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PC Aid Station => Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks => Topic started by: GhostShip on March 19, 2010, 02:31:14 am

Title: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: GhostShip on March 19, 2010, 02:31:14 am
I,m sure some of you long timer PC users like myself are reluctant to upgrade when many new products contain spyware and other unwanted additions, having been an IE6 user for some time now I was disgusted by the bullying approach used by certain sites, not one to be forced by tech-facists into ditching my fine working browser I discovered a simple way of bypassing such annoyances, fake it!

Run the registry editor (regedit) and find this key by stepping down the folder trees,

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent]

 now look in the window on the right and see if the following keys are in place, if they are not then add them (right click in the window and select new, string value)


now we have the registry keys we must ensure they contain the following strings depending on what windows browser types we wish to pretend to be using.

Browser "Version" codes:

MSIE 8.0     - Internet Explorer 8 (pre-release)
MSIE 7.0     - Internet Explorer 7
MSIE 7.0b   - Internet Explorer 7 (Beta 1 pre-release only)
MSIE 6.0     - Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
MSIE 6.0b   - Internet Explorer 6 (pre-release)
MSIE 5.5     - Internet Explorer 5.5
MSIE 5.01   - Internet Explorer 5.01
MSIE 5.0     - Internet Explorer 5
MSIE 5.0b1 - Internet Explorer 5 (pre-release)
MSIE 4.01   - Internet Explorer 4.01

Browser "Platform" codes:

Windows NT 6.0        - Windows Vista
Windows NT 5.2       - Windows Server 2003; Windows XP x64 Edition
Windows NT 5.1       - Windows XP
Windows NT 5.01     - Windows 2000, Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Windows NT 5.0       - Windows 2000
Windows NT 4.0       - Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90  - Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me)
Windows 98                        - Windows 98
Windows 95                        - Windows 95
Windows CE                        - Windows CE

An example of what you may put in is shown in the image below, but you can check both the current settings and your new setting by entering this javascript snippet into your browser and simply clicking on the "arrow/go" button


Once the information is correct close the registry editor and restart your browser, now you should be once again able to use services such as youtube etc .

It seems to me rather underhand to purposely break folks browsers for little more than trying to get them to use "Chrome" especially when by doing this simple tweak full operation is restored.

[Update] This topic seems to have had a lot or views since its original posting and browser versions have clearly jumped forward so with that in mind this seems like a good place to deliver these links showing other potential user Agent strings. ( ( (
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: Pri on March 19, 2010, 04:07:00 am
Why do you still use IE6? It is not standards compliant. Chome, IE8, Safari, Firefox, Opera are all better browsers.

As a web developer we need people to upgrade. Even Microsoft has killed IE6 now. Also which version of IE contains Spyware cause IE7 8 and 9 certainty do not.
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: Max™ on March 19, 2010, 09:45:35 am
IE8 is better than the previous IE's, but it still has one major security flaw, it relies on activeX and so does spyware,
browsers like firefox are safer because they dont use activeX, IE needs it to function,

the biggest problem to me and many other people is cookies (yes thats all) when using firefox, spyware is a thing of the past unless you use IE,

in the last 3 months, i know someone has had 2 major infections, they are fake anti-virus programs, they block IE and scan for hours unless you buy their program, the person got then off facebook farm, also another person was sent a trojen through adding a "want to be your friend" on facebook, they added the person and i was told the trojan allowed the hacker a way in to the other pc, i dont have all the details, they are offline for a while.

so if you use facebook, be very careful.
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: GhostShip on March 19, 2010, 11:29:14 am
Ok I'll answer some of your questions , firstly I understand the limitations of IE6 and I do have another browser installed for when I get bored (IceWeazel), however I dont like being bullied and told what to do when its clear the browser will still work perfectly fine on so far every site I have visited, Just like when they said lets close winmx and we said we where not ready I reserve the right to change browsers when I,m ready not when some tech-facist uses dirty tricks to force me.

I, sure you have all heard of Windows genuine advantage thats installed by stealth when installing IE7 , I dont like phone home programs on my machine unless I put them there, any program that installs such items without asking is malware. Its pretty much well known in the IT world that MS use such times to slip in settings modifications such as the 10 TCP sockets limit when that sort of decision should be up to me.

I hope that answers your question, I,m not expecting you guys to use this old browser I like but like WinMX if I like it I will use it and the world be dammned  :-D

If your an IE6 user and want to get updated but are not sure whats what try IceWeazel , its a firefox variant and works very well without all the clutter of firefox and is available in linux and windows flavours, and remember folks most browsers have gaping security holes in them regardless of what they are called and many groups of folks around the world spend much time seeking out further weaknesses, so ensure you have an antivirus and anti-malware solution and keep them up to date, I also run a firewall so not surprisingly my machine has been working fine for many years.

Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: Pri on March 19, 2010, 05:04:55 pm
I see. Well that makes sense. I wasn't aware that IE7 included WGA for example.
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: White Stripes on April 03, 2010, 04:44:47 pm
...IE7 can be installed without WGA... as far as IE6 goes even microsoft held a tounge-in-cheek funeral for it....

