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The iPhone has a great built-in web browser, and since its first introduction it was touted as being able to run the full web, not the watered down mobile versions many phones use. Unfortunately, people have seen the need to "optimize" the experience on mobile and as a result, a significant portion of the features I can access on the desktop are simply not available on my iPhone. Furthermore, faulty redirects compound this problem, and make entire pages of content inaccessible.

I was excited to see the new iOS 8 Request Desktop feature, but due to a faulty redirect I was never on the correct URL long enough to request the desktop version of the site.

Example: I wanted to go to http://example.com/some_page, but it immediately redirected me to http://m.example.com. Since I was immediately redirected, the Request Desktop link acted on http://m.example.com instead of http://example.com/some_page. This caused me to be forwarded to http://example.com instead of http://example.com/some_page.

How can I view the original desktop version of this page on my mobile device?

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To Request the Desktop version of a website with faulty redirects:

  1. Turn on airplane mode to disable all internet access.

    Warning: This next step will get rid of any open tabs you have in Safari, so make sure you don't have anything important on there.

  2. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data

    (Many redirects are often cached, so this is a way to prevent it from redirecting you while you are offline.)

  3. Launch Safari and type in the full desktop url (e.g. http://example.com/some_page)
  4. Press Go to navigate to the website.

    Obviously this will display the "Safari cannot open the page..." error message.

  5. Tap the address bar again, and scroll down to tap Request Desktop Site.

  6. Disable airplane mode, and tap the refresh button.

    It should now bypass all redirects and request the full Desktop Site.

Unfortunately this isn't a complete solution since only a small portion of users on mobile devices are going to be using the desktop site for webpages such as these. This means that some things on that site may be broken since they aren't likely to have been tested on mobile devices.

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