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/
MySpace:  www.myspace.com/?ucm=true
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".

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

  1. If I clicked on Gmail link provided here, it can open Desktop view of Gmail where I can even attach file to send. But if I copied the address it will not open the desktop version of gmail. Did you hide the actual address and show fake text as a link?
    • Did you hide the actual address and show fake text as a link?
      Why would the writer of this article do that? There's no benefit in it for him. Now, to solve your issue, either click on the link and bookmark the page that results, or click on the 'basic HTML' link at the bottom of the Gmail Mobile page. Simples!
  2. do you know how to view the full site of weibo.com in uc browser? it always be changed to be weibo.cn wich is the non-function mobile site.

    i have changed the UA setting to be dsktop but it's not work.
    • with all these options for android I've only encountered very few sites that refused to load the full-version (perhaps the track it in their cookies).
  3. On my Blackberry, when I go to the Yahoo page, there is an option at the bottom to go to the desktop version. But it is useless, because when you click on the links to read the articles, it refuses to link you, but just dumps you back into the mobile site. I was sent a link to a Yahoo article, but I cannot view the link on the Blackberry.

    Is there a fix for this?
  4. Pls help ♍ε̲̣̣̣̥ with †ђε pc view for ladbrokes.com as †ђε mobile view doesn't show fixture time αϞ∂ date, am using blackberry
  5. A couple of notes about Android: about:debug only works on the phone's native browser, not Opera Mini, and on some Samsungs, you have to enter about:useragent instead.
  6. sir,,,i m using nokia E7-00 .i m also using opera mini but i can't use facebook as desktop view...so i m missing from timeline,cover photo option.please,tell me how can i use facebook full site on my E7-00 device.I mean,timeline view like android devices...
    • For the Facebook desktop timeline in Opera Mini go to http://facebook.com/home.php Log in if you aren't already and tap your name at the top right of the screen.

      That will give you the timeline as it appears on a PC using Firefox, Chrome or Opera. It doesn't seem to be possible to get to the Android version of Facebook using Opera Mini.
    • I don't have a Rediffmail account so I have no way of knowing or testing.

      If there's a full site link on the mobile page use it and then bookmark the desktop version.
  7. Is there at workaround for Yelp? They offer a link to the"full site" but always switch you back to mobile every few clicks.
    • UC Browser defaults to fitting sites to the screen and unlike Opera Mini the fit to width mode works with all sites including mobile ones. The full desktop "zoom" mode renders sites pretty badly though so I always use UC with fit to width enabled.

      For basic use UC is about as user friendly as Opera Mini although there are some real head scratchers in the settings menu and some badly translated from Chinese text in various menus.
  8. One site that forces mobile view is soundcloud.com. This sote not only defaults to mobile view, but clicking what appears to be a full site button returns you to the non-functioning mobile view. Anything you can do?
    • I see what you mean but I've haven't been able to find a workaround using Opera Mini. With UC Browser 8.7, if I set "Website preference" to "desktop" I get the PC site.
  9. I am using opera mini with my nokia n73 and i can open desktop view page:-
    Login hotmail id -->click on "Windows Live" -- >click on "PC site" at the bottom of the page
    sometimes when page does not open perfectly, you have to use the command "open in new tab".
    • You're lucky. When I go to hotmail.com I get redirected to outlook.com and I don't have "PC Site" link in any version of Opera Mini. I've tried Opera Mini for Android, Java and Symbian (on an N8). I only get the PC Site link in outlook.com with the Android browser.
  10. Now, Hotmail give desktop view option in the bottom of the page. "pc site" link given.
    login -->click on "Windows Live" -->click on "PC site" at the bottom of the page :)
  11. I can't open billboard.com full version on my opera mini, & mobile site is one of the most dumbed version i've seen. Please can you mail me a workaround?
    • I haven't been able to find a workaround. To recieve an email when replies are posted tick the "Notify me of followup comments via e-mail" on the comment form when leaving a comment.
  12. Somebody PLEASE HELP:
    How do I change OperaMini (ver 4.2.13337) code to fool stubborn websites into thinking I'm using a desktop browser? Thnx in advance. [email address removed]
  13. yes sir, it is working but it is working on this page only.
    It is not working on facebook status update/hotmail/peperonity chat site
    • Lots of sites block HTML tags because of their potential for SPAM and mischief.

