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

Custom User Agent Internet Explorer 11

James Smith
• Sunday, 22 May, 2022
• 7 min read

Thanks to the new flags page in InternetExplorer11, it is now very easy to change the user agent string. You can experiment with it using the latest publicly available Windows 10 build at this moment, which is 9879.

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Additionally, you can set the Sergeant text box back to By Sergey Lukashenko on January 2, 2015, last updated on March 22, 2018, in InternetExplorer.

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” On the Network conditions tab, uncheck “Select automatically” next to User agent.

You can then select an user agent from the list or copy and paste a customuseragent into the box. It only works while you have the Developer Tools pane open, and it only applies to the current tab.

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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 InternetExplorer 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 also select the Custom option in the User agent string list and type a customuseragent into the box. If the user agent you want to use isn’t shown here, select “Other” and you can provide a customuseragent.

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.

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Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. Had a quick try but no joy, the website doesn't even let me log in as it insists on InternetExplorer11.

On the left-hand side, tick ‘Java’ and select the website you wish to enable it on (in this case, I’m guessing ‘ or something similar). Ensure that you have ‘ InternetExplorer11 selected from the ‘ User agent section of the ‘Develop’ menu.

You’ve probably been annoyed at one time or another when visiting a website that requires a specific browser. Luckily, you can fool a website into thinking you’re using a different browser and you can do this with most, including Safari.

The solution to this was often to send a false user agent string,” which would fool the web server into delivering you the preferred content. Today, users are less likely to have a problem since websites and browsers are better at adhering to web standards.

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_10_2) Apple WebKit/600.3.18 (HTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0.3 Safari/600.3.18 Now Safari will have a new menu devoted solely to development tools.

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The “Other…” option allows you to specify an user agent other than those listed, such as if you’re curious to see how Google Chrome on an iPad running iOS 8.2 renders, you’d use the appropriate string. If you have anything you’d like to add, such as a question or a comment, please provide feedback in our discussion forum.

Modify the user agent string sent by InternetExplorer 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. 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.

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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 user agent change 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. Open a browser window and type about:config within the address bar.

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.

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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.

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