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

Google Chrome Change User Agent String

Elaine Sutton
• Sunday, 22 May, 2022
• 9 min read

You can change the UserAgentString (String) in Google Chrome for your desktop computer by using these steps. You can change this useragentstring if you are developing a website and wish to test how your site looks under different strings.

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Select the Menu icon located in the upper-right corner, then choose More tools > Network conditions “. Uncheck the Select automatically check box, then choose the user agent you wish to use.

Note: The UA String will only be spoofed on the current tab and only while the Developer Tools are open. As we tend to spend more time on our phones than our PCs, most of today’s web content is optimized for mobile users.

It can help handle a website’s traffic better because it reveals what kind of device it is, what software and browser it uses, etc. These strings are essential in marketing as they help you target your ads, optimize your website for different devices, analyze web traffics, and more.

Technical Writer, Chrome DevTools & Lighthouse Press Command + Shift + P (Mac) or Control + Shift + P (Windows, Linux, Chrome OS) to open the Command Menu.

In the User agent section disable the Select automatically checkbox. If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue.

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If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue. If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue.

If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue. If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue.

If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue. If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue.

If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue. If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue.

If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue. Changing the useragentstring 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 useragentstring can provide web servers some details about the user's operating system, and the browser version.

Google Chrome is the most popular web browser which exists for all major platforms like Windows, Android and Linux. Alternatively, you can enter a custom user agent value using the text box below the list.

On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. When a website wants to identify your browser and what sort of computer or device you’re browsing from, the first place they’ll turn to is the UserAgentstring.

In a surprising move, Google ’s Chromium team has submitted a new proposal that includes deprecating the UserAgentstring starting in Chrome 81. While web browsers have slowly become more privacy considerate over the years, the UserAgentstring, a genuine relic of the internet as we once knew it, has become a primary target for fingerprinting a user.

Your browser of choice, what version you’re on, what operating system you’re using, and in some cases what device you’re using are all revealed and readily shared with any website that asks for it. The original intention behind giving out this information is for servers to make sure the page you receive is one that’s optimized for your specific browser’s needs.


Now that there are fewer compatibility reasons for a site to care whether you’re browsing from Chrome or Firefox, the UserAgentstring has taken on unfortunate new purposes. Just last month, Vivaldi, another browser based on the same Chromium source code as Google Chrome, began falsifying its UserAgentstring to appear as Chrome.

For the sake of keeping older, unmaintained websites working as expected, the UserAgentstring can’t just be removed from Chrome altogether. Today, as spotted by Owen Williams, Google has publicly unveiled to once and for all stop the misuse of the UserAgentstring both in Chrome and the web as a whole.

At the same time, Chrome will also “unify” the information shared about your device’s operating system, for example meaning that two computers on slightly different Windows 10 updates should have the same Sergeant. The proposal notes that back in 2017, Apple went down a similar road with Safari, attempting to altogether freeze the UserAgentstring.

The second half of Google ’s proposal is to introduce a healthy compromise to give web developers the information they may need, while still respecting a person’s privacy. If the proposals to deprecate the UserAgentstring and introduce UA-CH are accepted as-is, we should see the first fruits of them soon, as Chrome 81 is already in Canary and is scheduled to be released in March of this year.

Many a time you would like to change the useragentstring in Google Chrome either to check the mobile version of the site on your desktop or to try out it with different browser platforms. Works only with Dev Chrome 17 or higher versions, this extension is offers extremely easy way to switch user agents.

user agent switcher chrome strings google

But to install it you will have to first enable “Experimental Extension APIs” from the about:flags page and then restart the browser. Though Chrome extension is the easiest way to change the string, unfortunately it works with the latest versions only.

On the other hand, there is great news that in the upcoming versions, you can change the user agent right from the developer tools. Now check the box “override user agent and select one of the given options or enter your self-made custom agent.

Close Google Chrome (if running) and then save the chrome .dll file inside the hex editor. Restart chrome .exe and type about: in the address bar to confirm if the user agent has changed.

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.

string chrome agent user ua change google

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. Click the “Emulation” tab and choose an user agent from the Useragentstring box.

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.

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