What Does Your User Agent Say About You?


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.

The user agent string can be accessed with JavaScript on the client side using the navigator.userAgent property.

A typical user agent string looks like this: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0".


User Agent String

Browser Data

Change User Agent New Edge

Ava Flores
• Friday, 13 November, 2020
• 12 min read

The new Microsoft Edge running on Chromium isn’t yet here officially, but a leaked build allows us to try out the browser in anticipation of its highly-anticipated release. Using the browser on a daily basis isn’t obviously recommended as experimental builds like this can’t by any means become your main driver.

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For many users, switching to a different user agent and thus emulating another browser is a method to bypass certain website restrictions that concern a specific app. For example, if a website doesn’t support Chromium, you can very well change the user agent to mimic a different browser like Mozilla Firefox.

The best example is Skype for Web, which doesn’t work in Firefox anymore, so Mozilla users need to switch to another user agent to connect to the service. For those unfamiliar with this screen, it’s specifically supposed to provide developers with advanced tools that let them analyze code and website performance.

Changing the user agent is actually considered a developer option that helps webmasters check their pages against potential compatibility issues with different browsers. By default, Microsoft Edge is configured to Select automatically the user agent, so you need to uncheck this option to be able to choose a custom setting.

You can change the user agent of Microsoft Edge via Developer Tools menu. As mentioned earlier above, changing user agent in Microsoft Edge is extremely easy.

You can change it via Developer Tools menu which you can access by clicking the three-dot icon in the top-right corner of Microsoft Edge. Changing the user agent string can be useful in certain scenarios when some website's functionality is locked down to the specific platform and you need to bypass the restriction.

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This allows developers to differentiate various device classes like tablets, phones, Desktop PCs and laptops, and more. The user agent string can provide web servers some details about the user's operating system, and the browser version.

For example, the download page on Microsoft's website checks the user agent of the browser. If it reports the Windows operating system, the Media Creation Tool will be offered for download.

However, if the user agent reports Linux, Android or iOS, you will see direct download links to ISO files. Choose the desired web browser to change the user agent string.

The list includes various versions of Internet Explorer, along with Opera, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. Using the built-in Developer Tools option, you can change the user agent in Microsoft Edge any time.

The new Microsoft Edge web browser is based on Chromium, the same core that Google Chrome uses. It may identify as Chromium because of that and that should give it the same level of compatibility with websites and applications as Google Chrome.

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One of the main motivations for doing so is Edge's improved support for media streaming sites like Netflix. Bleeping Computer reports that the new Chromium-based Edge browser downloads a JSON file regularly from config.

In the case of streaming media sites, it is identifying itself as the classic Edge browser: Edge may restrict exposure to one of the supported DRM plugins on select sites.

It does so for CBS, Shudder, TV now, Bitcoin and Sling currently, and exposes only Google's Wide vine to these sites. Microsoft has not published any article or information on Edge's user agent changing capabilities.

Microsoft picks the classic Edge browser to unlock high quality streams on certain media streaming sites, Google Chrome when the user agent offers advantages, and the default user agent of the browser on the majority of sites out there. Thank you for posting your query on Microsoft Community.

User's post on July 6, 2015, Hi but it is detected as chrome. It is set as default but when I go to webpage for detecting web browser it thinks it chrome.


In reply to patrickmulhall's post on July 9, 2015, Internet Explorer user agent show Firefox 11 please change Internet Explorer because should it show the i.e. user agent because that is not part of the new browser. Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site. In reply to Girish Pattabiraman's post on February 9, 2016, I would also like to know if the MS EdgeUserAgentchange can be made to persist so that I don't have to go into developer and set the Sergeant every time.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) Apple WebKit/537.36 (HTML, like Gecko) Chrome/46.0.2486.0 Safari/537.36 Edge /14.14295 “Note that we recommend avoiding user agent string detection if at all possible and sending Microsoft Edge the same content that you send other modern browsers.

PC: i7-6850k, AS Rock X99M Extreme 4, 16 GB DDR4, GTX 1060 6 GB CNB: Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB Type 80V4Was this reply helpful? Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

It was working, then I installed a bunch of things, and not it is now. Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

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For others with weird agent strings, look at this registry entry. Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

User agent is an HTTP request header string identifying browser, application, operating system which connects to the server. Not only browsers have user agent but also bots, search engines crawlers such as Google bot, Google AdSense 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.

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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. An user agent (UA) string is able to be used to detect what version of a specific browser is being used on a certain operating system.

Mapping UA string tokens to a more human-readable browser name for use in code is a common pattern on the web today. When mapping the new Edge token to a browser name, Microsoft recommends using a different name than the one developer used for the legacy version of Microsoft Edge to avoid accidentally applying any legacy workarounds that are not applicable to Chromium-based browsers.

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When Microsoft is notified about these types of issues, website owners are contacted and informed about the updated UA. In these cases, Microsoft uses a list of UA overrides in our Beta and Stable channels to maximize compatibility for users who access these sites.

Learn how to control and update the settings for the Chromium flavor of Edge via Group Policy. If you have deployed the new Chromium version of Microsoft Edge throughout your organization, you'll need a way to manage and update the browser settings for all users and computers.

If your organization uses Active Directory, one option is to control Edge through Group Policy. A good place to start is the website for Microsoft Edge documentation.

Click the drop-down menu for Select Channel/Build, and choose the version of Edge you plan to use, such as the latest stable build. Open both files, and you'll see all the Group Policy setting names and captions for Microsoft Edge.

Keep these pages handy for reference as you configure the policies for the browser (Figure B). You'll need to copy the AMX template files for Edge to the appropriate folder or container for your Group Policy administration.

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In the MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates folder, open the subfolder for your operating system (e.g., Windows). Drag and drop or copy and paste the sedge.ADSL and msedgeupdate.ADSL files to the subfolder under PolicyDefinitions (Figure D).

The Edge template files automatically load, with those for machine-specific settings stored under Computer Configuration. Open your local Group Policy editor by typing credit.MSC in the search field.

Open your local Group Policy editor by typing credit.MSC in the search field. Be your company's Microsoft insider by reading these Windows and Office tips, tricks, and cheat sheets.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

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02: Parsing User Agent String
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