I'm using eww lately for browsing the web looking for documentation and things like that. I dislike that eww receives the same web page as it were Firefox or Google Chrome, it cannot render web pages as those web browsers do. Then, what I want to achieve is to make eww tell the web sites that it visits that send the mobile friendly version of their web pages, thus, I would have a simpler layout rendered by eww (or at least that's my assumption).

  • 2
    Never used eww, but the trick could be to fake your User-Agent. Most of the time the webserver check that value before redirecting you to the mobile version of the website.
    – Nsukami _
    Dec 6, 2014 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


eww uses the url library, so we can add advice to url-http-user-agent-string to fake the User-Agent string:

(advice-add 'url-http-user-agent-string :around
            (lambda (ignored)
              "Pretend to be a mobile browser."
               "User-Agent: "
               "Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.0.3; ko-kr; LG-L160L Build/IML74K) AppleWebkit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30")))

I took a mobile browser User-Agent string from www.useragentstring.com.

With this advice I get the mobile version of google.com; your mileage may vary.

(I found this by using M-x apropos RET user-agent RET.)

  • 2
    You might want to check that current major mode is eww before changing the user-agent changing it unconditionally might break other packages depending on url library Dec 7, 2014 at 10:44
  • what about emacs-w3m? how to get mobile version? As I know, these days we are actually use responsive design, so the point is fake screen size instead agent string.
    – chen bin
    Dec 7, 2014 at 10:58
  • changing user-agent is something required because some web servers will serve a page lacking of Javascript, something which isn't evaluated by eww anyway...
    – shackra
    Dec 8, 2014 at 20:37
  • 1
    @IqbalAnsari: Unfortunately eww calls url-http-user-agent-string with the current buffer in fundamental-mode (a buffer returned by process-buffer), so this does not work. I agree that it would be much better to set the user agent string for eww only, but I don't know how to achieve this. Dec 9, 2014 at 16:41
  • 1
    @chenbin: You need to set w3m-user-agent. See this post by Sacha Chua for one way to do it. Dec 9, 2014 at 16:43

In recent versions of Emacs, you can simply use the customization variable url-user-agent:

(setq url-user-agent "User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7\n")
  • Sorry, how recent?
    – shackra
    Jun 6, 2015 at 18:30
  • It was introduced on Nov 5, 2014.
    – tmalsburg
    Jun 7, 2015 at 20:20

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