The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Web Browser Spoofing

TMO Quick Tip - Web Browser Spoofing

by , 7:30 AM EST, February 7th, 2007

Not every Web site designer gets that you want to use your favorite browser, and not the one they think you should use. Some Web sites, for example, will block you if you aren't using Internet Explorer for Windows, even though the site will load properly in Safari or Firefox. Luckily, you can trick those sites by making your browser appear to Web servers as if it is Internet Explorer - or any other browser.

The trick is called browser spoofing, and it's not hard to do. Since your Web browser gladly identifies itself to any Web server that asks, all you have to do is make your browser lie and say that it is the browser that the server really wants it to be. All you need to do is find the right add-on to let you make the change.

Here's some options for a couple popular Web browsers:

  • Safari Safari's Debug menu lets you spoof as other browsers, but the menu is hidden by default. Add-ons like PithHelmet will let you activate the menu and then select the browser of your choice.
  • Camino In Camino, you can use the free CamiTools plug-in from PimpMyCamino.
  • Firefox Firefox users can use the Modify Headers add-on to accomplish this task, but it does involve entering some text commands. It, too, is free.

Unfortunately, this trick won't help you if the Web site requires specific features that are Internet Explorer for Windows-only, but it will get you into sites that are blocking you simple because you aren't using Explorer.

If you have a favorite tool for changing which app your Web browser claims to be, feel free to share your comments.

[Thanks to the CoMUG members for helping locate the Firefox and Camino add-ons.]

Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

if you have tips or tricks to share, or Mac-related questions you want answered.

Digg!

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated August 19th

Mon, 5:39 PM
YouTube's Original Content May be Reacting to 'Subscription Fatigue'
Mon, 5:04 PM
Science Communicator Dr. Kiki Sanford (#7) - TMO Background Mode Interview
Mon, 3:53 PM
Meet the Professor Behind Netflix's 'The Great Hack'
Mon, 3:35 PM
App Sale: NecroDancer AMPLIFIED is $1.99
Mon, 3:22 PM
Some Companies Don't Like iOS 13 Location Privacy Feature
Mon, 1:56 PM
Apple Celebrates National Parks With Donations, Podcasts, More
Mon, 1:49 PM
This 3-Port Charging Hub Is Designed to Blend in with Your Home Decor: $19.99
Mon, 1:47 PM
iMacs of History, The Morning Show Trailer – TMO Daily Observations 2019-08-19
Mon, 1:44 PM
Apple Accident iPhone Leads to iOS 12.4 Jailbreak
Mon, 1:21 PM
Apple Arcade Early Access Program Suggests $5 Subscription
Mon, 11:31 AM
'The Morning Show' Full Trailer Lands: Drama and Strife and Tension
Mon, 11:03 AM
Apple Watch Series 5 Could Have Ceramic and Titanium Casing Options
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!