If you’re a web developer, you’re no doubt familiar with the user agent of a web browser, which is a string value that identifies the browser you’re using and provides that detail to the servers hosting the websites you visit. In other words, the device or system you’re using will be noted, and the website you visit, will display accordingly, based on your device or system.
Usually the user agent it detected automatically, in order to easily display websites in the form that fits that device or system you’re using. However, for web developers, or other careers of the like, it may be helpful to change the user agent in order to see how a website will be displayed on other platforms. This will allow developers to optimize their web applications for different devices, and see the difference of appearance on the various different devices that can be used to access the website that’s being made.
It’s important to ensure your website displays well on all browsers and platforms. Some websites also lock down certain functions, depending on the platform that’s being used. For this reason, you may want to change the user agent in order to bypass such restrictions. Luckily, this can be easily done in Google Chrome, by adjusting a few settings. In order to get started and change the user agent in Google Chrome, follow the instructions below.
Change User Agent – Google Chrome
Google Chrome, is without a doubt, the most popular web browser, that can be used on all major platforms, including, but not limited to, Windows, Linux, and OS X. If you want to change the user agent in Google Chrome, adjust your settings, by following the instructions below.
1. Launch Google Chrome.
2. Open Developer Tools by following one of the shortcuts below,
- Mac: Press and hold control + option + J.
- Windows: Press and hold ctrl + shift + J.
You also have the option to open the Chrome Menu, click on More Tools, and then Developer Tools.
3. Click on the menu button, with three vertical dots, as seen above.
4. In the menu that appears, click on More Tools.
5. Click on Network Conditions.
6. Towards the bottom right, there will be a checkbox option labeled Select automatically. Disable this option. The check should disappear when disabled.
7. Click on Custom and from the list that appears, choose the desired browser you would like to emulate. You also have the option to enter a custom user agent value using the text box under Custom.
You’ve now disabled your web browsers capability to automatically detect your user agent. Through the Custom list, you have the option to choose from the different versions of Internet Explorer, Edge, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. You may also choose from Desktop and Mobile versions of the aforementioned browsers. Through the Developer Tools option that was described above, you can now change the user agent at any time you wish, with such ease.