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".
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.
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. Microsoft ’s new Edge and Google Chrome are very similar, as both are built on the Chromium platform with Blink as the default web rendering engine.
Microsoft dumped its own web browsing platform for Chromium as Edge wasn’t a part of many standard testing routines by website owners. Google has once again abused user agents and the company is displaying a security warning when Chrome web store is accessed from Edge.
Google’s warning doesn’t actually affect Edge ’s ability to use and run Chrome extensions securely. Over the past few years, user agents battle has become even more complicated and web browser companies are changing their user agent to avoid compatibility problems.
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 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. 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. It supports Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and should work fine with other Chromium-based browsers.
Firefox on Windows 10 Chrome on Android 10 (Pixel 4) Safari on iOS Safari on iPadOS or macOS Chrome on Chromebook (Chromes) Internet Explorer 6 Microsoft Edge on macOS Google bot (Classic and Smartphone) If you have any feedback or suggestion, feel free to leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Microsoft Edge Chromium based being detected as Chrome · Issue #143 · 3rd-Eden/user agent · GitHub When you load a web page such as groovyPost.com, a list of checks are performed to determine the platform (macOS, Windows, Linux), web browser (Microsoft Edge, Chrome or Safari for iOS) and the system type (x86 PC, Galaxy Tab, iPhone/iPad).
You likely see the difference when you load our website in Microsoft Edge on a Windows 10 PC vs Chrome on an Android smartphone. A feature of web browsers called the user agent string makes this happen.
Select the Emulation tab then click in the User agent string list box. 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. 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 user agent string.
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.
But modifying the user agent string will let you download the ISO image directly if the page detects another platform such as Linux or macOS. Updated April 26, 2019: Despite the current situation, Google says that it plans to support Meet with Edge on Chromium upon its release into general availability.
We view the increased adoption of Chromium and WebRTC as positive for the entire Unified Communications industry. Microsoft's new Edge browser based off the open-source Chromium Project so far has had a great start with daily builds in the Canary ring, which then feed into the weekly release for the Dev channel.
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