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.

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