Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26
  (KHTML, like Gecko) GSA/ Mobile/11D167 Safari/8536.25

What's that "GSA" part?

I've tried to figure it out, but googling wasn't enough (the only meaningful results were about the gsa-crawler, but it doesn't look like it's the case). But for Safari I used to expect something like

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.2
  (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11D167 Safari/9537.53

Of course, I'm giving for granted that it's not a faked string...

2 Answers 2


It means the Safari on the iPhone that's running iOS 7.1 is using Google Search (Appliance) as it's default search engine.

  • 4
    I will have to disagree here. The GSA element of the user agent just refers to a WebView used by the Google Search App on iOS. Indeed, if you launch the "Google" app on an iPhone, make a search and go to a website, the UA reported will have the extra "GSA" element. So it's just an iphone browsing your site through the Google application.
    – pieroxy
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 19:08
  • GSA stands for Google Search Appliance. In your case, it'll have GSA on it too, as the Google app also uses the GSA. This only appears if your safari browser is using the Google Search. If you switch to Bing, Yahoo, DDG, etc it won't have GSA on it.
    – i-CONICA
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 11:17
  • 1
    As I understand it, Google Search Appliance is a piece of hardware from Google that does index your corporate network. So it doesn't make sense... What is GSA for you?
    – pieroxy
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 20:29
  • How can it be hardware? And it's nothing to do with a corporate network. This user agent string is evident on every iOS device using Google search. It's just appended to the user agent so that Google service knows the search came from an iOS device which is using it's search service, for stats collection and offering relevant apps, etc such as the Google app for iOS (redirect link to app store) as opposed to the Google app for Android.
    – i-CONICA
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 9:08
  • Search for "Google Search Appliance" on Google (or follow my link) and you'll see it's a piece of hardware. I've used iOS for about many many years now, always with Google as my default search engine, and I've never seen this GSA/X.X.X in any of my user-agents, from iOS 1 to iOS 8. However, when using the Google Search App (note it's also abbreviated to GSA) I see this in my user-agent string. So the question is, what is GSA/X.X.X in a user-agent: A piece of hardware sold by Google or the name of the App accessing the web through a WebView. I vote for the App which add this to the user-agent.
    – pieroxy
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 15:39

I would like to pitch in on this. While I can not testify against i-CONICA's answer, as it is probably correct, I noticed that on both an iPad and iPhone (both running iOS 7.1) that if you open a website through the Google Search App, that the user agent will be changed to the "GSA" string, as opposed to the standard Safari user agent string.

It seems the culprit of this "GSA" string is people searching and opening a website using the Google Search App.

  • +1 for the detailed explanation.
    – MaxArt
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 22:24

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