit bugs. You’ll see a “Join” link to allow you to do this:

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If this is your first time using Connect, you’ll be prompted with a registration page and profile setup pages. This is a one-time deal and you shouldn’t be presented with these pages next time around:

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Once you’re through that you should come to the IE10 Public Feedback page. This is where you’ll start submitting feedback by clicking on the “Feedback” link:

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When the feedback page comes up, scroll down and you’ll see a big “Submit Feedback” button. Use that to submit your bug.

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Returning to Submit a Bug

If you’re coming back, I’m assuming you already have a Microsoft Live ID so sign in:

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and when you’re brought back to the Connect homepage, click on the dropdown in the upper right corner to go directly to the Internet Explorer Feedback Program page. No need to search for it when that shortcut is there:

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Submitting Good Feedback

Any software maker will tell you the same thing; provide detailed steps and a test case if possible to make isolating your issue as easy as possible. If you simply type, “My site doesn’t render in IE9″, you’re making things more difficult. Take the time to really isolate the problem and provide detailed, concise information so that the IE team can properly determine if it’s a bug and even if there’s a workaround.

I recommend using tools like JSBin or JSFiddle to provide live test cases for the IE team to look at.

Improving the Process

I know this can be a cumbersome experience and we’ve received a lot of feedback about how frustrating it is to submit a bug. The IE team is working on improving this so bear with us while this gets worked on.

Special thank to Patrick for the motivation to put this post up.

Category: Internet Explorer, Microsoft

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27 Responses

  1. Just Me says:

    A lovely step-by-step guide to reporting a bug, thank you, but unfortunately you’ve missed out the last couple of steps that those of us who’ve gone through this process are familiar with:

    1. Wait for response saying it can’t be reproduced and that more information is needed
    2. Supply said information

    [choose one]
    3a. Get response saying it’s by design
    3b. Get response saying it’s been escalated to the product support team
    4. Wait for response…
    5. Wait for response…
    17. Install next version of product
    18. Goto 1

  2. Logesh Kumar says:

    Good… :)

    Filed one :)

  3. Gary Wheeler says:

    Do you honestly think Microsoft has any interest in your submissions via Connect?

    I have been a member of the Microsoft Developer Network since 1994. I am a long-standing user of Windows, Office, Visual Studio, SQL Server, and other Microsoft products.

    I’ve submitted issues to Connect 3 or 4 times. Each time it has been closed without comment less than 48 hours later and otherwise ignored. As far as I can tell, Connect is only paid attention to for Microsoft products in beta.

    • Rey Bango says:

      As I mentioned in the post, this is something that’s being worked on internally. The process needs an overhaul and it’s being looked at.

    • Elijah Manor says:

      I chatted with several members of the IE team last week and they were really receptive to feedback about bug submissions and other concerns. I am optimistic that things will change for the better. Gary, we feel your pain and my hope is that things will look up soon.

  4. Rob G says:

    Just fancy that some clueless user’s haven’t been able to work this out themselves.

    It really should be easier (and that applies to all MS products, the only thing easy to provide feedback on is the web site).

  5. thanasis says:

    Just use firefox and u will have no need to submit bugs

  6. Elijah Manor says:

    Great post Rey because bug submissions are needed to make a better product. I would image this will help many as they wonder how to submit a bug. Thanks for your work pushing the web forward!

  7. Barry Carlson says:

    My experience with MS Connect has always left me exasperated.

    The only time I have successfully submitted a bug was in relation to API’s associated with IE8. A link to a page demonstrating the problem was posted to the MSDN IE Blog, and a ‘thank-you’ response was received from one of the MSFT senior managers.

    I know the IE Blogs are littered with vitriolic comments, but it does appear that they do get monitored for what MSFT may call ‘useful feedback’.

  8. Kagan MacTane says:

    I have to admit, when I read “It requires a Microsoft Live account”, that was where I just went, “Oh, forget *that*!”

    Seriously, most coders and developers (the kinds of people most likely to be able to isolate and describe IE bugs) are used to things like Mozilla, which have public-facing bug databases that anyone can file a bug in, without requiring anything but an email address. If Microsoft wants good feedback and bug reports, they need to remove barriers. The requirement for a Live account? That’s a barrier, and a completely unnecessary one.

    • Rey Bango says:

      Yeah I don’t personally care for it myself and I do like Bugzilla’s system which gets you in quickly just using your email. With that said, Chromium also requires a Google account so it’s not of of the norm. I just checked.

  9. Andrew says:

    I agree, a live account requirement just seems like a ploy to get you a live account.

    • Rey Bango says:

      I can see how some might think that. I checked into it and it has to do with using a unified login system for all MS services. The number of Live accounts that could possibly be added via a bug system is incredibly small compared to our other services. Also, consider that Google requires a Google account to submit bugs for Chromium. I’m sure it’s for the same reasons as the number of Gmail accounts created by devs & bug submitters is incredibly small compared to their overall consumer base.

  10. Ege says:

    I’ll be honest, I’m one of those web developers who keep doing anti-IE propaganda around (bashing IE feels… natural!) However, after seeing self-evaluation and friendly responses like these, maybe I’m finally getting over the drama IE6 to 9 (yes, 9) caused =) With the Internet Explorer 10 (and 11 with WebGL maybe?), I’m optimistic that the developer community may do the same as well.

  11. the IE team have been listening to someone … IE9 and 10 are a huge leap forward and I love that they’re listening. But … the whole Connect process is pretty horrible. In Chrome on OSX if I want to report an issue I hit “help” and “report an issue” and get prompted with what I need to do (and it offers to send a screenshot, page source etc). Safari is similar. To be honest I don’t know if those guys pay any more attention to user submitted issues than the IE team do but by making it so low friction it seems they want to at least hear back.
    During the Office 2013 beta (for instance) there was a little smiley face for you to send smiles or frowns that actually worked in a similar way, and made sharing feedback easy… would love to see that implemented across the board in MS products, but IE feel like they’re agile enough to make it happen first…

    • Rey Bango says:

      I’ve had chats with the IE team about this and we’re looking at improving the process based on community feedback. It’s an involved process because of all of the systems involved and the integration between them but at least the process has started. :)

  12. Russ says:

    Wow. Almost the entire article is about registering on the connect website. Let me get this straight, someone that has enough computer skill to find a bug and document it, has issues with registering with a website? This blog post is more about bashing Microsoft then it is helping in submitting a bug report.

    Maybe you could put as much detail to what information Microsoft will need. You mention some tools, what reports would be useful? How much background would be useful? Are there files that could be exported from the tools? How about the tools already built into Windows, are any of them useful?

    • Rey Bango says:

      Russ I work for Microsoft. I’m documenting the process for those who want to help. It’s a cumbersome process and hopefully this will help some folks who really want to send us feedback get through it.

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