Google Chrome will phase out user-agent

The user-agent string is a technology identification method that the Netscape company developed in the 1990s to develop the Netscape browser and related products.

When a browser loads a website, the user-agent string information is submitted to the server, and the server can then return specific information based on these strings.

These strings include information such as the browser name and its version, the operating system name and its version, the operating system architecture, and the hardware platform (computer or mobile phone).

Google believes that what platform or specific smartphone users use is privacy, and specific browser versions and operating system versions are also private.

Therefore, this information should not be provided to anyone when they visit the site. For this reason, Google Chrome plans to gradually phase out the traditional user agent string function.

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Google engineers say that online advertising has long used user-agent strings as one of the ways to track users, which is clearly a threat to protecting private information.

At the same time, various websites will return different information based on specific user-agent strings, which will also cause compatibility confusion. To solve this problem, Google is preparing to abandon this feature.

This work will begin in a new version of Google Chrome released in March this year, and the old user-agent strings will be discarded by September this year.

According to Google, the ultimate purpose of the company is to prevent all websites or services from identifying the operating system, browser version, specific device model, etc. that the user uses.

The end result is that Google Chrome will only send user-agent string snippets to the site. This snippet cannot be used to identify whether it is a computer or mobile phone and its version.

The website and its server can only know that the user is using Google Chrome through the string snippet, and any other information is no longer provided.

According to Google’s vision, this approach will help protect the privacy of users and prevent more websites from developing different compatibility solutions for different browsers.


Stable date



Mid March ‘20

Deprecate access to `navigator.userAgent`


Early June ‘20

Freeze browser version and unify OS versions


Mid September ‘20

Unify desktop OS string as a common value for desktop browsers.

Unify mobile OS/device strings as a similarly common value for those at M85 (*)

This Google Chrome adjustment is expected to affect a very large number of websites and services, as many websites and services rely on user-agent strings to return specific information.