How to View Desktop Site in Chrome on iPad?

Vishnu

One drawback to relying on an iPhone or iPad for your web browsing needs is that you’re almost always using the mobile version of a website. And for the most part, mobile websites are fully capable versions of the same experience you would have used a full desktop-class browser.

However, there are times when the mobile version of a website lacks a feature or capability that the full website offers. If you find yourself in need of the full desktop version of a website, you can force mobile Google Chrome to request and load the full version of a website with just a couple of taps.

Open YouTube Desktop Version in Chrome on iPad

By default, YouTube.com opens in the desktop view in Safari and Microsoft Edge on iPad. On the contrary, Chrome opens it in mobile view, which can be annoying for many people.

The desktop version of the YouTube website offers a better full-screen experience with more controls, auto play thumbnail previews, and higher video quality options. If you use Chrome as the default browser, follow the guide below to make YouTube open in desktop view.

Request Desktop Site

  1. Open Google Chrome on your iPad.
  2. Once the mobile site loads, tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down the menu options. Click on Request Desktop Site.
    Request Desktop site iPad
  4. That’s it. The particular site will now reload in the desktop view in Chrome.
    • If you want to revert, repeat the steps and select “Request Mobile Site.” You’ll be back to the regular mobile view.

Open Website Desktop by Default in Chrome Using Shortcuts

The other method is to create a home screen shortcut for the website desktop site. Using it, you can open sites like YouTube in desktop view quickly without requesting it manually.

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Unfortunately, Chrome for iPad does not offer an “Add to Home Screen” option. Here you’ll have to rely on the Shortcuts app on iPadOS, by following the instructions below.

  1. On your iPad, open the Shortcuts app. If you can’t find it, check the App Library or App Store.
  2. Here, click on the + icon in the top right corner.
  3. On the next screen, click on Apps next to Categories.
  4. Select Chrome, then, tap Open URLs in Chrome.
  5. You’ll see a new shortcut called Open URL on the left side. Click on the URL to edit it.
  6. Here, copy and paste https://www.youtube.com/?app=desktop.
  7. Tap Done.
  8. Then, click the menu at the top right, and click on Add to Home Screen.
  9. Customize the shortcut name and icon if required, and tap Add.
  10. The shortcut will be created on your iPad home screen.
  11. You are able to open YouTube shortcut directly in the desktop view in Chrome on your iPad. Add the YouTube name and icon to the shortcut to modify the appearance.

Turn off the Portrait Orientation Lock

In some instances where Google Chrome was unable to load the desktop version of some websites after enabling the ‘Request Desktop Site’ feature, disabling Portrait Orientation Lock and turning the device horizontally into landscape mode allowed the desktop view mode. Perhaps some websites are designed to only be viewed in the desktop format if your device’s display is in landscape orientation.

Request Desktop site iPad 2

If Chrome’s ‘Request Desktop Site’ isn’t working on your iPhone, turn off Portrait Orientation Lock and rotate your phone. To turn off the Orientation Lock, swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone and tap the padlock icon. You should see a ‘Portrait Orientation Lock: Off’ message at the top of your screen.

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Use Chrome Remote Desktop on an iPad

With the Chrome remote desktop, you can access the desktop apps as if you were using the actual desktop version.

Install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension

We’ll start on the computer you want to remotely access first. The installation of the extension should be done on all the devices that the user wants to add in the future.

Google has made this very easy for the end-user. All you have to do is head over to the Chrome Remote Desktop website.

Now click on ‘GET STARTED’.

Next click the blue download button, this will take you to the Chrome Web Store.

Click ‘Add to Chrome’ and then click ‘Add Extension’ to finalize the process.

Request Desktop site iPad 3

The pop-up below should be displayed on the next page.

Now click the extension icon from which the above popup emanated to enable remote access.

Click ‘TURN ON’ to enable this computer for remote access. You will be greeted with on-screen steps which you are required to fill accordingly.

One important step during the setup on the computer is to give a PIN number to access the computer. Remember this PIN number. You will need to access it on your iPad.

Request Desktop site iPad 7

That’s it on the computer side, now let’s get our iPad set up.

Install Chrome Remote Desktop for iPad

The hard part is over! On the iPad side of things, there’s not much to do.

First, head over to the App Store and download the Chrome Remote Desktop App. Once it’s installed, tap on it and open it up.

Sign in to the app

Sign in as you would with any other Google App. If you’ve already set up the right Google account on your iPad, this should be pretty quick.

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Choose the computer you want to connect to here and wait for it to finish connecting.

Request Desktop site iPad 4

Log in to the remote computer

Here, you have to input the pin you used and saved while following the above remote access steps before.

Request Desktop site iPad 5

Since the target computer doesn’t have the same aspect ratio as the iPad, pinch and zoom in to see everything you need to.

Request Desktop site iPad 6

Clicking on ‘trackpad mode’ will give you touch-based control of the remote mouse.

Conclusion

Now that Apple has developed its chipset for their Max computers, they have changed the whole architecture of the computer, and third-party developers are adapting to this change and rewriting their apps for Apple chipsets.

This means there is a possibility that we could be seeing a fully functional Google Chrome for iPad as well.

Before requesting the desktop site, be aware of the benefits of the mobile version. For example, mobile sites are streamlined and pared back to burn fewer data and load much faster. They are also typically optimized for smaller screens.

However, it’s fine if the site itself doesn’t compromise the browsing experience and gives mobile users as close to the desktop experience as possible. Though it isn’t always the case for sites like YouTube, where there isn’t enough screen real estate to emulate the desktop experience in a way that works well enough to satisfy Google.

Keep in mind that there are also various remote desktop apps, like VNC Viewer, AnyDesk, Remote, Keyboard & Mouse, Screens, TeamViewer, Jump Desktop, and Microsoft Remote Desktop. Some are free and some have paid premiums.

The bottom line is, that viewing a website in the desktop view is a time just necessary to get a few functions working. And, as a user, the choice is always yours.

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