Updated: How to View the Full Version of Sites in Opera Mini and Other Mobile Browsers

Facebook Full Site in Opera Mini Yahoo Desktop Home Page in Opera Mini

Originally published in 2009, this post is updated regularly with the latest workarounds for viewing the desktop versions of mobile sites in mobile browsers.

Last update 12-Jan-2014: Added reader-contributed workarounds for Google Search and Google Image Search. Removed non-working Yahoo Mail links.

One of the biggest frustrations of using the web with mobile browsers is web sites that force them to use dumbed down mobile versions.  I have nothing against mobile sites, obviously. I build them and I write about them here at Wap Review.  Redirecting mobile browsers to the mobile versions of sites doesn't bother me. The problem  is with mobile sites that lack essential features or content found in the equivalent full web versions and don't offer users an easy way to view the full version. As I've been preaching for years, every mobile site needs to include a Full Version link.

Fortunately many mobile sites now include a link to the full version.  For sites that don't it's possible to force the full-web versions of some sites in mobile browsers by using a special URL.

Here's a list of websites where getting to the full version with mobile browsers is harder than it should be along with a workaround. Note that the the ful version may not work well or at all in your mobile browser.  But if there's a feature or content you like that's missing from the mobile site, it's worth trying the full version.

Facebook: Use facebook.com/home.php or www.facebook.com/home.php?m2w to load the full version in Opera Mini and most other mobile browsers.

Orkut: Has  a link to the full version at the bottom of most mobile pages.  Or you can go directly to it by using the URL: www.orkut.com/Home.

The Yahoo homepage: use yahoo.com/?m=1 or www.yahoo.com to open the desktop version.  This works in the Android browser but not in Opera Mini.

More full version direct links:

Google Calendarhttps://www.google.com/calendar/render?tab=mc
Google News: news.google.com/nwshp?hl=en&tab=wn
Google Search: https://www.google.com/webhp?nomo=1&hl=en
Google Image Search: https://www.google.bs/imghp?nomo=1&hl=en&tbm=isch
Gmail: mail.google.com/mail/h/
Ebaywww.ebay.com/?redirect=mobile
MySpace:  www.myspace.com/?ucm=true
Outlook.comhttps://blu171.mail.live.com/?rru=inbox
Techdirthttp://www.techdirt.com/?_format=full
Twitterhttp://www.mobile.twitter.com/settings/change_ui
Wall Street Journal: online.wsj.com/home-page

Wall street Journal Full Version in Opera Mini MySpace Full Version in Opera Mini

Hall of Shame: There are a few sites that stubbornly refuse to let Opera Mini users view their full web version.

  • ESPN: No full site link and the workaround that worked for years no longer does.
  • Picassaweb and Google+: These two sites are exceptions to  Google's generally good job of providing links to the "Classic"  non-mobile versions.
  • Yahoo Mail: since the latest Yahoo Mail redesign I haven't found any way to force the desktop version in mobile browsers.

If you find workarounds for other sites that are blocking mobile users from their full-web versions please leave a comment and I'll add your discoveries to this post.

For problem sites try changing your browser's user agent

Web sites are able to tell that you are using a mobile browser by reading the HTTP User-Agent header that browsers send.  Some mobile browsers let you change the User-Agent to spoof the site into thinking your are using a desktop browser. Here are the browsers that I know about that allow changing the User Agent and how to do it.

Android browser: On most Android phones you can enable a hidden UAString menu item by typing about:debug in the URL bar and pressing Enter.  Nothing will seem to change but if you go to Settings and scroll all the way to the bottom you'll see the UASting option. It lets you choose between an Android, Desktop, iPhone or iPad User-Agent

Opera Mobile on Symbian and Android: A User Agent option in the Advanced Settings menu lets you choose between mobile and desktop versions.

UC Browser:  Most versions have a User Agent option in the Settings or Settings > Network menu. In some versions it's labeled "Website Preference".

216 thoughts on “Updated: How to View the Full Version of Sites in Opera Mini and Other Mobile Browsers

  1. I haven't been able to check my yahoo mail
    account close to a month now with any mobile
    phone. It says "error logging in, log in with a
    desktop computer and then try logging in again".
    Anybody experiencing same?
    • I just logged in to Yahoo Mail with Opera Mini for Android and Opera Browser for Android without any problems.
      Have you tried logging in on a PC like the message says?
  2. hay dennis.
    I send lenhoten a messege.your right he is not responding..

    I stoped dream of run linux in symbian.
    I may start hack symbian one day when i got a computer.
    thanks all your replay for this subject.
  3. yea. turbohide down.

