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Guide: How to Always Open Desktop Sites on Android and iOS
The mobile versions of websites have improved significantly. However, most of them are still far behind their desktop counterparts. Honestly, it’s no fun seeing your favorite site drastically stripped down on a smaller screen. Especially on tablets such as the Apple iPad.
With both the default browsers on Android and iOS – Chrome and Safari – the desktop version of a site can be loaded quite easily. But you cannot set that as a permanent preference. Needless to say, manually requesting the desktop version of sites on a smaller screen is annoying.
That’s where third-party browsers come to the rescue. So let’s take a look at a few that not only let you load standard sites in desktop mode, but are also good enough for everyday browsing.back to menu ↑
Puffin Browser (Android and iOS)
Puffin Browser is fantastic mobile browser that not only excels at automatically loading desktop sites, but also an insanely useful one feature when it comes to navigating them. But first you have to configure the browser to work in desktop mode. So download the app and go through the following instructions to get that done.
After downloading and installing the browser from the Play Store or the App Store, launch it upThen go to the Settings screen from the three-dot menu in the top right corner.
Once you are on the Settings screen, you will see an option called Website Preference. Tap on it and then select Request Desktop Site on the next screen.
That is it. Now visit any site and expect all pages to load automatically in desktop mode. Pretty cool, right? And since navigation becomes an issue on small smartphone screens, consider using pinch gestures if needed.
But what makes things even better is the presence of a virtual mouse and trackpad in Puffin Browser. It’s lag-free, doesn’t have simulated mouse acceleration, and makes navigating complex desktop sites a breeze. Just try it out. You will love it!
Note: To access the mouse, simply open the Puffin menu and turn on the switch next to Mouse. Additional configuration settings are also available in the browser settings screen.
Apart from that, Puffin Browser offers several features that makes it a pretty useful browser all around – an incognito mode for anonymous browsing, support for light and dark themes, a full-fledged download manager, and so on. You can also find a special data saving mode with the ability to adjust video and picture quality to save bandwidth.back to menu ↑
Dolphin Browser (Android and iPad)
If you’re not impressed with the puffin, consider Dolphin Browser as another great alternative to load standard desktop sites. However, Dolphin Browser only supports iPad on iOS. So you won’t find it in the App Store when you search an iPhone.
To configure the Dolphin Browser on your Android device, tap the Dolphin icon and then the Settings icon.
You should now be in the Settings screen. Switch to the Advanced tab and then tap the User Agent option under Customize. On the next screen, select Desktop and tap OK.
However, on the iPad version, you should see a Desktop Mode toggle that you can easily toggle on or off directly from the Settings screen itself.
Once you’ve done that, all the sites you visit will be loaded in desktop mode.
Dolphin Browser also has a lot going for it, such as a sync service that you can sign up because by creating a Dolphin account – this should help you transfer your bookmarks easily and use them while browsing data on different devices.
Moreover, it also offers a built-in ad blocking module, supports multiple themes and allows you to add custom gestures. All in all, a damn good browser to play with.back to menu ↑
Opera Mini (iOS only)
Opera Mini is a lightweight browser from Opera Software. Only the iOS app can load desktop versions of the websites – Android users will have to use the Opera browser instead.
After downloading and installing Opera Mini from the App Store, simply open the Opera menu and tap Settings.
On the next screen, tap User Agent.
Finally, tap on Desktop and go back to save your changes. All sites you visit will now load in desktop mode.
While Opera Mini is quite sparse in terms of features, it places a strong emphasis on data saving and faster page loading using proprietary compression technology on Opera’s data servers.
You should also find several other unique ones features such as a night mode with an adjustable eye strain slider and a speed dial number to bookmark and launch your favorite sites.back to menu ↑
Opera (Android only)
Although Opera Mini is limited to iOS to access the desktop mode of websites, we have the full version Opera browser for Android with similar functionality.
Once installed, load up browser, then tap Settings in the Opera menu.
On the Settings screen, tap Default User Agent, then tap Desktop.
That should put you on track to get all sites in desktop mode. You can of course go back and set the default user agent to Mobile always.
As for features, Opera for Android offers options such as ad blocking, customizable themes, and multiple search engines to choose from.
You can log in with an Opera account and sync your bookmarks, passwords and other data across devices as well.back to menu ↑
Brave Browser (Android only)
Based on the Chromium open source project, the Brave Browser is quite popular with those looking for alternatives to Chrome. Not surprising, as it supports an abundance of useful ones features ranging from customizable search engines to ad blocking and tracking security.
Fortunately, you can also make sites load in desktop mode by default.
Brave Browser Installed? Then start by tapping Settings from the Brave menu. On the next screen, scroll down and tap Site Settings.
From the Site Settings screen, tap the option labeled Desktop Mode. Now turn on the toggle next to Desktop mode and you should be good to go.
If you prefer a browser that works pretty much like Chrome without the obtrusiveness of Google, then you’ll like Brave Browser. And the fact that you can configure the browser to always run in desktop mode only makes the deal nicer.
Note: Brave Browser is also available on iOS, but it lacks the functionality to load standard desktop sites. Unfortunately!back to menu ↑
Desktop sites to win!
Mobile sites are compact and easy to navigate. Often times they are toned down and nowhere near the versatility offered by their desktop versions. And while the browsers mentioned above allow you to load sites in desktop mode by default, keep in mind that you may run into issues where certain elements don’t work or display incorrectly due to incompatibility. Unfortunately, that’s something you have to live with.
So, which one is your new favorite browser? Leave a comment and let us know.back to menu ↑
How to Always Open Desktop Sites on Android and iOS: benefits
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