Whenever you browse the internet, any server is able to identify your web browser and the host OS of your system. The browser sends the information to the server in a string, more commonly, user-agent information. It encodes the browser version, operating system and other small features to the server. We, OSRadar, also is able to see what browser and OS you’re using 🙂
All the browsers have fixed user-agent for them. However, you can easily fool other servers with a different user-agent string. It’s not a big deal, it’s just a small trick that can do wonders in many cases. Changing user-agent is also useful for devs who are developing websites.
Now, let’s take a look at changing your user-agent on the most popular browsers.
Google Chrome is one of the most powerful web browsers for all platforms. In that sense, it’s highly likely that you’re using Chrome as your default web browser.
For changing user-agent on Chrome, we’ll be using an awesome extension. Get User-Agent Switcher for Google Chrome.
After you’ve installed the plugin, you can see that there’s the corresponding icon on the top-right of your browser. Click on it and select your favorite user-agent.
This is one of the best browsers in the world. Developed and maintained by Mozilla, there’s also an awesome extension that you can use to switch the user-agent on Firefox.
Install this User-Agent Switcher add-on for Firefox. After installing, you’ll be able to choose your own user-agent with different options. I’d love to fool servers with Linux host despite running on Windows.
Opera is a Chrome-based browser, sharing a lot of similarities in the core. In the case of Opera, you can easily change the user-agent with User-Agent Switcher.
Just like Chrome, the extension works the same.
If you’re using Safari, there’s no easy way to switch the user-agent. You have to enable developer’s option for enjoying this feature.
- From the Safari screen, go to Safari >> Preferences.
- From the “Advanced” tab, check “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.
Now, you’ll be able to change the user-agent from Develop >> User Agent.
Testing the result
After applying the result, there’s no way that you can identify the option is working, right? At first, I also faced the same issue. There’s no way to confirm whether the option worked. Well, let’s take a look at the obvious solution.
Visit to What is My Browser. Here, you can easily see what browser you’re using and whether it’s up-to-date.
Before applying the option, my result is –
Now, I’m switching to “Chrome on iPhone’.
The result changed!
Now, don’t be scared of the warning message – your browser didn’t downgrade. The website is determining your browser based on the user-agent string. As the string changed, the website is determining different browser version on a different platform. Just switch back to normal and everything should be fine.
If you’re interested in all the available user-agent strings, take a look at this MASSIVE list. It also includes all the obsolete and modern user-agents.