Disable mobile versions of websites on your Android device


Many websites provide a mobile version which can be helpful if you happen to be using a mobile device that couldn’t otherwise access the internet. Todays Android devices are basically small computers with large screens and more powerful browsers that don’t have a need for a watered-down mobile version. Instead, the full desktop version is usually preferred.

When you request a web page, your browser sends headers which contain details that help the server determine the best way to provide the information to you. The user-agent header identifies the application or operating system requesting the information from the server. This poses a problem as many sites automatically determine your Android device from your User Agent string and automatically serve you the mobile version. Sometimes you can find a link to their full desktop version from this mobile landing page, but often times you cannot.

With the default Android browser you have the option to change the User Agent if you turn on debug mode. In the address bar enter about:debug and select go. Nothing will appear to happen but when you go into the settings menu you will now have a new group of options under the ‘Debug’ heading.

Menu Button -> More -> Settings -> UAString

Select Desktop to view the full desktop version.
Select Android to view the mobile version.


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  • Nazir

    This method is buggy. I did this but still Espn Soccernet kept loading the mobile site. I even tried to enter the full desktop URL but the browser kept loading the mobile site. This bugs me!

    • Scooby

      Try clearing your cache in settings. I cleared cache and history but I think cache is what’s saving the mobile url.

  • John


    When I do the about:debug step with new Samsung Galaxy S phones(Fasciate and Captivate), it crashes the web browser. Every time I launch the web browser, it gives error message and unable to open the browser. Do you know why??

  • Rafael

    If you do this on the Samsung Galaxy S (Fascinate or Captivate) your browser will crash until you either do a hard reset and rest the phone to factory spec or you can go into Settings –> Applications –> Manage Applications –> then bring up the menu and change filter to show ALL apps; then chose the Browser app and select “Clear Data”…this should get your browser working again. Anyone found a way to get the about:debug to work on these phones without crashing the browser?

  • Aaron

    Rafael, thank you. Took me forever to find something on the interweb to fix this. Don’t know why clearing the data didn’t occur to me.

  • Stuart

    I am having trouble viewing full desktops versions on my new Droid X 2.2. I tried the about:debug route and went under menu>settings and found no debug option. Help?

  • H.

    Rafael, YOU ARE THE F’N MAN!

  • Michael

    Thank you! Its so frustrating to have to power to see a full website but get stuck looking at the mobile version.

    The helpful part of your post was that nothing would appear to happen after about:debug was typed. Thanks for being detailed in your post.

  • captstabbybeard

    my galaxy s does not give me the UAstring options after i get to the debug menu any ideas???

  • Brea

    I did this on my droid 2 phone and it does the regular desktop site, however doesn’t load the whole page. Facebook, for example only shows the blue bar across the top and nothing below that loads, it’s just a blank white screen. Very glitchy and certainly not a ‘fix’ to the problem when sites won’t even completely load this way.

  • tess

    still doesn’t sort out facebook though…which will still go onto mobile site and just recives connection error messages

  • Dman

    I also have a galaxy s and do not get the uastring option when I do the debug. Any ideas? I am really getting frustrated.

  • kk

    I have to say this finally clarified this most basic task. Stupid of Samsung to ship with mobile enabled.

  • amethyst

    I have a galaxy s I9000 and I don’t get this UAstring option either. I guess the search for an answer goes on… :(

  • markss

    i did this on my photon 4g and it allows me to do everything including change uastring to desktop, but still loads mobile versions

  • Steve

    This worked perfectly on my Acer a100 – thanks

  • ed.coleman

    about:useragent in addres bar and select desktop

    • Michael D

      Ed, many thanks worked like a treat on the STOCK browser many thanks

  • Gabriel Priore

    Thank you “VERY” much Ed Coleman!!!!! You are the ONLY one here that gave a VALID and accurate response!!! I had been searching for MONTHS for a correct answer, and you are the ONLY one that resolved everything!! The correct answer is entering about:useragent in the URL bar!! NOT about:debug!! I owe you big time!! THANKS!!

  • cartedor

    It is super annoying that none of the fixes that suggested above work for my samsung galaxy S2, I have loaded firefox browser, Opera, Dolphin, Internet Explorer.

    I use Firefox alot, and when i type
    none of them bring up any extra menu in my settings which enables me to change the UAstring option, can someone do a youtube video, showing me exactly where you are looking for this setting with UAstring?

    At the end, i found a little trick:
    For site like facebook, I can see the hyperlink after ther http://m.facebook……
    I simply remove the m., it reverts the display of the site to normal full computer version.

    • Michael D

      Cartedor the answer provided by Ed Coleman works on the stock browser (not Firefox).

      If you want to make FF work like a desktop browser if you use the following steps

      select help from the start screen
      select How do I view the desktop version of web pages?” and then follow install “phony” I have done so this evening and have access to the full version of FB