Do you want your web traffic to seem like it is coming from a different browser? You might be interested in tricking the website that claims that it is incompatible with yours. The good news is that it is completely possible. Most browsers today provide built-in user agent switchers. This means that you should be able to change the user agent without having to download any extension. Every website identifies browsers through its user agents.
When you change the user agent of your browser, you get to make the browser report a different browser to websites. It enables you to access web pages that are intended for a different browser or even device such as a tab or smartphone. Here is how you can do so.
There are several reasons why people may want to change their browser’s user agent. Some common reasons include:
- Testing websites: Changing the user agent can be useful for testing how a website or web application looks and behaves on different types of devices. This can help developers and designers ensure that their websites are compatible with a wide range of browsers and devices.
- Accessing websites: Some websites may only be available to certain types of devices, or may only display correctly on certain types of devices. In these cases, changing the user agent can allow you to access the website or view it correctly on your browser.
- Privacy: Changing the user agent can also provide some level of privacy, as it allows you to hide your browser’s true identity from websites and web servers. This can be useful if you want to protect your privacy or avoid being tracked by websites and advertisers.
Overall, changing the user agent can be a useful tool for developers, designers, and users who want to customize their browsing experience or access certain websites. However, it is important to note that changing the user agent may not always work as expected, and some websites may not display or function correctly when using a different user agent.
Google Chrome includes its user agent switcher in its Developer Tools. You will need to click open the Developer Tools by clicking on the menu button and choosing
More Tools >
Developer Tools. Another way to access it is by holding
Ctrl + Shift + I. Towards the right, you will need to click on the menu button at the bottom of the options. Then, you must select
In case the console does not appear at the bottom, you will need to click on the menu button and select
Show Console. Uncheck
Select Automatically from the
Network Conditions tab right next to the User agent. Then, you can enter a custom user agent into the box or select a user agent from the list. That is about it. Keep in mind that the setting is temporary. The Developer Tools pane must be open for it to work and it would only apply to the current tab.
If you want to change the user agent for Mozilla Firefox, you need to know that the option is buried in the about config page. Type
about:config into the address bar and hold Enter. A warning would appear when you change the settings as the changes could mess up the settings. In the filter box, you need to type
useragent. Look for
general.useragent.overridepreference from the options. As it would not exist, you must create the preference by clicking on the new button. Select New and choose String. You will need to name the preference as
general.useragent.override. The value of the preference would need to be the desired user agent. You can use the internet to find the desired user agent and enter it. The good thing about using Mozilla Firefox is that it would apply the setting to every open tab and the preference would persist unless you change it. Even if you reopen Firefox after closing it, you would not need to do anything.
Sample User Agents
Samsung Galaxy S9
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 8.0.0; SM-G960F Build/R16NW) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/62.0.3202.84 Mobile Safari/537.36
Apple iPhone XR (Safari)
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 12_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) CriOS/69.0.3497.105 Mobile/15E148 Safari/605.1
Microsoft Lumia 650
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 10.0; Android 6.0.1; Microsoft; RM-1152) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/52.0.2743.116 Mobile Safari/537.36 Edge/15.15254
Google Pixel C
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 7.0; Pixel C Build/NRD90M; wv) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Chrome/52.0.2743.98 Safari/537.36
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 7.0; SM-T827R4 Build/NRD90M) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/60.0.3112.116 Safari/537.36
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.4.3; KFTHWI Build/KTU84M) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Silk/47.1.79 like Chrome/47.0.2526.80 Safari/537.36
Windows 10-based PC using Edge browser
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/42.0.2311.135 Safari/537.36 Edge/12.246
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; CrOS x86_64 8172.45.0) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/51.0.2704.64 Safari/537.36
To change your browser’s user agent in general, you can follow these steps:
- Open your browser and go to the “Settings” or “Preferences” section. This can usually be accessed by clicking on the Menu button (the three horizontal lines or dots) in the top-right corner of the window, and then selecting “Settings” or “Preferences” from the menu.
- In the “Settings” or “Preferences” section, look for a section labeled “User agent” or something similar. This section should allow you to select a different user agent for your browser.
Use the provided controls to select a different user agent from the list of available options. Some common user agents that you can choose from include:
- Desktop: This user agent simulates a desktop computer with a large screen and a full-sized keyboard and mouse.
- Tablet: This user agent simulates a tablet device with a touch-sensitive screen and limited keyboard and mouse support.
- Mobile: This user agent simulates a mobile phone with a small screen and touch-sensitive controls.
- Custom: This option allows you to specify a custom user agent string, which can be useful if you want to simulate a specific device or browser.
- Once you have selected a new user agent, be sure to click on the “Save” or “Apply” button to save your changes.
After you have saved your changes, your browser will use the new user agent whenever it communicates with web servers and websites. This can be useful if you want to test how your website or web application looks and behaves on different types of devices, or if you want to access websites that are only available to certain types of devices.
Note: Changing your browser’s user agent may not always work as expected, and some websites may not display correctly or may not function properly when using a different user agent. It is generally best to use the default user agent for your browser unless you have a specific reason to use a different one.
Changing your user agent on your favorite browser just got a lot easier with our post. Whether you use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you can finally change the user agent without having to download an extension.