Filing a Great Bug

March 25th, 2010

We want to fix the issues that you find in the IE9 Platform Preview. This blog post is about how to write bug reports that we can understand and address. Working together, we can fix the important issues and deliver a better IE9 for everyone.

Let’s take a look at the elements of a great bug report, and use a real example from IE8.





Concisely summarize the bug and related information. Good titles are unique, memorable, and a descriptive summary of the symptom along with how bad the symptom affects users or developers. Mini-Forecast sidebar gadget broken after installing IE8 Partner Build


Minimal steps to reproduce the bug listed in order.

  1. Install IE8 B2
  2. Upgrade to Vista SP2 (Windows Update)
  3. Uninstall IE8 B2
  4. Install IE8 Partner Build
  5. Open Windows Help and Support


Some bugs reproduce all of the time and some seem random. This randomness can be caused by content, timing, script, time of day, or language.

Always Happens


Versions of IE and Windows. You can get the IE version from Help, About. This will help the team setup the right repro environment and help us inspect the right code. You should always use the latest version from the Test Drive site.

Windows Vista x86 SP2 beta
IE8 Partner Build

Actual Results

Describe the behavior you observed.

The Mini-Forecast gadget display is broken (see attached image)

Expected Results

Describe the behavior you expected.

The gadget should display properly.

More Information

Include more clues to the root cause of the bug.

The issue reproduces in No Add-ons mode.
This is new to the IE8 Partner Build.
Attachments: GadgetsBroken(B2-PP).PNG

Unique bugs get unique reports

Each unique bug should get its own bug report. The exception is multiple sites have the same issue.

Search for Duplicates

Before reporting your bug, please search to make sure it hasn’t already been reported. If it has been reported, you can let us know you can also reproduce the bug by clicking I can too.

Include IE Diagnostics Reports

Please include an IE Diagnostics report with every bug. IE Diagnostics is a powerful forensics tool used to gather important information for the IE team. To access the IE Diagnostics tool from the Platform Preview, on the Report Issue menu, click Run IE Diagnostics. When the report is finished, click Save Report As to save a local copy.

Include Screenshots

A screenshot of the Platform Preview rendering the page and a screenshot of how it should look when rendered correctly is a great way to visually communicate the differences you see. Use the Snipping Tool to capture screenshots. For a demonstration of how to use the Snipping Tool, visit Windows Help and How-To.

Include Content For Pages you Develop

If you developed a page that does not render correctly, include a sample of the HTML code, any scripts, and any other content required to reproduce the issue.

Reduce website problems

If you are reporting an issue with a web site, it would be helpful if you reduce the website to the core script and markup elements that are causing the issue. For more information about this read the IE8 Compatibility Test Guide.

Use Connect for Bugs Only

Please Use the Forums to ask questions and use the Microsoft Support page for support options for your Microsoft products.

Zip it Up

After you’ve gathered the IE Diagnostics Report, Screenshots and any other attachments for your report, Zip them up into one file and send them with your bug. Select the files in Windows Explorer, right-click, point to Send To, and then click Compressed (zipped) folder. This helps keep all the files in your bug report together and helps the attachment to your bugs fit within the 20MB size limit.

Security and Privacy

If you have discovered a vulnerability in Internet Explorer or the Internet Explorer Platform Preview:

  • Do not report the issue in the public forum
  • Forward all information regarding the issue to our Security Response Team (

When you use a bug report form that provides button options to designate a particular report as public or private, specify private for all bugs found that constitute a security or privacy matter. This prevents anyone other than the person filing the report and the IE team from seeing the details of the bug.

Security and Privacy Do’s and Don’ts

Do tell us about bank and other secure web sites that aren’t working, but don’t include login information, account numbers, PINs, screenshots, or other personal information.

Do tell us about email web sites that aren’t working, but don’t include login information, any email content including attachments, screenshots, or other personal information.

Thank You

Thank you for your participation. Great customers submitting great reports will lead to a great IE!

Matt Gradwohl
Test Lead