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

User Agent String F12

Elaine Sutton
• Wednesday, 04 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Replied on December 2, 2016In reply to MY2016's post on December 2, 2016, I suspect that the Devs need to look at the meta tags And, I should have probably sent you to MSN early on.

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Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

agent header

Although uncommon, there is a chance for browser extensions to become hijacked for malicious purposes, which could be a risk to your security. In this article, let’s go over how you can change your user agent in today’s most popular browsers without an extension.

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 useragentstring.

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. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

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.

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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.

Press Command + Shift + P (Mac) or Control + Shift + P (Windows, Linux, Chrome OS) to open the Command Menu. In the User agent section disable the Select automatically checkbox.

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If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue. If you have specific ideas on how to improve this page, please create an issue.

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Adding the domain to the compatibility lists does not help, but the developer tools emulation does help. Let IE remember the emulation settings for this specific intranet site, resulting in a more fluid user experience.

Ensure that ActiveXFiltering is turned off for the site (click the blue circle with a line through it in the IE address bar to turn it off for that site)... Ask the website developers to visit to check their site for compatibility issues.

The developer tools that come with Internet Explorer 9 (F12 DevTools as we call them affectionately) are a powerful aid to solving compatibility, network, script profiling and performance issues; debugging code; managing HTML and CSS; editing on the fly and validating markup; and last but not least inspecting HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Personally, the F12 DevTools have already helped me a lot in understanding how some sites implement some new HTML5 features such as ,

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Although the developer tools have been around in some form since Internet Explorer 7, with IE9 we get some real extra goodness. That includes things like the Network tab, which lets you see what is sent to the server, request headers, response body, response codes, inspect cookies, MIME types, Ajax and ActiveX calls, get information on the call initiator and much more.

Here are a few tips on how F12 developer tools can help you test rendering in different IE versions and even act as another browser to the server. Therefore, IE9 can act as another browser and receive another set of HTML and CSS code from the server.

You’ll notice browser detection code is often the culprit: UA string changer will allow you to pinpoint and find a solution. This is simply a custom UA string I have added to test some sites on how they will render in the Windows Phone 7 browser.

To add your own UA strings go to Tools > Change useragentstring > Custom. You can also change the document mode, which controls whether IE9 should use the most recent behavior for HTML, CSS, DOM and JavaScript.

Notice how the doc type directive has been commented out automatically in this rendering mode. The Layout tool is extremely useful in viewing any settings related to padding, margins, offset for any element.

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Here you can also search, edit, enable/disable styles and save back to a local file. The JavaScript tab gives you access to all the scripts loaded by the current page.

You get tools like the Console for direct script input, Watch, Locals, Call Stack and Breakpoint. Tip : make minified script readable again by choosing Format JavaScript, a super helpful little tool.

Today, the logging API comes to rescue to capture messages in your code. Another not-to-be missed feature in the script section is the Profiling tool, which helps us identify and fix performance issues quickly.

After recording, the profile report can be viewed by Functions or Call Tree. When you drill down in the call tree, you can double-click loaded functions, which will jump you right into the correct code line on the original file.

By default, network capture is set to off to prevent extra resource consumption. The Summary view gives you all requests made by the page including calls from JavaScript.

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