...also youtube will be dropping support for IE6 if it hasnt already.... the best thing to do with a windows XP box is leave IE6 in the background (just dont use it) and install something else.... be it firefox opera safari ... k-meleon is also a good choice if you want 'uberlite' .... it uses the gecko (firefox) engine but has a UI thats similar to that of IE6...

but to each their own...


woops... its not MS doing the funeral but... there still technically is one lol...
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: GhostShip on April 03, 2010, 07:28:16 pm
I don't particularly enjoy the firefox default skin and as I said its one big con job to block IE6 when the pages are displayed the same as usual with this registry entry in place, and damaged on purpose when displayed to normal IE6 users by tech fascists, there doesn't seem to be that many sites using incompatible coding that require a "rework" on my own search horizon, if and when they adopt a new incompatible standard and actually use it I may well be forced to give up using my familiar browsing program but changing to a new program just to please someone else is not on my list of priorities just yet.   

I believe I mentioned youtube in my original posts Stripes as an example of a web site that forces browser changes to enable themselves to better deliver adverts and other junk on its users using the new browser features and the security bereft flash player that seems like the best backdoor wheeze for ages.

Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: Max™ on April 03, 2010, 09:48:34 pm
I agree Firefox default theme is dreadful, hence the free "skins" that are available,
but saying that, there is quite a few good browsers around, opera have had very good reviews too,
there is a couple of browsers that are just like ie6 like Maxthon ( and Avant (
but each to their own, as Silver Stripes said,
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: Savage Blades on April 04, 2010, 04:57:43 am
I too am a proud IE6 user, there is absolutely no benefit in me upgrading either...
Many browsers do not support a very simple function I can not live without...
"The ability to use the switch every mouse has built into the wheel"
I use this to close 'alt f4' any program or page that is open that I no longer require..
be stuffed if I want to move the mouse to the "X" in top right corner just to close a page..
Firefox does not support this .. whole browser will close..
How many times are we in search of something.. say a driver..
Open our friend google search then open a bunch of pages from the results....
review them .. nope not what I am looking for.. one click of mouse wheel page is gone..
now this same concept goes further for me too..
I found a page which has information revelant to what I am searching for so I put that particular page down and into the systray.. then if I so desire I can right click the other 'grouped' pages in the taskbar and close group.... leaving my other page or pages .. in the systray still open to review later.. maybe it could even be a thread of forum I am waiting for new replies from etc.. but I know it's safe
With the right settings there is nothing wrong with using IE6 ....
Point me in the direction of any spyware / malware riddled page and I can visit there without any change to my system...
Cool tip GhostShip saved a few reg files in case I find the need to change my reported browser..
I wont be bullied either !

EDIT.. oh another very important thing I can not live without  ... is the Cache files for the browser.. without going into details ... the way newer versions handle this does not suit me at all.. on several different levels.. my cache is a value tool for me !!
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: White Stripes on April 04, 2010, 05:12:05 am
as I said its one big con job to block IE6 when the pages are displayed the same as usual with this registry entry in place

conditional comments with IE specific JS and CSS are used to make it look like IE6 still works right.... it takes a lot of hacking to get it to display a page the same as a standards compliant browser.... theres even an entire ad-hoc engine written in javascript by dean edwards ( that somewhat brings IE6 to IE8s rendering level... tho alpha png is still mostly broken.....

...they arent blocking IE6 per say they are removing the IE6 specific hacks.... if IE6 werent blocked it just would show the page about as jumbled as that acid2 test depending on the complexity.... IE6 simply cant do standards... hell it doesnt even support position:fixed on anything but the background image.... im not saying this to be political or to start a flamewar.. its fact that IE6 cant handle standards properly and needs serious amounts of proprietary 'mshtml' hacks to show pages like all the others... (embrace extend extinguish.... which is why netscape was killed off yet IE still calls itself mozilla 4.0 and why IE is 'built-in' rather than standalone... find a site that has netscape 4 for download and give it a spin on todays web... thats about how IE6 will 'feel' in a few years time... ...and again im not saying that to be sarcastic or political or start a flamewar...)...... (will need to use something other than IE6 to read that)

...basically web devs have to make 2 pages... one standards one IE6 .... and they are phasing that practice out.... so you are going to see a lot more 'broken' (tho granted most likely still at least readable) pages as time goes on even if you spoof the useragent.... just dont blame the desiner... (spoofing the useragent can actually be a bad thing depending on how the site detects the IE version to apply the rendering fixes if they choose to still support it so that registry trick is kinda a double edged sword.... so if you intend to use it make note of what sites do what before applying...)

its your computer (that goes to all users)... just dont get mad at the broken pages...
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: GhostShip on April 04, 2010, 03:34:25 pm
As I said above I,m happy for folks to use what they like and if there is a need to update then thats great but as I also pointed out above if  by using this simple mod a previously bad page suddenly fixes itself then its a certainty some sites are not exactly being honest with their users when they say the old routine about IE6 being "incompatible", should we reward liars by doing as they demand ?

Its great to have a discussion on browsers and the many types available but lets be honest if your not a "techxpert" then stick to the well known ones and the current builds...

