How to View the Desktop Version of a Website on Your iPhone and iPad

Most popular websites these days come in both desktop and mobile versions, with the latter rendering content in a more responsive fashion for a consistent browsing experience across a variety of tablet and smartphone screens.

Mobile-friendly websites are often stripped down and streamlined for easier navigation, with the result that some full-page content isn't displayed at all – and even when it is, finding that content can sometimes be a chore, especially if you're used to the desktop version of a site.

Recognizing this, Apple has had the foresight to let you bypass mobile versions of websites and view original desktop versions on its mobile devices instead. To request a desktop site on your iPhone and iPad, simply follow these steps.

  1. Launch Safari on your iOS device and navigate to the website in question.

  2. Long press the Reload button in the far right of the address bar.

  3. On iPhone, tap Request Desktop Site at the bottom of the screen. On iPad, the same option appears in the dropdown menu below the Reload button.

Note that you can also access this option by tapping the Share button (the square with an arrow pointing out) and selecting Request Desktop Site from the third row of the Share Sheet.

With that done, Safari should remember your preference for that particular website and load the desktop version the next time you visit it.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
Tag: Safari


Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
The problem I found is that some websites still don’t provide the desktop version when requested.
Rating: 24 Votes
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12 months ago

This was news a few years ago.


That’s why it’s useful to post about it today... A lot of people don’t know it exists. :)
Rating: 15 Votes
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12 months ago
That’s a great feature... when it works. Which, these days, is less and less often.
Rating: 10 Votes
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12 months ago

This was news a few years ago.


As a frequent tech user (See my above post), I actually had no idea about the long press with the refresh button requesting the desktop site. It’s much more convenient executing that versus strolling down to the bottom of the site to look for ‘view desktop site’.
Rating: 6 Votes
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12 months ago

But why though? There's reason people design website as mobile first. There's this thing called progressive web apps.

All of these are to target mobile users. Why do you want to view website that is for desktop on mobile?

I am pretty sure the experience is kinda meh. You need to zoom in and out to actually do anything.

The old fashioned sites that have two different versions for mobile and desktop sometimes leave out functionality on the mobile version that is present on the desktop version. This is actually one of the advantages of responsive design – it's the same site with a different layout.
Rating: 5 Votes
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12 months ago
I had know idea that you could ‘long press’ on the refresh button to request the desk-too site. I was always one that would scroll down to the bottom of the site, and look for ‘View Full site’ to click on.

Although, my preference is usually using the mobile site on my iPad or iPhone to be more streamlined and condensed.
Rating: 4 Votes
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12 months ago
This was news a few years ago.

It's been available since at least iOS 8.
Rating: 3 Votes
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12 months ago

But why though? There's reason people design website as mobile first. There's this thing called progressive web apps.

All of these are to target mobile users. Why do you want to view website that is for desktop on mobile?

I am pretty sure the experience is kinda meh. You need to zoom in and out to actually do anything.


Sometimes mobile versions of websites are missing functionality that is present on the desktop site. This has been the only reason I have used this feature.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
12 months ago

But why though? There's reason people design website as mobile first. There's this thing called progressive web apps.

All of these are to target mobile users. Why do you want to view website that is for desktop on mobile?

I am pretty sure the experience is kinda meh. You need to zoom in and out to actually do anything.

As another user pointed out, there are several sites out there that leave out functionality on their mobile sites, some of which I use daily.

Also keep in mind that when the iPhone originally came out, the whole premise of Safari on it was that you could see the “full internet” and not the “baby internet” on your mobile device. I know we’ve strayed quite far from that, but I’d still like to be able to view the “full internet” at times from my phone which I use probably more than a PC these days.

Until web developers stop gimping the mobile versions of websites, I do not want to see this option disappear.
Rating: 2 Votes
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12 months ago

There are some sites that even zooming out or rotating to landscape will actually resize the popup so the problem persists


Those are the types of websites I only visit once and never again.
Rating: 2 Votes
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