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 For Opera Mini

Daniel Brown
• Tuesday, 10 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. If you track user agents visiting your sites, please adjust your scripts for Opera 15 for desktop and Android.

agent user medium lot linux strings devices iphone there


So here, for Opera, MOZ and the clones, which unless identified specifically includes Firefox, Mellon (great stuff), Gallon, Epiphany etc., etc. Fall 2015 Update With the exceptions of MSI and Chrome (limited, primarily for mobile oriented emulation) none of the main browser families provide a native method of Sergeant (a.k.a.

This is in contrast to experiences where the functionality was part of the basic browser (Chrome, Opera) or provided a workaround (Firefox). One can only speculate that this third party trend will continue as the browser families seek to provide a secure and robust in their core products.

Once installed (which, unlike Firefox does not need a restart) this extension places a button on the top left of the screen (or it can be invoked by right-clicking on any empty part of the currently displayed web page). In Opera 11 you have to make a Panel visible by clicking the < button at the bottom left of the browser window.

In the window that opens select the 'Button' tab then 'Preferences' and drag the 'Identify as Opera combo box onto the top browser bar. Use ToolsQuick Preference and select the browser you want to emulate from the radio button list at the foot of the menu.

The default values in this file are clearly set based on reported site problems. Finally, with Opera 8 there is also a snazzy feature to allow you to play with JavaScript variables so you can pretend to be a real MSI browser to client side browser detection routines (Opera info on this topic).

opera string agent user browser spoof settings ok save

To invoke the feature press the F12 key in any page (or click the '*' (gear wheel like) button on the top extreme right and select 'F12 Developer Tools'). MSI 10 adds a menu Item labeled 'Browser Mode: IE10' which provides a subset of options for local processing only.

Any additional values displayed in the MSI UA string are defined in the registry. You can add Compatible, Version and Platform strings as shown above and described in this MSN article.

To fix this problem before you modify the Prefs.js file use ToolsOptionsWeb Features and disable (uncheck) enable Java. There is a fairly rudimentary UA change feature in the stock chrome installation invoked using Menu (top right corner) More ToolsDeveloper Tools then click the telephone icon (top right in the Developer toolbar) which seems to be primarily aimed at mobile testing and emulation.

Chrome (as of version 17) provides a sneaky (in the sense that it is well hidden) method to change the UA. Click the Customize and Control icon (a spanner) in the top right of the main window and select Tools Developer Tools from the menus.

The direct URL to the full site is or you can start with, which will redirect you to the mobile version. Scroll to the bottom of the mobile page and click the Touch Site link to open the iPhone/Android version of Facebook.

responsive resize midwinter features

I got a complaint from a reader that they are no longer able to use the full (desktop) version of Facebook in Operating. Games and Apps are also only on the desktop site but most of them use Flash and don’t work in mobile browsers anyway.

About two weeks ago something broke at Facebook and now takes Operating users to the mobile site. The same thing happens if I try to go to the full site with the default WebKit based browser on a Nokia N95-3.

“Until recently it was possible to access the full version of Facebook using Operating and other mobile browsers by visiting Another place users can complain is on the Using Facebook Mobile Group’s Wall at which, unlike the suggestion form, does work in Operating.

Supported browsers:Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, WebKit, Savant, Marathon, Aurora, Mozilla, Epiphany, Camino, Chimera, Chromium, Dragon, conker or, Conker or, Dillon, Links, Fire bird, Swift fox, Netscape, Flock, cab, Ice ape, icecap, Icecap, Weasel, Iron, Mellon, Conqueror, Landscape, Lynx, Marathon, minor, Minor, HTML, Mosaic, Netsuke, OneWeb, Tablet, Mini, Phoenix, Rocket, Safari, Browser, Monkey, Slim, WebKit, w3 m This identifier is part of the HTTP protocol, and is a string that usually gives the name and version of the browser being used.

Unfortunately, there is no real consistency in the format of this string, which makes analysis very difficult and statistics suspect. There was much debate among developers and testers of Mozilla in its early days on what to do about its useragentstring (which starts with “Mozilla/5.0” even though this did not correspond to the actual version number of any Mozilla-based browser until many years later when Firefox 5.0 came out, rapidly succeeded by 6.0 with their current rapid-release strategy), with some wanting a “clean start” by changing its opening word to something else (even though the old pre-Firefox Mozilla Suite, once the flagship project of the Mozilla organization, was actually the only browser that could honestly call itself “Mozilla”), while others were deathly afraid to make the slightest alteration (even to change the version number with each release as Netscape always did) lest it discombobulate “browser sniffers” and lock Mozilla users out of sites.

user agent chrome string edge change firefox internet microsoft opera safari explorer select automatically uncheck tab conditions network then

So it seems like we're stuck for the indefinite future with user agent strings that get further and further away from honestly describing the browser name and version they represent, and contain increasing amounts of fossilized deadwood that can't be removed because some site, somewhere, allegedly depends on its presence. In the short run, such dodges help users get around clueless browser detection in Websites, but in the long run it causes those same clueless webmasters to see statistics that confirm their belief that “everybody uses ”, even if a large chunk of those users are really using something else but pretending to be using the popular browser.

