How to view desktop versions of Web sites on Firefox for Android

Mobile versions of Web sites can be unappealing to look at, especially on tablets. If you're using Firefox for Android, there's a way to force it to display only desktop versions.

Ed Rhee
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.
Ed Rhee

Android smartphone and tablet browsers sometimes load mobile versions of Web sites. On native Android browsers, you can try the about:debug trick to change the user agent to force desktop sites to load. You can also use an alternative browser, like Dolphin Browser HD, which lets you easily change the user agent in its settings.

If you're a Firefox for Android user, you can change the user agent with a simple Firefox add-on called Phony. It works with the new Firefox beta for Android as well, which was released a couple of days ago.

To set up Phony, install the add-on by either searching for it in the Firefox add-on section, or by clicking on the Phony install link from within Firefox.

User agent setting in Firefox for Android
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

After you've located the setting, you can select which user agent you want Firefox to identify itself as. You can choose from Default, Desktop Firefox, Android (Phone), Android (Tablet), iPhone, iPad, and Microsoft IE.

Select user agent
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Once you've selected a desktop user agent, every Web site you visit should load as full desktop versions.

Full desktop Web site in Firefox
The full desktop version of CBSSports.com looks beautiful in Firefox, on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

That's it. Now you can view the Web in all its glory and leave the mobile sites for feature phones, also known as flip phones.

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