How to view the YouTube desktop site from your phone

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The mobile version of YouTube has come a long way in recent years. Most of the features available in the version on your desktop or laptop have made their way to mobile devices. From comments and playlists to dark mode and annotations, YouTube’s mobile site, in addition to its mobile app, has gotten really awesome.

There are times when you need to use the desktop site to get the most out of video streaming. While more than half of all internet traffic now resides on mobile devices, sometimes you will need to switch to the desktop version of YouTube to accomplish a task. Here’s how to load the desktop version of YouTube on your phone or tablet.

View the YouTube desktop site from your Android phone

If you’re using an Android device, we’ll go through the steps here to open the desktop site.

Using Chrome on Android

If you prefer the Chrome web browser, follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome and type ‘YouTube.com‘in the address bar then click on Enter. If you don’t enter the URL but instead select the first option that appears in the search engine, your phone may open the mobile app, making these instructions unnecessary.
  2. Tap the three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  3. Faucet Office site in the menu that appears.

This will automatically redirect you to the desktop version of YouTube.

Using Firefox on Android

The instructions for visiting the YouTube desktop site are very similar to those for Chrome. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open Firefox, type ‘YouTube.com‘in the address bar and click on Enter.

    To note: If you type only ‘Youtube‘and click on the link that appears; the YouTube app on your phone may open and you will not see the option to open on the desktop site.
  2. Toggle the switch to Office site to on.
  3. The desktop version of YouTube will automatically open for you.

Just like Chrome, switching to the Desktop version on Firefox is very easy.

Using the default Internet browser on Android

Some Android users have a default or native internet browser. If this is your preferred browser, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Internet browser, type ‘YouTube.com‘then click Enter. As with other browsers, if you choose YouTube in the search engine, it may open the YouTube app instead.
  2. Tap the three horizontal bars in the lower right corner.
  3. Then press Office site.
  4. This will automatically redirect you to the desktop version of YouTube.

Now you can browse YouTube on your phone using the desktop version.

Using Opera on Android

Opera is another popular browser. Fortunately, you can view the desktop version of YouTube by following these steps:

  1. Open Opera and type ‘YouTube.com. ‘ Keep in mind that if you click on the search engine link, you may be taken to the mobile app which will not display the option to open desktop site.
  2. Tap the three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  3. Turn on the switch to Office site.
  4. Opera will automatically open the desktop version of YouTube.

That’s all we can say about it! You can now browse the desktop version of YouTube on your phone.

View your monitoring history and search history

You can view all your watched videos and search history in YouTube desktop mode.

  1. Faucet Library at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Then press Story.
  3. From here you can see your Watch the story and Search History.

View any desktop website from your Android phone

The above process will work with any website you choose to visit. You can also make the same selection with other mobile browsers.

In Firefox, you select the menu and then Request desktop site.

In Opera, go to the menu, Settings, and User agent then go from Mobile To Office.

If you are using a different browser, chances are it has the same type of option. Since most of them are based on Chromium, they will probably be similar to Chrome.

View the YouTube desktop site from your iPhone

Just like Android phones, iPhones also have plenty of browser options. From Safari to Chrome, you can easily view the desktop version of YouTube on your iPhone.

Let’s go over your options.

Use Safari on iPhone

If you prefer Apple’s default browser, you can follow these steps to view YouTube in the desktop version:

  1. Open Safari and type ‘YouTube.com‘in the address bar. Safari may ask you if you want to open it in the app. Ignore this, the app does not give you the desktop option.
  2. Press the Aa in the upper left corner of the address bar.
  3. Then press Request desktop website.
  4. Safari will automatically provide you with the desktop view.

It’s a bit harder to find the menu option in Safari, so the instructions above should help you open the Desktop version quickly.

Using Firefox on iOS

Firefox is a bit easier to navigate. If you need to access the desktop version of YouTube, follow these steps:

  1. Open Firefox and visit YouTube.com.
  2. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner.
  3. Now press Request an office site.

Just like other browsers, the desktop version of YouTube will automatically revert to the desktop site.

View any desktop site from your iPhone

As with Android, you can repeat the above process on almost any website you choose to visit. If you are using Chrome for iOS or another browser instead of Safari, you can also request the desktop website.

  1. Open Chrome on your iPhone.
  2. Select the three-dot menu icon at the top right.
  3. Check the box next to the Desktop site.
  4. Access your website normally.

The same goes for Opera Mini, Dolphin, Firefox Focus or any other alternative that you may have installed. All will have similar options for selecting desktop site from the menu.

The theory behind offering a mobile site on a desktop site is solid. They will be streamlined and downsized to burn less data and will load much faster. They should also be optimized for small screens.

It’s good if the site itself doesn’t compromise the browsing experience and gives mobile users an experience that is as close to the desktop experience as possible. But it’s not always the case. In the case of YouTube, there isn’t enough screen space to emulate the desktop experience in a way that works well enough to satisfy Google. Users, on the other hand, have other ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

As you can see, using the desktop version of YouTube on a mobile device is pretty straightforward with a few extra steps.

How do I get back to the mobile site?

If you need to view the mobile version of YouTube, you can. Tap the menu icon like we did above and uncheck the desktop option. Your page should automatically refresh showing you the mobile version again.

If I play a video in a new window, it returns to the mobile site. What can I do?

A common issue with the desktop version of websites on a mobile device is that they are designed to run the mobile version. This means that every time you open a new web page, the mobile version is displayed. Fortunately, all you need to do is click on the desktop option like we did above.

Phones and browser settings

Most phones and browsers are capable of supporting the desktop version of a site. All you really need is a browser that you find reliable and trustworthy, the developers have done all the work for us.

Share your thoughts and experiences on viewing desktop sites on your phone below.


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