View Desktop Version of Websites with Android Browser

View Desktop Version of Websites with Android Browser

Is your Android phone suddenly showing you the desktop version of Google for search results instead of the mobile version you're used to? Or rather, are you getting the desktop version of any site that usually shows you a mobile version of the site?

I recently found that every search I ran brought me to a lengthy and detailed desktop version of the Google search page that makes it difficult to navigate the results and click on the correct links.

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I'm actually not sure how this started, but it definitely became an inconvenience on my Android phone. Luckily, there is a very easy fix. There is a setting within the native browser of Android Phones to send either a mobile or desktop user agent setting to the destination website. Somehow, I had set my phone to Desktop view for Google.com. The solution? Navigate the the web page you don't want to view in desktop mode and click your menu button. In about the middle of the menu, you should see a checkbox field called "View desktop site". Uncheck this and your page will automatically refresh in mobile form.

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Your page should now come up up in an easy to view and interact with mobile version.

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Likewise, if you are on a mobile site that you would also want to see in desktop version, you can use these same instructions and just check the "View desktop site" checkbox while on the page. It does require the website to be built for a mobile and desktop media, but most large scale sites nowadays are. Facebook, EBay, Amazon, YouTube and many others all have both desktop and mobile sites that will adjust based on the "View desktop site" setting in the Android browser settings, but there are some like Wikipedia that ignore the setting.

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Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2013