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How to Easily View the Desktop Version of a Website in iOS 8 Safari

Posted by Jim Tanous on September 20, 2014
iOS OS X Desktop Site Wikipedia

Many websites offer “mobile” versions with a simpler layout designed to accommodate the smaller screens and touch interfaces of smartphones and tablets. These mobile layouts are usually easier to view and navigate, but can occasionally offer limited functionality compared to the full “desktop” version of a site. Some sites offer users the ability to manually view the desktop version, usually via a small link in the site’s footer, and there are also a few techniques that can trick a website into thinking that your iPhone’s mobile browser is in fact the full desktop version.
But these methods are inconsistent and not always available, and so Apple hopes to provide iPhone users with an easy way to view the desktop version of a website in lieu of the mobile version with a new option in iOS 8.

Note: This article addresses iOS 8, and the steps to view the desktop version of a website in Safari have changed in iOS 9. Click here to view the latest instructions.

If you find yourself looking at a website’s mobile layout, simply tap the address bar to bring up your bookmarks and recent history. Then swipe down to reveal some hidden options at the top, including a new option to Request Desktop Site.
iOS 8 Request Desktop Site
Tap Request Desktop Site and Safari will reload the website with the full desktop layout that you’d see when browsing on your Mac or PC. The desktop site will usually have smaller UI elements and be more difficult to read than the mobile site, but with the new larger screens on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, combined with increasingly better high resolution Retina displays, this is quickly becoming less of an issue.
Note that requesting a site’s desktop version is only temporary. If you close Safari and visit the site again during a new session, it will revert to the default mobile site and you’ll have to repeat the steps above to get back to the desktop version. The above-mentioned tricks to request the desktop version of a site still work, but this new option in iOS 8 provides users with a much more consistent method.

7 thoughts on “How to Easily View the Desktop Version of a Website in iOS 8 Safari”

Devon says:
Do you have a write up for viewing Desktop view in Chrome? I’d like to link to it as this page is very helpful for our iOS 8 & 9 users. Thanks!
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Guest_47 says:
I wish Safari and Chrome would have an option for selecting which version to always load up. With larger screens now, there are many people who would prefer to see the full website version rather than those useless dumbed down mobile sites. Of course it would be even better if the browser could remember which version should be used for which site, or to load up the full website version when the phone is in landscape mode, but I guess these ideas might be too much to ask for.
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Stan says:
Thank You!! I have sat there swiping at the address bar aimlessly many times. Now I finally now you have to tap the address bar. BIG HELP.
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Dona Girouard Omanoff says:
Thanks for this article it helped me greatly as I’m using my iPhone for all tech purposes now as I’m driving a semi tractor truck researching a book and making photographs. It’s practical but an experiment too (using iPhone exclusively instead of my MacBook Pro). I’m uploading my images to smugmug and need the desktop version for full functionality.
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zak ryals says:
I’m not reading this for entertainment get to the fucking point.
Reply
TekRevue says:
Zak,
Heads up. Looks like someone hacked your account and is posting nonsense.
Reply
Mariana Fasanaro says:
It doesn’t work in the grooveshark website, you guys have any idea how can I view the desktop website on my iPad?
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Guest_47 says:
I thought the full site version is always loaded for iPad! That’s terrible! Why would anyone want the mobile site for a tablet! Sheesh!
Reply
billyalex2 says:
I dont know if its me or what but i cant get this to work i tap the addresse bar and it just puts me in the field to type in a new site. I try to pull down and nothing happens
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billyalex2 says:
I figured it out. After you tap the address bar then you place your finger in the lower half of the screen then pull down. That is how is done
Reply

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