      You can't post anchor tags on the Facebook wall.

      With the PC version of Outlook.com (formerly known as Hotmail) you can use the link button in the toolbar (it looks like a couple of links of chain) to insert a URL. Then you can edit the URL text in the body of the email to say anything you want and it will still link to the original URL.

      I don't use Peperonity so I don't know what's possible there.
  14. Sir, I want to know how to create shortcut of url in our words.
    e.g., I want to write a long url
    (http:// ..........) as
    click here
    and it should be use on anywhere like email/fb status update/ wordpress blog, etc.
    Other example,
    you have written
    "Nokia Asha 303" instead of writing full url
    in your post

    Thank you
  15. I have Opera Mini 6.5 (less issues than 7) set to accept cookies. What I described was definitely on Techdirt's end because I used to comment on the mobile site, then the box disappeared and the full site button I tried as a workaround didn't function. Now the comment box is back, so they probably fixed the bug that was affecting it and the full site button. I'm guessing this because throughout all this time, all that changed were Techdirt issues, not my browser default settings of which the acceptance of cookies is one. I like my privacy, but not enough to ruin my online experience by refusing cookies.
    • The full site button on Techdirt works for me in Opera Mini 7 on Android. It goes to http://www.techdirt.com/?_format=full which probably sets a session cookie to keep you on the full site pages. If it's not working for you it probably means your browser's not saving cookies.

      The Techdirt mobile and full site URLs seem to be identical so if the ?_format=full cookie setting mechanism doesn't work there's no other way.
  16. Thanks very much for the Yahoo mail workaround. I had sent a large amount of text from my desktop to my phone so I could copy it in to my phone contact record. Yahoo "mobile" does not seem to allow you to copy text. You saved me a ton of work - thanks.
  17. sorry i cant get d full version of facebook through opera mini.i tried 2 download different versions of opera mini,and any time i try 2 open my f.b it couldn't display d version in full.please i need your assistance.thanks
    • Sorry but I don't see any obvious way to get to the desktop version of Rediff using Opera Mini. Try UC Browser with the desktop user agent option
  18. Facebook does have a tendency to keep switching you back to the full site. I don't have an easy answer to that. If your browser has an option to use a Desktop user agent that should help. Opera Mibile, UC Browser and some Android browsers have that option.
  19. Thank you Dennis! This is great information & is extremely helpful! Have you found any more workarounds for any other sites?
  20. Hie Dennis..!!
    Howz ya??
    Hey, It again stopped wrking..
    When I tryd to open it a few days ago itz waz jz loading & loading & loading..
    Itz not getting installed only....
    & I hv another query....
    Do u have an idea about Whatsapp??
    Does it support on my Samsung gts5333??
  21. Earlier version 8.0 supportd on ma ph. but one day suddenly it stopped working or even installing on my phone..Then I started using 7.9 again but that also stopped working so nw I use 7.7....
    & yrstrdy I downloaded 8.2..
    It worked awesum but once I closed d browser & yhen tried to reopen it never opened n again am back to 7.7....
    & how do I get the friendly 8.2 which u said..??
  22. Previously there was a browser named BOLT which supported full sote all the time but I guess for some financial or some issues it has been blocked..
    That was relly awesome for full site view..
    & infact previously UC BROWSER & evn the default browser had d full site option..
    But now that option has vanished smwhr..
    Anyways, iznt there any browser like bolt which permanently supports full site..??
    & Thnx a ton for ur valuable reply..
    & I use SAMSUNG WAVE 533 (GT S5333)
  23. I would be highly obliged if u tell me hw to use full site all the time..
    I mean when I visit the provided linkthe full site opens but once I click on the home button it automatically returns to mobile site and I have got a few pages on FB & whenever I click on them, it gets back to the mobile site. :(
    Plzzzzzzzzzzz HELP!!
    • Facebook does have a tendency to keep switching you back to the full site. I don't have an easy answer to that. If your browser has an option to use a Desktop user agent that should help. Opera Mibile, UC Browser and some Android browsers have that option.

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