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

Mobile versions of website are really convenient to view on your iPhone or iPad, but navigation can be quite limited due to the simplification of the user interface. However, in Safari on iOS 8, users can now choose to view the desktop version of a website if they want to, especially if the user interface is better overall.

If you’ve ever visited a website on your iPhone or iPad, you might have noticed that the layout is a bit different than on your laptop or desktop, and that’s because many websites offer a mobile version that’s easier to view on smaller screens.


However, with the iPhone 6’s larger screen and the iPad’s 9.7-inch display, mobile versions of websites aren’t entirely necessary all the time, and since navigating desktop versions of websites is usually easier since you’re already familiar with them, it’s nice to have an option to view desktop versions of websites on your mobile device.

Thankfully, iOS 8 introduces a new feature in Safari that allows you to request the desktop version of any website. “Request” is an interesting word choice in this case, since choosing this option will not guarantee that you’ll get the desktop version of any given website, as sometimes the website’s code won’t let you view the desktop version at all while browsing on a mobile device.



In any case, here’s how to view the desktop version of a website in Safari on iOS 8.



To view the desktop version of a website on your iPhone or iPad, open up Safari and navigate to your website of choice. Sometimes the website won’t have a mobile version, in which case you’re already good to go. However, if the website loads the mobile version, here’s how to bring it back to the desktop version.

With the website loaded, tap inside of the address bar. The iOS keyboard will pop up and the website itself will darken and gray out. Swipe down anywhere inside the grayed out area to bring up some hidden options.

You should see a couple options listed at the top. They may be hard to see for you, as this might be a user interface bug in Safari, but hopefully it doesn’t hinder you from accessing this feature.

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Go ahead and tap on Request Desktop Site. From there, Safari will attempt to load the desktop version of said website if it can. Some websites will load the desktop version just fine, while other websites won’t load it and will instead stick to the mobile version.

eBay and YouTube are two websites that I tried out and it loaded the desktop version just fine. However, Apple’s own website stuck with the mobile version, even after requesting the desktop version.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with mobile versions of websites, as it allows you to view text and images more clearly on smaller displays, but sometimes you simply need a website user interface that you’re familiar with, and this is where this kind of feature comes in handy.

Plus, the 9.7-inch screen on the iPad is plenty large enough to handle the full desktop versions of most websites. I use on my iPad mini and it works just fine. However, the smaller text may not suit everyone, especially those who have poor eyesight. In that case, mobile versions of websites can work wonders.


In any case, if you ever want to at least have the option to view the desktop version of a website on your iPhone or iPad, Chrome is no longer the only option, as Safari now as the feature built-in.