A quick little hack for Slack

Spending less and less time on social media these days and more and more on forums on slack and discord (convince me that these are not just millennial versions of phpBB and I’ll give you a dollar). So here’s a little tweak for something that’s annoyed me about slack.

Slack in their infinite wisdom decided that the workspaces toolbar would only be visible if you used their “Desktop app”. These desktop app versions of websites annoy the crap out of me, because they’re basically just the website but being viewed in a Chromium browser. I’ve got a browser open already thankyouverymuch, I’m fine using my choice of browser to view your rendered HTML. It’s a bit like if you wanted to listen to the radio but you had to have a new radio for each station. Yeesh, I realise how old that analogy makes me look. Ok, it’s a bit like you wanted to listen to podcasts, but you had to have a different phone for each podcast. Better? Hmm, maybe not.

So anyway the way that Slack knows you’re using their “app” to view their website is super basic: they look at the user-agent string*. All you have to do is tell slack that you’re using an electron app (one of these annoying apps-that’s-really-just-Chromium) and you’re golden.

* a user-whatnow? Whenever you point your browser at a web page it sends a request to the server for the web page you want. This request has various headers that tell the server what you want, and one of the headers is the User-Agent which tells the server what sort of browser and operating system you’re using, so the server can send you appropriate content.


  • Install a user-agent spoofing extension in your browser. I chose this one simply because it was the first Mozilla recommended one that appeared in my search results.
  • set it up so that it adds CRoS to the end of the user-agent string (there’s a space before the C) for the domain app.slack.com
  • … profit!

For the extension I used this meant setting it to custom mode and adding this to the custom JSON field

"app.slack.com": "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:101.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/101.0 CrOS"

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