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Technology Advice by Ryan Taylor Adams

Websites are Erroneously Redirecting to Their “Mobile” Version

December 16th, 2009 · No Comments · Printer Friendly Version

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Many large websites now offer “mobile” versions that are specially formatted to work better with mobile devices like phones and PDAs. Generally, the website is programmed to automatically detect if a visitor is using a mobile browser and redirect them to the mobile version of the site. If you have the “Creative AutoUpdate” software installed on your computer (and you probably do if you have installed a Creative sound card in the last 6 months), some websites may incorrectly think you are using a mobile browser, and redirect you to the mobile version of your site. Here is how to fix this.

The websites determine if you are a mobile browser by analyzing the “user-agent” information your computer sends to the website. A script running on the website scans this information for keywords (such as “Palm”, “PDA”, “mobile”, etc.) to determine if you are using a mobile browser. When the Creative AutoUpdate software is installed it add the text “Creative AutoUpdate v1.40.03” (where the numbers at the end refer to the specific version installed) to your computer’s “user-agent” information. If you look closely, you’ll see that the text includes the letters “PDA” (AutoUpdate). Many websites see the “PDA” and assume you are using a mobile browser. To fix the problem, we need to tell your computer to not add the Creative AutoUpdate text to your user-agent string.

Manual steps:

  1. Open regedit.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform
  3. Delete the key that contains “Creative AutoUpdate”.
  4. Close and re-open Internet Explorer.

If you are curious as to what other information your browser is sending to websites, take a look here: //pgl.yoyo.org/http/browser-headers.php

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