iOS 7 Safari (app icon, large)

Don’t you hate it when visiting a website in Safari on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad takes you to a crippled mobile version rather than the full desktop experience? Thankfully, iOS has made it a cinch to load up desktop versions of websites you deserve.

The ability to request the desktop version of any website has long been available in Google’s Chrome browser for iOS. Thankfully Apple has conveniently brought this time-saving feature to Safari.

Still, a lot of folks are oblivious to its existence as Apple appears to have gone to great lengths to burry that feature deep inside Safari’s interface. But iOS now makes it a lot easier to load up a desktop version of any website on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. As this tutorial attests, it is now dead simple to skip those skimpy mobile websites and go straight to their full desktop versions.

How to view desktop version of a site in Safari on iPhone or iPad

Step 1: Open Safari on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and visit any website that has both a mobile and a desktop version.

Step 2: Once the site loads, tap and hold on the refresh symbol located at the rightmost side within Safari’s current URL box.

Step 3: A menu will pop up with an option to see a desktop version of the website in its full glory. To cancel your request, tap once anywhere outside the prompt.

iOS 9 Request Desktop Site iPad screenshot 001

Choose Request Desktop Site to load up a desktop version of the original.

Tip: As shown below, you can also access the Request Desktop Site option from the Share menu. Just tap on Safari’s Share button and swipe left on the bottom row of options until you see the button labeled “Request Desktop Site.”

Should you choose so, you can rearrange the Share sheet buttons for faster access.

To do so, tap on the More button at the rightmost side in the bottom row of Share sheet options. This will bring up the interface where you can reorder these buttons.

If you’re going to be using Request Desktop Site on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to reposition this button to not waste your time swiping like crazy.

How to request desktop site in Safari on iOS 8

Requesting a desktop site on older iOS devices with iOS 8 requires you to tap Safari’s URL bar and then pull down to reveal the Request Desktop Site option.

iOS 8 (Safari, Request Desktop Site teaser)

Just tap the option to have Safari retrieve a desktop-optimized webpage, if any. Another option present in the menu allows you to add the site quickly to your favorites.

Full tutorial: How to request desktop site in Safari on iOS 8.

It’s important to note that requesting a desktop website doesn’t always work as intended on each and every website. For instance, some websites might switch you to their enhanced mobile edition rather than to the full desktop version.

Know that web developers have the tools at their disposal to override your preference and I’ve seen a fair share of websites that pop right back into mobile mode.

If you find this tutorial useful, please bookmark the article and share it with your friends on social media and Apple support folks. We like feedback so feel free to submit your ideas for future tutorials to [email protected].

  • James G

    How do you switch back?

    • Fanboy 

      You have to go into the Apple Store so they can do a full restore on your device

      • lol that sounds really broken. You should be able switch it back using the same method.

      • Micaiah Martin

        Rebooting my device always seems to work…

  • Jordan Stevens

    What is sad is that idownloadblog’s mobile site is “crippled.” It literally never loads on my iPhone and I have to request the desktop site. Probably want to look into that.

  • socrates

    Phenomenal feature, unfortunately, some web developers design their sites to force a mobile site to load and not accept the desktop site request.

    Sites like Symbolab are impossible to use, and force a user to download the (freemium) app. Very disappointing.

  • Michelle Chadwick

    If this ever did work for Twitter on iPads it doesn’t anymore. I tried to get the desktop version for Twitter on my iPad using The above suggestion and although it does give me the option to use the desktop site clicking on it only takes me another mobile version – well it’s not “another” mobile version, it’s the same but with a slightly different screen layout. It’s not the desktop site. Any other ideas? This is driving me nuts!