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".
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
For instance, if an user agent identifies itself as a Firefox running on Android, web servers will serve web pages specialized for mobile devices. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
You can find extensive lists of user agents on various websites, such as this one. 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. However, until recently it was hard for me to switch completely due to no «offline» support for Google office suite: doc, spreadsheet and slides.
Fortunately, with the recent introduction of chrome extensions support it's now possible to put them offline with a few tricks! This is to be expected since functionality is experimental, so offering it to any browser alongside with extension will break things.