Title image of a Chromebook laying closed on a white background

Not all browsers handle websites the same, and if they don’t support your operating system or browser, you could be denied access. Luckily, you can spoof the user agent on Chrome OS to make it look like you use a completely different system.

Websites identify incoming connections by their user agent—a line of text sent in the HTTPS header with the browser name, version, and operating system. The reason they do this is to determine how to render the page specific to your device. One of the more common uses is to differentiate the desktop view from a mobile layout. However, sometimes you might need to spoof the user agent to trick a site that claims it’s incompatible with your browser.

RELATED: What Is a Browser's User Agent?

How to Change Your User Agent

To get started, open Chrome, click the three dots, and then select More Tools > Developer Tools. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Shift+I on the keyboard.

Click the three dots, point to More Tools, then click on Developer Tools

Click “Network Conditions,” located at the bottom of the Developer Tools pane.

Click the Network Conditions tab at the bottom of the Developer Tools pane

If you don’t see this option, click the menu icon, and then select More Tools > Network Conditions to enable it.

If you don't see the Network Conditions tab, click the menu icon, select More Tools, then Network Conditions to alternatively open it

Under the User Agent section, uncheck “Select Automatically.”

Uncheck the Select Automatically option

Chrome offers a long list of pre-configured user agent templates you can select from the drop-down menu.

A list of all the preconfigured user agents in Chrome

If there is a specific user agent you want to use that isn’t listed in the drop-down menu, you can copy and paste a custom one into the text field underneath.

Enter a custom user agent into the text field below the drop-down menu

Afterward—with the Developer Tool pane still open in the current tab—go to any website, and the user agent is set to the custom one you specified until you close Developer Tools.

Go to a website with the Developer Tools still open to view it using the specified user agent

You can even get a little creative with it!

Specified user agent indicating it's really just Chrome on Chrome OS

User agent spoofing is a temporary setting that stays active only while Developer Tools is open and in the current tab. After you close the Developer Tool, your user agent goes back to the default selection by Chrome.

Brady Gavin Brady Gavin
Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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