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

Modify User Agent Javascript

Elaine Sutton
• Tuesday, 05 July, 2022
• 9 min read

It’s all great if we just fetch HTML and parse it with cheerio. Now, we need to scrape a website with JS enabled, because website is doing black magic client side rendering.

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However, there is the new Fetch API supported by Chrome 43+, Edge 14+, Firefox 39+ and Opera 29+, but not by IE and Safari. So apparently it should be possible according to the Fetch specification, but browsers implement this differently as usual.

Red Flag Submitted Thank you for helping keep Tektite Forums free from inappropriate posts. The Tektite staff will check this out and take appropriate action. 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 mapping the new Edge token to a browser name, Microsoft recommends using a different name than the one developer used for the legacy version of Microsoft Edge to avoid accidentally applying any legacy workarounds that are not applicable to Chromium-based browsers.

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.

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. This allows you to request web pages intended for different browsers–or even different devices, like smartphones and tablets.

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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.

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You can find extensive lists of user agents on various websites, such as this one. 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, 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. 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.

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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. 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.

I'm aware of the “about:debug” trick for faking other (but, not the above referenced portion of the string) aspects the reported Sergeant. The default image and browser would be just fine for me if I could simply change what amounts to 2 characters in the Sergeant string.

I'm aware of the “about:debug” trick for faking other (but, not the above referenced portion of the string) aspects the reported Sergeant. The default image and browser would be just fine for me if I could simply change what amounts to 2 characters in the Sergeant string.

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