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".

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

  1. Sir, I want to ask that which option I should choose in user agent of uc browser 8.0 (for my nokia n73, symbian os 9.1, s60v3) for DESKTOP VIEW :-

    Empty
    Wap UA
    Web UA
    • You're more likely to get the desktop versions of sites if you use the the Web UA or empty than with the Wap UA.

      Some sites will recognize that you are using a mobile browser and send the mobile version no matter which you chose. If you use empty, a few sites might block you as the user agent isn't supposed to be empty.

      You have to experiment, there's no setting that will give the best result with every site.
  2. Sir, opera mini work very well. But uc browrer 8.0 in my nokia n73 doesnt give desktop view option. I have tried as you told in setting /prefrence/network/user agent/ here I found 3 diffrent options
    empty
    wap UA
    web UA
    But none of there give me desktop view option.
    Please tell me. THANK YOU.
  3. Pingback: Help: Accessing Non Mobile Websites - Page 2 - BlackBerry Forums at CrackBerry.com

  4. Hey! This Is How You Switch Back To Yahoo! Classic Mail..
    Mozilla FireFox..
    ThiS Is Easy And Fun...
    ToolS.. OptionS.. Content..
    Disable Javascript..
    Boom! Go To Your Yahoo! Email..
    Refresh The Page..
    Switch Back To The ClaSSIc Yahoo! Mail..
    That You Love The Most!

    Go Back!
    Don't Forget To Re-Enable Javascript!
  5. Thank you sir! Am checking my yahoomail through the site. However, I noticed that I cant send mail or should I say cant see the "message sent" report. Can any thing be done about that? Thanks
    • You are right. I can't send mail with the Yahoo Desktop version in Opera Mini either. It works in the Android browser.

      All you can do is file a bug report with Opera and hope they fix it. In the meantime use the Yahoo Mobile version for sending mail with Opera Mini.
  6. Up to last week i uploaded photos to my hotmail profile, this week its either blocked or has a bug. Using opera mini 6.5 cant get photos, profile or contact list, i get my inbox, bing and msn this i just noticed this week. Anybody else ?
    • I'm seeing the same issue. Trying to get to Contacts, Skydrive, Profile, Calendar, Groups or Messenger using the dropdown menu no longer works. It either hangs (Skydrive), displays an error (Calendar), displays "Object Moved This document may be found here" and clicking "here" just reloads the message (Contacts, Profile) or goes to my Inbox (Messenger, Groups).

      I filed a bug report with Opera and posted about it onthe Opera Mini Forum: http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=1290182&t=1328044456

      A workaround to get to your contacts is to start a new message and click the "To:" link
  7. i have tried hard to open full site of Gmail on my opera mobile or on my Nokia E71 browser for that matter but it just doesnt open, plzzzz provide me a link/ a way around it.. Thankss :)
  8. hi!!! does anyone knew how to view DESKTOP/FULL VIEW of picasaweb.google.com? Well before it works until 2-3 months ago..
    if i type picasaweb.google.com it automatically changes in to picasaweb.google.com/m please help me i need the full version of picasa.
  9. friendster unable to load desktop version nuw. even the help section and the link u gave. is there a new way to view it in full vrsion?
  10. hello sir,
    after Orkut on opera mini, now its facebook that's not providing any full site link on its page, . .not even on opera 11. What should i do?
  11. Dolphin Browser HD:
    Menu Key | More | Settings | User Agent | Desktop

    That fixes everything that can be fixed. Why can't Opera Mini alter the user agent string? Oh well, Dolphin Browser HD works great.
  12. hello .
    I am not able to access picasa in full version if i type it as picasa.com it automatically changes in to picasa.m.com please help me i need the full version of picasa i have tried in 5.1 and in opera mobile 10 also
  13. hello there,

    I am using my new handset Nokia c3. And I access the internet by opera 5.1, but there is a problem to access orkut in full desktop view. But when I access orkut very first time, It shows in full desktop version. Even I can't show my Images in my mobile view version.
    Please tell me how can I access full desktop view of orkut???????????????????????????
  14. I found a tricky way to load facebook full version on opera mini. Access the touch site from the link at the bottom then access the full site from the touch site by clicking the link at the bottom of the touch site.

