Simple fix forces Chrome for Android to load desktop version of websites

Especially when using the Nexus 7, I find it quite annoying that the Chrome for Android browser has no universal setting to always load the desktop version of websites and doesn’t allow you to change the user agent to that of a desktop browser. The only way to load desktop versions is a checkbox in the menu, and the setting isn’t saved even on a site by site basis, meaning that you have to check the box every single time you  return to a page. This is actually a step backwards from the stock browser which is no longer included with the Nexus 7, and included user agent functionality out of the box.

While many users are content to switch to a third party browser like Opera or Dolphin to fix this problem, I like to use Chrome because it syncs well with my desktop browser. As such, I was quite glad to find a simple solution to the desktop view setting annoyance on the XDA forums. Member omac_ranger has posted instructions for forcing Chrome to always load the desktop version of sites, and the process is actually fairly simple

For rooted users, there are two methods to install the fix. They can manually move a small provided file to /data/local and change the permission settings, or they can simply download a flashable zip. Unrooted users will have a slightly harder time, and will need to have ADB installed and working. Then, a simple push command will send the file to /data/local, and cause Chrome to always load the desktop version of websites.

Once I figure out why ADB isn’t working with the Nexus 7 on my desktop, this will likely be the first thing that I use it for. Of course, with ADB working there would be no reason not to root the tablet as well, but I’m still on the fence about that. Currently, I think I’ll wait for the October 29 announcement from Google, just in case I need to sell the tablet. In the meantime, this fix should make browsing with the stock browser much more bearable.

If you’re interested in having a Nexus 7 so that you can experience and fix this problem yourself, you should take a look at our October  Nexus 7 giveaway, going on right now.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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