Selenium change User-Agent of different browsers

Server uses User-Agent string to differentiate between different browsers and devices. Each device + browser combination can have a different name to identify the Browser and its version. Thougth that may not be 100% true in all cases.

In this article we will see how to change the user-agent of different browser when automating them using Selenium

Changing User-Agent in Internet Explorer

Unfortunately there is no good way to change the User-Agent of a IE browser. This is either done through registry or through use of Windows API. GitHub Issue # 759 discussed this possibility and was rejected. So one can use the registry method as discussed here

Changing User-Agent in Chrome

To change the user agent in Chrome, we need to use the ChromeOptions object and pass it along when start the driver

from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.ChromeOptions()
options.add_argument("--user-agent=New User Agent")
driver = webdriver.Chrome(chrome_options=options)

Changing User-Agent in Firefox

User agent can be changed in Firefox using the profile

from selenium import webdriver

profile = webdriver.FirefoxProfile()
binary = FirefoxBinary("/opt/homebrew-cask/Caskroom/firefox/38.0.5/")

profile.set_preference("general.useragent.override", "New user agent")

driver = webdriver.Firefox(firefox_profile=profile, firefox_binary=binary)

Note: The FirefoxBinary is only needed because I have Firefox installed on a non-default path using Homebrew. For others even the below code should work

from selenium import webdriver

profile = webdriver.FirefoxProfile()
profile.set_preference("general.useragent.override", "New user agent")

driver = webdriver.Firefox(firefox_profile=profile)

Changing User-Agent in PhantomJS

PhantomJS is headless webkit based browser. It is quite fast compared to other browsers as there is no GUI rendering. To change the User-Agent of the same we can use below code

from selenium import webdriver

cap = webdriver.DesiredCapabilities.PHANTOMJS
cap[""] = "New user agent"
driver = webdriver.PhantomJS(desired_capabilities=cap)

Changing User-Agent in Safari (Mac OSX)

Safari driver in Selenium doesn’t give much control on customization of settings for the browser. To do this we need to change the default settings of the browser from Terminal

$ defaults write CustomUserAgent "New user agent"

Note: The new user agent will not impact already open Safari browsers and will only impact all new instances of the Safari browser

Reverting the User-Agent for Safari

To revert the user agent back to the normal safari agent we can do the following

$ defaults delete CustomUserAgent