    I think php proxys are slow.but cgi proxys are fast.
    I dont know how speed you got in there.here i got 16 kb/s maximum in gprs.so proxys have much speed.
    Its fast for me while compairing with my internet speed.

    Iam trying to find a proxy server that will give html page without editing.

    Any proxies are there.
  4. helo there is good way to do it.
    Plese choose any proxy service.
    You can change user agent using that proxy.

    turbohide.com is an example for this .
    If not works please replay
    • Using a proxy that lets you change your user agent to a desktop one does work with most sites that force you to the mobile version.
      But:
      Not all proxies allow you to change the user agent
      Free proxies are usually extremely slow and down a lot. Turbohide is down right now,
  5. Is it possible that Yahoo! has made its e-mail page into a "responsive" webpage? This would work based on browser size rather than user agent, making it very difficult for mobile browsers to access the desktop version.

    With Opera Mini 5 I've had no luck. Even after clicking "desktop" at one point, it still went to the crummy mobile page! Bad idea, Yahoo!- you took away one's ability to choose, and now that one need's a mobile number, I can't even contact them for assistance, not even with the ASUS!!
    • mail.yahoo.com is not a responsive site. When you load it in a PC browser and narrow the window the page is truncated on the right rather than reflowing.
  6. Ooops, actually I didn't found it. When I tried to open some line (category) from that URL it doesn't work. Because it detects mobile user agent! Looks like there's no workaround except to use more expensive UC Browser desktop view or Opera Mobile.... But, wikihow is better anyway, so I don't really care :P
  7. Bro, how can I view ehow.com pc version on Opera Mini? Seems like a very good website similar to wikihow!
  8. What a hell happened to Yahoo Answers (maybe whole Yahoo also)? I used their mobile website half a year ago and could easily sign up by logging in with Gmail. Now nothing works! Tried mobile browser on Nokia N97 MINI, UC browser, Opera Mini, and Opera Mobile. I can't register for Yahoo Account, can't view pages properly, can't sign in using Google.... A real hell. Neither mobile neither desktop version works.
    • Agreed, Yahoo sites are pretty much usable on anything except desktop Android and iOS. Opera Mobile for Symbian is the browser that comes closest to working on my N8. With it, I can sometimes sign into and use the mobile version Yahoo Mail at https://mail.yahoo.com with my Yahoo email address and password. I've pretty much stopped using Yahoo for anything anymore
    • You need to use a browser that lets you change its user agent to a desktop one like Opera for Android or Dolphin HD for Android

      It doen't seem to be possible to force the full version of Way2SMS.com on a non-smartphone browser like Opera Mini or UC Browser.
  9. Dennis...exact same thing that Ted described. it's all there to use like it always has been. But when I click to delete a message and scroll down to delete it or to delete more than one, it goes through the motions but nothing happens. Same when i try to send an email. I can get to my contacts, click on that and then try to send an email....but nothing opens up for me to send an email.
    • dennis says: " ' Click a link or button and the page reloads instead of doing what it's supposed to' is an old bug that's been occurring intermittently in Opera Mini for at least five years."

      ted says: good info, and it shows we're not crazy!

      thanks dennis
  10. please notify of follow comments i forgot to check that box on first post.

    in opera mini on my nokia n82, i can't delete outlook (hotmail) emails, and i also can't create new messages.

    i used to be able to, i think.

    how do i get around this?
    • I don't use Outlook or Hotmail but I have a test account at Outlook.com. I successfully composed and sent an email and deleted an email using both Opera Mini 7.1 for Symbian and Opera Mini 8 for Java.

      Ted and DeeAnn what exactly happens when you try to create or delete an email? Where and how does it fail?
    • Dennis - if i click the 'new message' icon, all that happens is the screen blinks but new message doesn't open.
      same thing happens if i click the 'delete' box at the top of a list of message or singularly in front of a message: the screen blinks and the check mark disappears, so i can't finish the delete command.
    • Dennis - here is something someone posted on the Opera forum, citing the same issue:



      "Am having some strange issues on Outlook.com (formally Hotmail.com) - up until a couple of days ago, everything worked fine.

      Now when I access the site via Opera Mobile (ver 12.00.2254) on my Symbian phone, I encounter issues such as:- -The new mail button not working, i.e. You click on it + nothing happens -The Refresh button (same issue) -The Reply button (same issue) -The arrow to the right of the message, where you normally access a quick view of your received message, also does nothing.

      All I can do currently is to read the mails I receive, can't reply, can't really do anything with the message.

      I was running a previous version of Opera + upgraded in the hope that it would solve the issue, but no joy.