Thus, I have all the browsers I use configured to use a completely honest useragentstring wherever this is an available option (e.g., my copy of Opera used an Opera string with no mention of Mozilla or MSI, even before they made this the default), and wish that this were the default for all browsers (with a “spoofing” string, if available at all, only present as a settable option for the special purpose of going to a site that otherwise doesn't work). They did, however, trim a good deal of fat out of the Firefox useragentstring as of version 5.0, though still leaving some historical nonsense for “compatibility” with other browsers.

(And that isn't even considering various Web caching systems that make all site hit counts suspect, and the fact that any stats based on hits to inline images like counters or ad banners will exclude text-mode browsers, browsers with image loading turned off, and accesses by users with filtering programs that skip loading online ads, etc.) So some weird names like “Scooter” you might see in your logs are not “brand X” browsers, but indexers from a search engine.

Unfortunately, spammers also have robots that go through Websites harvesting e-mail addresses to annoy. Rather, it is simply to highlight specific features (intentional or accidental) of the linked sites which cause problems that could have been avoided by better design.

The Oregon health insurance exchange site in 2013 says it is designed only for Internet Explorer, and shouldn't be used with other browsers. The New York Post has intentionally blocked access from the iPad's Safari browser to get people to use their paid app to read the paper, but bizarrely left it readable by other browsers like Sky fire and Opera Mini which can run on that device.

microsoft edge user change agent chrome firefox string iso opera safari explorer internet comments

The FedEx site reportedly shoos away people using the “wrong” operating system, such as Linux users, telling them that they're using an unsupported browser and should switch to IE or Firefox (even if they're using a Linux version of Firefox). Hall of Shame Dishonor Roll Champion: The FEMA disaster relief application required MSI 6.0 at the time of Hurricane Katrina, and turned you away if you were using anything else.

In a just world, the person responsible for this would be sentenced to a week of living in what remains of the New Orleans Super dome among the piles of excrement left by the evacuated refugees. They still deserve a “shame” note for ever designing a site with such a stupid restriction.

Hilton's secure site redirects anybody whose user agent string doesn't start with “Mozilla” to this so-called Web Standards Page ; I guess I missed the part of the W3C specs that made it a “Web Standard” that user agent strings must start with “Mozilla”. Big Noise Music sends anybody not using IE for Windows to a page that says you need “Internet Explorer 5 (or better)”.

Another site that brushes off Opera but lets in Mozilla is Photonic (Getty Images). Its “Get Lost” page tells you to get IE or Netscape, failing to mention Mozilla or Safari.

Nevertheless, they still said that they had some pages that are blocked from nonbasic users because they “do not show these pages the way we would like them to be shown” and “cannot handle some web technologies from Microsoft” -- in other words, the site author still couldn't keep himself from using proprietary stuff and depending on browser quirks. This credit union site tells many users (including those of the Mozilla Suite) that their browser is “nonstandard”, then gives them a link to enter the site anyway; however, in some cases, this link doesn't work (I think it depends on cookies being enabled).


Fidelity Investment's benefits section is reported to turn away the “wrong” browser types, but it seems to work for me in Mozilla. So I guess Mozilla isn't the “wrong” browser, but reports are that Opera is, at least when it's set to identify itself honestly.

Google Maps has a broader range of supported browsers than most of the “browser-sniffing crowd”, but if you're using something other than IE, Mozilla, Firefox, or Netscape, or too old a version of them, you still get brushed off. However, their clueless developers apparently can't even do a stupid browser-block correctly; there doesn't seem to be any problem accessing their site with those browsers.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: Css User Agent Stylesheet Override
02: Definition Of User Agent
03: Detecting User Agent Browser Version
04: Device Atlas User Agent Tester
05: Device User Agent Strings
06: Wireshark Filter User Agent
07: Wireshark Find User Agent
08: Opera Change User Agent String
09: Change Browser User Agent Javascript
10: Change Le User Agent Firefox Plugins
1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -
6 -
7 -
8 -
9 -