If however you like to have a bit of fun and see just how "incompatible" you browser is then do this small tweak and play spot the difference, remember that some small fixes are expected to be in place such as ensuring the opening of certain file types in non-standard programs that are known to be exploitable (MsMedia player ASF, adobe acrobat PDF, MsPaint  JPG etc ), most IE6 malware intrusion is often the result of using third party plugins and can be held at bay by using non standard programs to open such filetypes (and keeping your eye on the flashplayer), anyone with a decent firewall is usually safe from data theft with many of the common attacks that impact on even the current crop of browsers, upgrading for functionality seems to be a thing of the past now we are asked to upgrade without fail simply to stay ahead of malware and exploits, thus one is left with the feeling that the boy has cried "wolf" once to often and will like myself brave the big nasty world out there with some idea of just what you can do to negate ever seeing the wolfs fangs.

A browser exploit is unfortunately something that will happen to us all ,the best avoidance method is simply to keep your browser, malware and viral definitions up to date and do your best to avoid dodgy sites and those offering something for nothing that are often the  places you expect to see such exploits in play.

Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: nylly444 on April 08, 2010, 06:52:33 pm
/me remembers opacity not showing and various other things on here and the site that needed extra code for IE6...

I certainly like IE6 myself cause it's light and everything but from a webdeveloper's perspective there are just too many things that will work in all other browsers except IE6 nowadays cause it's so darn ignorant of any modern web standards.

IE6 will work on anything that's made very simple but it's just too outdated for modern scripts in use on most websites today.

While I think everybody has a right to use the browser that suits your need one shouldn't expect people to bend over backwards to keep things compatible - or non-compatible actually...

I can say from my own experience that things often look completely different in IE6 than any other browser and it takes serious time and effort to make things look and behave like on any other browser on it.

Currently 10.46% of all our visitors are still using IE6 that hardly seems to warrant all that effort and that time could be spent doing more useful things really :)

Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: GhostShip on April 08, 2010, 09:37:20 pm
As I posted above who can you trust when a simple reg hack shows that there is in many cases no such incompatibility, if sites where honest in why they want ppl to update rather than faked up excuses then ppl might well listen but for now I,m copping a deaf ear to such sites and will continue to do so while they mislead their users.

There are still a ton of folks using a simple browser like IE6 and you,ll find that most of them dont want a java/flash ridden resource hog, they want to look at web pages or interesting text and images not flash adverts and browser plugins that generate some of the "incompatibilities", just who am I wanting to please, myself or those who want to steal my bandwidth for their repetitive adverts that loop forever and ever munching even more of your ram. 

My advice on this thread to those not liking the original post is to leave this old guy alone and move on to whatever you like, he will move on when he is happy that something useful will replace the old browser and not before, if your given three bags of horse manure to choose from whats the hurry in choosing ?
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: nylly444 on April 08, 2010, 10:35:14 pm
/me suggests  LYNX (  :D  :yes:  :-D

PS:  :firefox:  ;)

Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: Bluey_412 on April 10, 2010, 12:37:19 am
3 bags of horse-crap: Precisely!!!!!

Now can someone HONESTLY tell us WHY we need to update ANY browser, other than to see Advertisers crud, instead of a neat lil box with a red X near the top left corner...

And just to add to the soup: Win 7 64bit Pro, IE8, i like the tabs, and it has this nifty tool called Compatibility View...

Still doesnt fix the crappy Ad-laden webpages tho

and a thought: if there wasnt so much bandwidth being wasted by all those ads, would the whole damned internet be as expensive as claimed?
Title: Re: Modifying Browser Type String In XP Registry
Post by: White Stripes on April 12, 2010, 11:05:08 pm
one shouldn't expect people to bend over backwards to keep things compatible - or non-compatible actually...
(emphasis mine) ohhhhh... but i just so couldnt resist the challenge of 'unspoofing' the spoofed useragent ;)

from a post on; a user named Abhilasha Sharma posted in 2007 a bit of code that uses javascript to detect the behavior of the browser and doesnt even touch the useragent string it can tell between IE7, IE6, and the 'mozilla' compatibles.... ...while i havent fully tested this it does seem to work...

is attached in a very simple file for those who want to give it a peek..... ...add a bit more logic to it to sniff useragent to detect that the browser is really ie6 telling lies... and well... you see where where it could still block ie6 users ;)

 [/quote]HONESTLY tell us WHY we need to update ANY browser[/quote]

security updates/patches .... if anyone insists on using IE6 at the very least please keep up with its security updates...... (

as far as ad blocking goes; adblock plus for firefox and the custom css sheet at for opera (and firefox of course if you dont want to use adblock and arent afraid of tinkering with the foxes insides) but blocking ads for IE i dunno how to do... tho uninstalling the activex version of flash is a good start... used to be a good piece of software called 'ad-subtract' once but it costs (there was a free version too but it doesnt seem to exsist anymore) and occasionally injects its own ads because of adblock plus competition (hard to compete with free).... pg2 or peerblock with the 'ads' list might help but winmx doesnt work too well with pg2/peerblock running... ( perhaps? (link for adblock software in the comments didnt seem to work YMMV)