      What can I do to fix this please? Any help would be gratefully received!"
    • dennis asks: Have you tried using the built-in Symbian Email App or the Mail For Exchange app?

      ted replies: it's a non-sequitur. we should be able to use opera mini exclusive of the other programs you mention. opera is a browser, not an email carrier, though it can - and at one point did - function as a means for going into email programs. for some reason outlook isn't working now.
    • Of course you are right. But:
      Server based browsers like Opera Mini have a tough time coping with modern Webapps like Outlook that are built almost entirely on JavaScript.
      Web designers should be using progressive enhancement principles to create Web apps that work in all browsers on all platforms but that's harder and more expensive so it tends not to happen.
      I doubt that Outlook.com product managers consider Opera Mini a supported browser, so Outlook isn't tested in Opera Mini and reported bugs that only occur in Opera Mini are assigned a low priority and never get fixed.
  11. in opera mini on my nokia n82, i can't delete outlook (hotmail) emails, and i also can't create new messages.

    i used to be able to, i think.

    how do i get around this?
    • Ted...same thing happens to me too using the LG 900. i used to be able to, then updated to mini opera 7.1, I think it was 7.1, or 7 point something and I lost that feature too. Just got an alert on my phone 4 days ago from net 10 saying mini opera 8 was available for my phone. Was thinking that perhaps the not being able to delete or send an email would be fixed...nope!..Still doing it. I try to use my phones google browser that it came with but it it tells me I don't have enough data. wished the glitch would get fixed.
  12. i got yahoo mail to open on 3/21/14 by using you link to the yahoo full homepage , then click mail ,, then menu on the android lg mach and choose request desktop version and yahoo opened the desktop , i needed the fulll version to check other mail feature from my main isp

    God bless you ,

    , Bill
  13. If your referencing me being out of the loop...thinking Im not really. I have a Java powered phone..not an Android. According to Net 10 when I called their Tech support, neither of these versions were apparently able to be used on my phone, wasnt supported they said. Off to go ck the single column trick out & see if it works.
  14. Good News.!!
    Want to use Twitter like PC on mobile?
    Well,dear now you can open the Desktop view for Twitter. Just follow these instructions.

    1)Log in to your twitter account with mobile as usually.(like Opera mini,etc)
    2)Once you opened your Twitter account.(Make sure you are on Homepage of your account) Just go to above adress and edit it with adding these follows:

    "/settings/change_ui"
    excluding quotation
    marks.
    3)Done..!!Now you can enjoy Desktop view of Twitter on your mobile...

    Note: Once again, make sure that you have logined to your account. You can't access Desktop Twitter unless you didn't log in through mobile.
    If still don't understand,or have any problem regarding it. Simple click the following link.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/settings/change_ui

    Happy Tweeting ^_^ ...
  15. Dennis,.....Thats the million dollar question about what browser I previously used. I wanna say it was like 4.2? When I got rhis phone & was going thru the activation process etc, the Net 10 person on the phone gave me the web address for mini opera & the version, but that was about 18 mnths ago. The only reason I even put 7.1 on it was because I got a txt msg from Net 10 to turn off my phone for phone updates & then it also said there was an updated mini opera for my phone. Which was 7.1. The prev browser may even have been 3.4?...or close to that. Been a while & I can't remember for sure. With the 7.1, things look & behave exactly as before with the exception of Outlook for hotmail. I can no longer delete any emails either one by one or in a group like before. I go thru the motions but they are still there.
  16. Since updating to mini opera 7.1 on my LG900 g...outlok with hotmail use is huge! Cannot no longer delete any emails either doing so one by one or multiples like I used to. It is virtually useless and Oi cannot seem to find anywhere that addresses this isue or to answer my questions as how to resolve this.
    • Hotmail and Outlook.com haven't worked well in Opera Mini for over a year. What browser were you using before that worked better? A simple solution would be to go back to whatever worked.
  17. Thank you for this page. I'm always appalled at the short-sightedness of developers in terms of the the mobile vs full interface issue. It's refreshing to see someone who designs mobile sites and doesn't feel the need to build a nanny barrier into it lest baby web surfers hurt themselves.

    In the past week, yahoo has stopped working almost completely on ipad. It's not the most empowering of devices at the best of times, but nothing seems to work, regardless of which browser I use. The workaround link is stumped also.
  18. Can you please give me a workaround for goodreads.com? When I click on a link for lists it goes to desktop site but for individual novel I can't get out of mobile view. Please help.
    • I'm not sure what you mean. When you are reading on a book on GoodReads the current page takes up the whole browser window with just a Contents button in the top left. It looks the same to me in Opera Mimi as it does in a desktop browser.

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