Permanently request desktop sites on Firefox for Android

Firefox for Android can request desktop sites, but you have to request it every time. We'll show you how to set it for desktop sites, once and for all.

Firefox for Android desktop user agent
Desktop sites look a lot better on Firefox for Android than the mobile versions, especially on tablets. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Firefox for Android can request desktop versions of sites, but you have to make the request every time you visit a site that loads a mobile version. You can use Firefox add-ons to change the browser user agent string , but if you don't want to install add-ons, you can make the change directly to Firefox. Here's how:

Step 1: In the Firefox address bar, type "about:config" and press Enter.

Step 2: Tap the "Add a New Setting" button, then select "String" as the type.

Add a new setting
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Step 3: For name, enter "general.useragent.override."

Name new Firefox setting
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Step 4: For value, enter the browser user agent string you want to use. You can do a Google search for the user agent strings of your preferred browser and OS. In this example, we're using the user agent string for the desktop version of Firefox 17 on Windows 7.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/17.0
Firefox desktop user agent string
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Step 5: Restart Firefox and confirm that Web sites are loading the desktop versions.

That's it. If you want to change the user agent later, go back to about:config and search for "general.useragent.override." Hit the Modify button to change the user agent or the Reset button to remove it.

About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

 

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