User-agent string changes

Each release of Internet Explorer updates the user-agent string; here's what's changed recently.

Sites that rely on the user-agent string should be updated to modern techniques, such as feature detection, adaptive layout, and other modern practices.

User-agent string changes for Internet Explorer 11

For many websites, some of the most visible changes to Internet Explorer 11 involve the user-agent string. Here's what's reported for IE11 on Windows 8.1:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko

If you compare the IE11 user agent string to the values reported by earlier versions of Internet Explorer, you'll find the following differences:

  • The compatible ("compatible") and browser ("MSIE") tokens have been removed.
  • The "like Gecko" token has been added (for consistency with other browsers).
  • The version of the browser is now reported by a new revision ("rv") token.

These changes help prevent IE11 from being (incorrectly) identified as an earlier version.

As with previous versions of Internet Explorer, portions of the user-agent string can vary according to the device running Internet Explorer, the operating system, and the environment. Here are a few recent examples:

  • IE11 on Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko
    
  • IE11 on 64-bit Windows 8.1 Update
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64, x64; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0) like Gecko
    
  • IE11 for the desktop on 64-bit Windows 8.1 Update
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0) like Gecko
    
  • IE11 for the desktop on 64-bit Windows 8.1 Update with enterprise mode enabled
    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/4.0; Tablet PC 2.0)
    
  • IE11 for the desktop on 64-bit Windows 8.1 Update with compatibility view enabled
    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.3; Trident/7.0; Touch)
    
  • IE11 on Windows Phone 8.1 Update SDK and emulators
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11; IEMobile/11.0) 
     like Android 4.1.2; compatible) like iPhone OS 7_0_3 Mac OS X WebKit/537.36 
     (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/32.0.1700.99 Mobile Safari /537.36
    
  • IE11 on a Lumia 928 running Windows Phone 8.1, mobile version
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11;
     IEMobile/11.0; NOKIA; Lumia 928) like Gecko
    
  • IE on a Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8.0, mobile version
    Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows Phone 8.0; Trident/6.0; 
     IEMobile/10.0; ARM; Touch; rv:11; NOKIA; Lumia 920) like Gecko
    
  • IE on a Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8.0, desktop version
    Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.2; Trident/6.0; 
     ARM; Touch; WPDesktop)
    
  • IE on Xbox One
    Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.2; Trident/6.0; 
     Xbox; Xbox One)
    
  • IE on Xbox 360
    Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/5.0; 
     Xbox)
    

These examples are taken from a range of devices running the latest updates available at the time of this writing. Many factors affect the user-agent string, including OEM vendors, carriers, network administrators, and user preferences. As a result, feature detection is considered a more effective practice than browser detection for modern websites.

To learn more about user-agent variations, see:

In addition, many browser detection techniques can lead to false positive results when browsers are updated. (For example, support for the attachEvent method does not preclude support for the addEventListener event.) For best results, detect features as you need them and use progressive enhancement to provide simplified experiences for browsers or devices that do not support your needs.

Websites, frameworks, shims, and other libraries that rely on specific user-agent values should be updated to use alternate techniques.

In rare cases, it may be necessary to uniquely identify IE11. Use the Trident token to do so.

User-agent changes in earlier versions

For Internet Explorer 10, the following changes were made to the user agent string:

  • The value of the Version token ("MSIE") was changed to "10.0".
  • The value of the Trident token ("Trident") became "6.0".
  • For Windows 8, the value of the Platform token ("Windows NT") was changed to "6.2".

Internet Explorer 9, reflected the following changes to the user agent string:

  • The application token became "Mozilla/5.0".
  • The version token was updated to "MSIE 9.0".
  • The Trident token updated to "Trident/5.0".
  • The user-agent string was modified to exclude tokens describing tools, add-ons, and other optional software.

Earlier versions of the browser included Pre-Platform and Post-platform registry value tokens in the user-agent string. However, this led to performance issues for customers of certain tools and add-ons. As a result, these tokens are now reported only through the navigator.userAgent property.

Related topics

How to detect features Instead of browsers
ASP.NET fails to detect Internet Explorer
Detecting Internet Explorer more effectively

 

 

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