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".
Both Edge and Internet Explorer support a variety of modes, including Opera, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. When selected, the page you are browsing will be refreshed in real time, letting you see how it behaves in that particular web browser.
In Chrome, you can open the Developer tools quickly by pressing Control + Shift + i. Click in the Custom list box then choose the desired browser mode.
Opera’s Developer Tools are based on Chrome, but accessing it is a bit easier. Unlike Chrome, Opera, Edge, and IE, Firefox doesn’t have a user -friendly way to quickly switch the useragentstring.
There are add-ons with similar names, so, look for the version with the globe icon and a network pipe attached. Choose the desktop web browser and operating system platform to view the desired website.
Click the Develop > Sergeant then choose the desired web browser. But modifying the useragentstring will let you download the ISO image directly if the page detects another platform such as Linux or macOS.
Platform identifiers change based on the operating system being used, and version numbers also increment as time passes. 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.
In the User agent section, disable the Select automatically checkbox. Use the following options to discuss the new features and changes in the post, or anything else related to DevTools.
Send your feedback using the Send Feedback icon or select Alt + Shift + I (Windows, Linux) or Option + Shift + I (macOS) in DevTools. To file bugs about this article, use the following Feedback section.
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. 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. 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.
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. As the Developer Tools window pops up, go to the Mode section and select the user agent you opt to via the drop-down menu on the Useragentstring option.
Replied on November 6, 2019, I would like to know if it is possible to start edge browser with a different useragentstring. As we have some applications that is not working with the default useragentstring for edge browser but is working normally when using the useragentstring for chrome, for example.
I understand that we can change it using the developer tools in the browser. So I'm wondering if it is possible to start the edge browse with a specific useragentstring and thus there is no need for the user to change that using the developer tool.
That's a great idea, I'd suggest that you use the Windows 10 Feedback Hub to submit this suggestion to the developers at Microsoft Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.
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! 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. 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.
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. In other words, switching to the Chromium-powered browser shouldn’t cause compatibility issues and still let your users connect to internal apps.
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. 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.
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. 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. You’ll also notice that the entire string ends with Edge /12.0, which Chrome does not.
There are ways to develop your website to progressively enhance itself based on the availability of features rather than by targeting specific browsers. Often, lazy developers will just sniff for the UA string and disable content on their website based on which browser they believe the viewer is using.
Internet Explorer 8 is a common point of frustration for developers, so they will frequently check if a user is using ANY version of IE, and disable features. The sergeant property has been aptly described as “an ever-growing pack of lies” by Patrick H. Lake in W3C discussions.
(“or rather, a balancing act of adding enough legacy keywords that won’t immediately have old UA-sniffing code falling over, while still trying to convey a little of actually useful and accurate information.”) For example, the Modernize library is a fantastic and simple way of detecting features.
Over the past year, we’ve seen some UA-sniffing sites that have been updated to detect Microsoft Edge … only to provide it with a legacy IE11 code path. In our experience Microsoft Edge runs best on the ‘WebKit’ code paths in these sites.