A user agent is a computer program representing a person, for example, a browser in a Web context.
Besides a browser, a user agent could be a bot scraping webpages, a download manager, or another app accessing the Web. Along with each request they make to the server, browsers include a self-identifying User-Agent HTTP header called a user agent (UA) string. This string often identifies the browser, its version number, and its host operating system.
Spam bots, download managers, and some browsers often send a fake UA string to announce themselves as a different client. This is known as user agent spoofing.
A typical user agent string looks like this: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0".
Now Internet Explorer 11 tells websites that it is Firefox running on Linux. By Sergey Lukashenko on January 2, 2015, last updated on March 22, 2018, in Internet Explorer.
Sergey Lukashenko is a software developer from Russia who started Winner back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software.
If you ever wanted to make your web traffic seem like it was coming from a different browser–say, to trick a site that claims it’s incompatible with yours–you can. This allows you to request web pages intended for different browsers–or even different devices, like smartphones and tablets.
Click the menu button to the right of the “Console” tab at the bottom of the Developer Tools pane and select “Network Conditions” If you don’t see the console at the bottom, click the menu button in the top right corner of the Developer Tools pane–that’s the button just to the left of the “x”–and select “Show Console”.
On the Network conditions tab, uncheck “Select automatically” next to User agent. It only works while you have the Developer Tools pane open, and it only applies to the current tab.
To create the preference, right-click on the about:config page, point to New, and select String. This setting applies to every open tab and persists until you change it, even if you close and reopen Firefox.
To revert Firefox to the default user agent, right-click the “general.user agent.override” preference and select Reset. Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer have user agent switchers in their developer tools, and they’re nearly identical.
To open them, click the settings menu and select “F12 Developer Tools” or just press F12 on your keyboard. The developer tools will open in a separate pane at the bottom of the window.
You can find extensive lists of user agents on various websites, such as this one. It only applies to the current tab, and only while the F12 Developer Tools pane is open.
Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. I have encountered some sites that claim false incompatibility with Internet Explorer 11.
Some sites, such as YouTube and Yahoo Mail, display an annoying warning that IE is not supported and I should consider another browser, however they do work fine without any noticeable compatibility issue! Other sites, such as Vodafone Greece, are even worse by denying to load at all unless I open them in another browser such as Firefox.
Other sites, such as Vodafone Greece, are even worse by denying to load at all unless I open them in another browser such as Firefox. I want to use Internet Explorer 11 instead, so I tried to open the Developer settings and change the user agent in Firefox or Chrome, but apparently I did not do that correctly, all the affected sites still detect I run IE 11.
User agent changes successfully but cannot trick Vodafone or YouTube. Modify the user agent string sent by Internet Explorer by editing the Windows registry.
Since this tweak involves editing the Windows registry it is strongly recommended that a backup is made before making changes. Go to File menu export, navigate to a location, give filename and click.
Navigate to the following location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\ Sergeant \Post Platform Right-click on the right pane and create a new String Value. If you want to remove certain values which have been added to the user agent string by the software you installed navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ Sergeant \Post Platform This location might not always exist but if its there you can go there to find some String Values.
However, switching your browser’s user agent no longer requires that you install third-party software, such as extensions. Over the past few years, mainstream browsers have all started including such functionality as a part of their developer console or within standard menus.
Although uncommon, there is a chance for browser extensions to become hijacked for malicious purposes, which could be a risk to your security. If you look or scroll down towards the bottom of this panel, you should see a User agent label, which includes a respective set of options.
Here, you can select from a set of defined user agents or even enter your own custom user agent string. If it’s your first time doing so, you should see a disclaimer stating that you’re entering risky territory that’s for advanced users only.
Since 2008, he's worked remotely with some of the most notable publications in these industries, specializing in Windows, PC hardware and software, automation, and the like. When you navigate to a webpage, the response from the server will depend on a number of factors.
The OS being used will be checked (Windows, Linux, Mac or Mobile) along with the browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari and alike) and possibly the system architecture (x86, x64, etc.) It allows sites to determine specific details, which in turn alters how the page is served to the user.
For instance, menus will be easier to touch and read, and text will be more stripped down and readable. Normally, users are oblivious to the exchange of browser user agent data; there are, however, ways in which users and developers can change the user agent to test for different platforms or simply to mask their browser ID.
Browsers have a fingerprint that can help uniquely identify users with the user agent being one of these factors. When using Edge, open a page and press the F12 key to access the developer settings.
Select the “Emulation” tab and look for the Sergeant string list.” Here you can choose to make Edge mimic the browser of your choice. Just as with Edge, Chrome has an useragentchange within the developer settings, although it is a lot more complicated to access.
From there click “Tools” and then “Developer Options.” You can also easily access this via the key combination of Ctrl + Shift + I. As you can see below, there will be an option to change the user agent by unpicking the “Select automatically” box.
A warning will appear, but it is quite safe to proceed, providing you don’t change settings or flags without due care and attention. If you don’t fancy the idea of messing with a browser’s settings, then there are some add-ons and extensions that will do the job for you.
It is currently, at the time of writing this article, a featured extension from Firefox, so that may put to rest some concerns that users may have. Matthew Muller Matt has worked in the tech industry for many years and is now a freelance writer.
Replied on December 2, 2016In reply to MY2016's post on December 2, 2016, I suspect that the Devs need to look at the meta tags And, I should have probably sent you to MSN early on.
Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site. They changed something in IE11 that disallows conditional comments and I also believe legacy methods of detecting the user agent string changed causing sites not built specifically for IE11 to break.