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Is there any way in iOS Safari (or third party app) to force a larger viewport? I'm fine scrolling around a website to see content but I'm not fine with sites hiding content when I use a narrower than desktop device.

Ideally I would like to set my width (say 1024) and then have my iPhone browse with that width and drag around to see the page. Kind of like magnifier but in reverse.

  • 2
    Have you tried 'Request desktop site' in Safari? I think that might do what you want. – fsb Apr 21 '16 at 19:47
  • Yeah, first thing I tried, but to no avail – Gordon Copestake Apr 22 '16 at 10:11
  • Best practice for mobile websites is not to hide things, but to reformat the content into a longer narrower column. Websites that hide content are unfortunately common, but they won't make users happy. – Stephen Ostermiller May 2 '16 at 22:27
  • Just for the sake of someone who comes along later, it appears that iOS safari just spoofs the user agent when requesting "Desktop Site". Mobile chrome on android (at least, didn't check iOS) also sets an artificial viewport of 980px. – Sean Sep 8 '16 at 18:23
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You can use the aptly named iOS app, Desktop Browser to do this. Here's what a site looks like in Safari on an iPhone:

iphone

Here's what the same site looks like in the aforementioned app on the same iPhone:

desktop

I'll bet there are other apps out there that do this. Albeit a little rough around the edges and ad-supported, this one is free and gets the job done.

  • FWIW: This is currently the only app on iOS that works. I tried several other apps that advertise that they can do this, but Desktop Browser is the only one that worked on the AWS Console page. You can remove the ads with an in-app purchase. – jmiserez May 8 '17 at 7:03
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The viewport is set by the amount of screen space your device has, so when you look at a webpage on a pre-retina iPad, an iPad Air and an iPhone each one can show different amounts of the page. The formatting for the page you are viewing is set by the page, and if its elements are not positioned relative to the edges of the viewport then they can be rendered off-screen. No way around that, except using a HTML or CSS editor to modify the formatting on the fly .. meaning you modify it to have a better rendering. But then unfortunately such edits are lost as soon as you navigate away.

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