How to Save Websites as Desktop Shortcuts for Quicker Access

We all have websites that we visit frequently at work. Getting access to them more quickly can often lead to a nice head-start and early wrap-up.

To facilitate quicker access to routinely-visited websites, you can add them as favorites so you don’t have to manually type out the URLs. You can also have them automatically open upon launching of the browser, which can be configured to launch with the operating system.

However, things are not always as easy as they sound, especially when your computer and browser are managed by your organization – meaning IT folks where you work.

For good reasons, IT folks often don’t want you to change what apps could start up with the operating system, or what websites could launch when the browser opens. They only want essential apps to start up with the operating system so that the computer is ready to use as soon as possible. The website that opens with the browser is often an intranet or your company’s website.

One thing commonly allowed on work computers is creating desktop shortcuts. What you can do is save these websites as desktop shortcuts, and then you can just double-click to open them like you would any desktop applications and files. Here’s how it can be done really easily. This works with the Chrome browser in both macOS and Windows 10.

How to Save Websites as Desktop Shortcuts

    • If you’ve already added the website as a favorite, just drag it from the Favorites bar and drop it on your desktop.
    • Otherwise, type the URL in the address bar, once it loads, drag on the View Site Information icon (the lock) and drop it on the desktop. Voilà!

Animated Demo - How to Save Websites as Desktop Shortcuts

Want to see one more browser trick? Check out this post

Use Chrome DevTools to Access Mobile Only Content on Desktop PC

Have you ever come across web content that can only be accessed in a mobile web browser, and if you tried to open the same URL in a desktop environment, you would get a prompt asking you to switch to a mobile device?

Being constrained to a mobile browser can be quite a hassle, especially when you have a 27″ screen right in front of you. If you’ve had headaches like this, today’s post might be able to help you. We say might because while the workaround is easy, it does not work for all situations.

Most desktop browsers can disguise themselves as mobile browsers. This can trick the web content designed for mobile to think it is being accessed on a mobile device.

Here’s how to access web content designed for mobile using the desktop version Chrome browser. This works in both macOS and Windows 10.

Using Chrome DevTools Mode to Access Mobile Only Content on Desktop

    1. Launch Chrome and open a new tab
    2. Press F12 to go into DevTools mode
    3. Click on the Device Toggle in the DevTools Dock Chrome DevTools Mode Dock - How to View Mobile Only Web Content on Desktop
    4. Type in the URL and you are good to go

Note you can have the browser be responsive and adapt to the content of the webpage, or have it appear as your favorite mobile device by selecting one from the “Responsive” list. With the “Rotate” button, you can also switch between portrait and landscape mode like how you would normally use a mobile device.

Like we have mentioned, this method does not work for all situations. You will only be able to get around the rules this way when the URL does not look too hard at whether it’s being processed by an actual mobile browser on a mobile device. Also, using the DevTools mode will feel strange as you will likely interact with the web content with a mouse instead of using the touch interface on mobile devices. Still, whenever possible, working with a full-blown desktop browser on a larger screen beats having to work with a smaller mobile device screen.

Interested in learning more browser tips and tricks? Check out this post on how to recover closed browser tabs.

iPhone Home Screen Does Not Rotate with Widgets

iPhone Home Screen Rotated

What Is Home Screen Rotation?

With some iPhone models, my iPhone 8 Plus, for example, the Home Screen rotates. This places the Dock on the right and all the app and folder icons on the left. With the Home Screen rotated, the iPhone can be used in landscape mode.

However, if you’ve recently upgraded to iOS 14 and noticed the Home Screen no longer rotates, you are not alone, and Apple did not take the feature away from you.

Portrait Orientation Lock

One reason the Home Screen no longer rotates is probably that the Portrait Orientation Lock is on. To turn it off, bring up Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner, or up from the bottom of the screen depending on your iPhone model, and tap on the lock icon ().

Home Screen Widgets in iOS 14

Another reason is something new in iOS 14, and that is Home Screen widgets. These widgets come in different sizes and they can take up the space of four, eight, or sixteen app icons. If any of your Home Screens has a widget on them, they will no longer be able to rotate.

Before iOS 14, the Home Screen only needs to worry about app and folder icons that have the same size. When it rotates, the icons stay on the same screen, just in a different place. However, in iOS 14, the Home Screen might not be able to layout the same widgets and icons on the same screen when it rotates, since these elements come in different sizes. If Apple still allowed Home Screen rotation, it would mean stuff being pushed off from one screen to another which is probably too much user experience disruption from Apple’s perspective.

So if you are finding your Home Screen no longer rotates, you’ll likely need to choose between widgets and Home Screen rotation. What is your choice? Let us know in the comments.