Google Is Looking To Make Desktop Chrome On Mobile A Permanent Toggle

chrome beta 86 icons overflow Android DG AH 2020

Chrome on mobile devices could soon gain the ability to toggle into desktop mode on a more permanent basis. That’s based on recent reports, following a change in the underlying Chromium Gerrit code repository, spotted by Redditor Leopeva64-2.

What would desktop Chrome as a permanent toggle mean for mobile users?

More directly, that’s a change that follows a similar rework in Microsoft Edge, which itself is based on the same code as Chrome. In fact, for the time being, its already available on that other platform. And in its current form, the option to set desktop mode as the default in mobile Chrome isn’t actually much of a toggle.

Rather than showcasing a flippable switch, it takes the form of a selectable button in the settings. The selectable options, in that other iteration, read “Show mobile site as default” or “Show desktop site as default.”

Now, a similar feature is reportedly in testing, specifically for Chrome.


That doesn’t necessarily mean that users would be able to set any individual site on a site-by-site basis. Or that Chrome users will get the same menu. Instead of being on a site-by-site basis, the code reads “Request Desktop Site global setting” and “Always request desktop site” or “mobile site.”

That seems to indicate that Chrome users on mobile platforms will only be able to select for the entire browser. Although users will likely still have the selectable box in the three-dot overflow menu at the top-right-hand side of the primary UI. And it could very well still show up as a toggle switch on that platform in Settings since that’s a simple UI change.

Will this make its way to Chrome?

The appearance of this feature in Chromium-based Microsoft Edge doesn’t necessarily point to its appearance in Chrome. But its appearance in testing on the platform does indicate it’s something Google is looking into actively. Whether or not it ultimately arrives depends on several factors.

If Chrome does gain the ability to always display all websites in desktop mode on mobile, that’s not necessarily the best news for phone users either. Desktop sites aren’t the easiest to navigate on such small displays. It would have a significant impact for tablet users, however. Especially for tablets in the 10-inch-and-up size range. Such as the new Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. Effectively solving one of the biggest complaints about those devices, albeit only for this one app.


Site display settings mobile chrome desktop mode toggle