How to Force a Website to Show the Desktop Version on Your Mobile Phone

Back to Blog  •  Posted on September 11, 2014 by admin


If you’ve ever used your phone or other mobile device to browse the internet, you’ve likely encountered mobile websites. These sites are simplified versions of the full desktop site, created to make navigation easier for those smaller screens. Unfortunately, this redesigned website is often missing many helpful features found on the site’s desktop version, such as sidebars, videos, menus, and more.

When you find that a vital part of the website is missing on the mobile version, rest assured that there are several methods available to force your phone to show you the desktop version.

Some websites offer you the option of using their regular desktop site by simply clicking a link which is generally found at the bottom of the page, in the footer. This doesn’t always work, since not all websites include this option, but it’s worth a try.

Look at the URL and check to see if there is an extra “m” inserted at the beginning or end. For instance, many sites use a format such as “m.websiteURL.com” for their mobile sites. If this is the case, try removing the “m” and reloading the page.

If there is no difference in the URL of the desktop and mobile version, or if the site insists on redirecting you to the mobile website, you’re going to need to mask the fact that you are using a mobile device. Since your web server is assuming that anyone using a mobile device wants the mobile site, you need to find a way to trick it into believing that you are using a non-mobile device. You can do this from the Chrome browser by simply tapping the “…” symbol in the upper right hand corner and then choosing the “Request Desktop Site” option.

Devices with iOS have the browser Safari automatically installed, which doesn’t include an option like this. Therefore, you may need to install another browser such as Chrome, iCab Mobile, Atomic Web Browser, or Dolphin Browser. All of these include an option for forcing the site to load the desktop version.

Thankfully, a new trend in many websites is to create a design which works well on both desktop and mobile, eliminating the need for separate versions. But unless this is applied to the majority of websites, knowing how to manipulate the website is certainly helpful information to have on hand.