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".
This feature is useful for SEO professionals, for example, to identify issues with cloaking which is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or auditing websites which has different look depending on the device. User agent is an HTTP request header string identifying browser, application, operating system which connects to the server.
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry! Also, you can switch to a different user agent and change geolocation to emulate another browser in order to bypass certain website restrictions that concern a specific app.
So, in this post, we’ll walk you through the process of changing Sergeant and Geolocation in Edge Developer Tools. For a regular Internet user, Microsoft Edge seems like an awesome browser.
Since, Microsoft Edge has completed the migration from Edge HTML to Chromium, changing the user agent is a different process now! Here, scroll down to make the lower part of the screen visible.
Click on ‘ More tools ‘ under ‘ Console ‘ tab and select ‘ Sensors ‘ option. Now, select the desired region and hit the ‘ Add location ‘ tab.
Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site. 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.
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. Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.
“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. We will be iterating regularly on the Edge version number, so only look at the version when targeting specific bug fixes.
Something has added “MSI 9.0” to my Sergeant String for both Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer 11. 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. 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.
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. The first step is to type about:config in the address bar and hit Enter.
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. If the preference isn’t there, right-click on a blank area of the page, hover New, and select the String option.
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. 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.
All popular browsers offer built-in user agent switchers, so you can changeyouruseragent without installing any extensions. 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.
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. 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 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. You are able to view the list of UA overrides that are currently being applied by navigating to edge ://combat/user agent in the Beta and Stable channels of Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft Edge is the software giant’s big bet in Windows 10, and although the browser has until now failed to gain traction, it wins new users slowly but surely. But as more people make the transition to Microsoft Edge and discover the Internet Explorer successor, some are trying to figure out how to perform a series of tasks, like switching the user agent.
All browsers come with such settings, in Microsoft Edge running on Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1803) it is located in the Developer Tools menu. Microsoft Edge lets you change not only the user agent string, which can be anything from Internet Explorer and Google Chrome to mobile browsers like Safari, but also devices, with support for Lucia phones, Surface Book, iPhones, and old Nexus models currently being offered.
iPhone X and Samsung phones aren’t included, but on the other hand, there’s a custom tab that lets you create a dedicated profile for a device of your own. Microsoft Edge is currently at a little over 4 percent market share, and the upcoming October 2018 Update is expected to convince a few more users to switch.
Windows 10 October 2018 Update will go live to the production ring in the coming weeks, with Microsoft expected to sign off the RTM build in just a few days.