    However the mobile site will appear again if we access some feature on facebook (i forgot the feature), and we can't give comment on status too. Opmin is sucked when accessing facebook. Even i have to login every time i access m.facebook.com
    • i found a easy way to go to any link whilst on fullsite
      reload the fullsite over again before clicking on any link like profile, inbox,notification,photos ETC
      IT WORKS FOR ME
  15. The easiest way is to use a fake User-agent to pretend you are not a mobile platform (or simple don't declare it).

    1. type opera:config in the url
    2. search for "agent" as quick lookup
    3. put in e.g "opera/9.5" as custom user agent.

    U can always go to http://www.useragentstring.com/ to check yr current agent string
  16. Hi i have nokia 7430. I have previously discuss my problem of not being able to view full orkut on opera mini 4.2 and 5 beta 2. U replied its nt compatible with my phone. But earlier it was showing full orkut. Infact since 25 june, its not showing full orkut.
  17. Hi i have nokia 7230. I have downloaded opera mini 5 beta 2. When i click on view full site for orkut it dont show full site. Instead it show mobile version. Earlier i have downloaded opera mini 4.2 but that also not show full site. I access internet through mobile office
  18. Instead of trying to get all web sites to support mobile users better, especially since you specifically like Opera Mini, why not ask Opera to make an option for Opera Mini to emulate desktop browsers? That would trick every web site into giving the full site. I really wish Opera Mini had this feature. I prefer Opera Mini over Bolt, but use Bolt for some sites that have mobile support--I prefer not to have to search for "Full Site" links.
  19. Why is that whenever i try to log in the full site of facebook, it redirects to mobile version.? It worked before, bt it has been happening for a week nw. It opened yesterday, bt today it again redirected to mobile version. I tried the url u've provided, bt same thing happened.. Plzz help
  20. Hi, does anyone know a way to view the full version of pictures.sprintpcs.com in opera mobile? I have a windows phone. Opera just allows me to access the mobile version of the site.

    I can access it with skyfire but I'd love to use opera instead.
    • hi i able to access full facebook web by adding '?m2w' in the end of url.
      thanks a lot for he tips...
  21. Shnyx,

    As stated in the post. "Just about all Microsoft sites including Hotmail force Opera Mini users to a mobile version with no known workaround."

    If you find a way to do it please let us know.
  22. Pingback: Opera Mini Question - BlackBerry Forums at CrackBerry.com

  23. I'm a huge fan of Opera Mini, but this issue is BS.
    One website I use forces a re-direct to the mobile site which is a pay site, while the normal full website is free.
    This even happens when using Opera Mini.
    I tried using various anonymous proxies, but the website would still not work in Opera Mini.
    Then I found http://www.boltbrowser.com. It's a java webbrowser like Opera Mini (in beta), but it worked first time and like a bomb.
    The Opera guys NEED TO PICK UP THEIR GAME!!!
  24. Google in general is very bad about this. Google Reader always shows up as mobile version unless you do the user-unfriendly URL hack. What's worse, for me anyhow, is any URL I click in Gmail or Reader goes through their transcoder. I have to scroll to the bottom and click the link saying "HTML version" (but this page IS in HTML), before seeing the real page. Every time. For years.
  25. Pingback: Golden Swamp » Carnival of the Mobilists #163

  26. Thanks Lewis, I've added your Google News link to the post along with some others I found on the Opera Mini forum at my.opera.com.

    I tried extracting the iGoogle url from the Google cache results but failed to come up with anything that works.
  27. Of course, Helloct, I'm being stupid - if you go via classic google search and click the cache of igoogle you get the full sight. I've just tried and can confirm it works.
  28. That's really tedious of google. I hadn't visited, via mini, igoogle for sometime but the last time I did it gave the full sight. There must be some way of getting google to allow this again. Of course, if om allowed a change of ua that would help. Helloct , I don't understand what you mean by cached and with regards to what service? You couldn't give a bit more detail? Thanks, Lewis.

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