How to Request & View Desktop Site on iPhone/iPad?


Want to view a particular site or all sites in desktop mode on your iPhone or iPad? Here’s how to do it in any browser – Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

The need for the desktop version of a website on a mobile phone includes many reasons like, features not working well in the mobile versions, portability and use of our mobile phone everywhere, unlike the desktop devices, or even some websites still not well optimized for the mobile view. In such situations, you can switch to the desktop version of the website by requesting the iPhone/iPad to go to the desktop view instead of the usual mobile view.

This is also handy for developers who want to test some sites in different screen layouts available on mobile phones, tablets, and desktops.

Apple Safari

On iOS 12 and lower, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Safari browser and open the website you want to visit.
  2. Once loaded, hold the refresh button on the right side of the address bar.
    Request and View Desktop Site 1
  3. Among the options that will appear from the bottom of the screen,  tap on “Request Desktop Site” to load the desktop view of that site.

On iOS 13 and above, the process is completely different:

  1. Once you open the safari browser, go to the mobile website of the desktop site you want to visit.
  2. On the left side of the address bar, press an “aA” icon that appears there. This opens up the website view menu.
  3. Click on the “Request Desktop Website” to change the desktop view of the website on your safari browser.
    Request and View Desktop Site 2

You can later come back to the same menu to switch back to the mobile version. You can now access the desktop websites on your iPhone and iPad using mobile safari.

Use Desktip view by default for a site

  1. After opening the website you want to always view in the desktop version, tap on the “aA “ button to access the menu options.
  2. Instead of selecting “Request Desktop Website”, tap Website Settings > Enable the Request Desktop Website. Now, this particular site will always display desktop mode, even opened when in private tabs.

Enable Desktop View for all sites Safari Settings

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Safari.
  3. Again, scroll down till you see Request Desktop Website and tap on it.
  4. You will be shown the list of all the sites for which the setting is enabled. You can enable disable the settings from here.
  5. You can enable the Other Websites toggle to request desktop sites for all the sites.

Google Chrome

  1. After opening the browser, open the website you want to visit.
  2. Tap on the three dots on the right corner to display the menu list.
  3. Scroll down and choose the “Request Desktop Site” option.
    Request and View Desktop Site 3

The desktop view will be displayed after the page reloads.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Visit the site you want to view in desktop mode.
  2. Open the browser and tap on the three-dot icon in the bottom of the screen.
  3. Then choose the View desktop site option.
Request and View Desktop Site in iPhone Edge 1

Now, the site will be displayed in desktop mode.


  1. Open the app and tap the page action (three dots) menu at the top right.
  2. Tap on “Request Desktop Site”
Request and View Desktop Site in iPhone Firefox

The site will now be displayed in desktop mode.

The same processes can also be done on the iPad, but instead of appearing at the bottom of the screen, a pop-up button for Request Desktop Site appears just below the refresh icon. Tap on the Request Desktop Site.

In either case, Safari will reload the page to display the desktop version of the website. Depending on the site’s width, users may need to scroll sideways to see the complete page, even if the iPhone is turned to a landscape orientation.

Issues with suing Desktop mode on iOS

If you are facing a problem enabling the desktop version, it might be the particular website does not allow or has disabled the desktop view version.

  • You can refresh the page as it can be an error from the server traffic. Enable the desktop first, then refresh the page a few times.
  • Zoom in the page if the error page didn’t occur when you switch to the desktop version. Just pinch your two fingers together on the screen, back and forth a few times.
  • Update the operating system. The issue might be caused by using an older version of the iOS.
  • Update the browser too if the iOS/iPad is up-to-date.
  • You can even re-install the browser. This only applies to third-party browsers like Google Chrome, and Firefox, as the Safari browser is inbuilt and can not be uninstalled in the first place.
  • Turn off the portrait orientation lock. Just swipe down in the top right corner and tap on the orientation icon. Press the “Portrait Orientation Lock: Off” to see the changes.


Some functions require the desktop version to get performed, prompting opening the desktop version, a necessary element for the users. A time there are two separate versions of the web pages, the device will automatically display according to the device being used. Yet still, you can occasionally come across a site that has a bad mobile version, prompting you to opt for the desktop version.

Safari will always remember the last preference, thus will always open the version you requested last.

Switching back to mobile versions is easy. Just repeat the steps and the third step to click will now have changed to “Request Mobile Site” instead.

Some websites might not change the display as they utilize responsive layouts, that automatically adjust to the screen’s resolution rather than the device you are on.

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