Best way to detect Mac OS X or Windows computers with JavaScript or jQuery


So I'm trying to move a "close" button to the left side when the user is on Mac and the right side when the user is on PC. Now I'm doing it by examining the user agent, but it can be too easily spoofed for reliable OS detection. Is there a surefire way to detect whether the OS on which the browser is running is Mac OS X or Windows? If not, what's better than user agent sniffing?

This question is tagged with javascript jquery

~ Asked on 2012-05-10 05:26:42

The Best Answer is


The window.navigator.platform property is not spoofed when the userAgent string is changed. I tested on my Mac if I change the userAgent to iPhone or Chrome Windows, navigator.platform remains MacIntel.

navigator.platform is not spoofed when the userAgent string is changed

The property is also read-only

navigator.platform is read-only

I could came up with the following table

Mac Computers

Mac68K Macintosh 68K system.
MacPPC Macintosh PowerPC system.
MacIntel Macintosh Intel system.

iOS Devices

iPhone iPhone.
iPod iPod Touch.
iPad iPad.

Modern macs returns navigator.platform == "MacIntel" but to give some "future proof" don't use exact matching, hopefully they will change to something like MacARM or MacQuantum in future.

var isMac = navigator.platform.toUpperCase().indexOf('MAC')>=0;

To include iOS that also use the "left side"

var isMacLike = /(Mac|iPhone|iPod|iPad)/i.test(navigator.platform);
var isIOS = /(iPhone|iPod|iPad)/i.test(navigator.platform);

var is_OSX = /(Mac|iPhone|iPod|iPad)/i.test(navigator.platform);_x000D_
var is_iOS = /(iPhone|iPod|iPad)/i.test(navigator.platform);_x000D_
var is_Mac = navigator.platform.toUpperCase().indexOf('MAC') >= 0;_x000D_
var is_iPhone = navigator.platform == "iPhone";_x000D_
var is_iPod = navigator.platform == "iPod";_x000D_
var is_iPad = navigator.platform == "iPad";_x000D_
/* Output */_x000D_
var out = document.getElementById('out');_x000D_
if (!is_OSX) out.innerHTML += "This NOT a Mac or an iOS Device!";_x000D_
if (is_Mac) out.innerHTML += "This is a Mac Computer!\n";_x000D_
if (is_iOS) out.innerHTML += "You're using an iOS Device!\n";_x000D_
if (is_iPhone) out.innerHTML += "This is an iPhone!";_x000D_
if (is_iPod) out.innerHTML += "This is an iPod Touch!";_x000D_
if (is_iPad) out.innerHTML += "This is an iPad!";_x000D_
out.innerHTML += "\nPlatform: " + navigator.platform;
<pre id="out"></pre>

Since most O.S. use the close button on the right, you can just move the close button to the left when the user is on a MacLike O.S., otherwise isn't a problem if you put it on the most common side, the right.

setTimeout(test, 1000); //delay for demonstration_x000D_
function test() {_x000D_
  var mac = /(Mac|iPhone|iPod|iPad)/i.test(navigator.platform);_x000D_
  if (mac) {_x000D_
#window {_x000D_
  position: absolute;_x000D_
  margin: 1em;_x000D_
  width: 300px;_x000D_
  padding: 10px;_x000D_
  border: 1px solid gray;_x000D_
  background-color: #DDD;_x000D_
  text-align: center;_x000D_
  box-shadow: 0px 1px 3px #000;_x000D_
#close {_x000D_
  position: absolute;_x000D_
  top: 0px;_x000D_
  right: 0px;_x000D_
  width: 22px;_x000D_
  height: 22px;_x000D_
  margin: -12px;_x000D_
  box-shadow: 0px 1px 3px #000;_x000D_
  background-color: #000;_x000D_
  border: 2px solid #FFF;_x000D_
  border-radius: 22px;_x000D_
  color: #FFF;_x000D_
  text-align: center;_x000D_
  font: 14px"Comic Sans MS", Monaco;_x000D_
  left: 0px;_x000D_
<div id="window">_x000D_
  <div id="close">x</div>_x000D_
  <p>If the "close button" change to the left side</p>_x000D_
  <p>you're on a Mac like system!</p>_x000D_

~ Answered on 2012-08-01 03:12:16


It's as simple as that:

function isMacintosh() {
  return navigator.platform.indexOf('Mac') > -1

function isWindows() {
  return navigator.platform.indexOf('Win') > -1

You can do funny things then like:

var isMac = isMacintosh();
var isPC = !isMacintosh();

~ Answered on 2015-01-09 14:33:52

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