Most, if not all, social media and video-sharing platforms have a mobile app equivalent. YouTube is no different. While millions use the app daily, a large portion of people would much rather use the desktop version of YouTube on the phone instead.
In this article, we will help you pull up the desktop version on your smartphone. So, if you’re a mobile user and not a fan of the YouTube app, you’re in the right place.
YouTube’s desktop version vs. mobile version
The mobile version of YouTube has pretty much all the bells and whistles that you would expect. You can view videos, access your account, share videos, save uploads and like or dislike videos you watch. You can also comment on videos if you choose to do so. But since it’s built for mobile browsers, you’re not getting all the advantages that you would typically get if you were using YouTube on a desktop. For instance, it’s hard to copy and paste text in the YouTube app, making it hard to copy a video’s information and share it with your audience. You have to share the video directly, copy the link or type out the information yourself. Additionally, AdBlock doesn’t work in the app if you’re someone who wants to avoid watching ads.
The YouTube app may suffice if you just want to view YouTube videos on your phone. However, if you would rather use the desktop version, you can.
How do you do it?
When you are on YouTube using a mobile device, you will notice that the browser address is listed as http://m.youtube.com. That “m” in the beginning stands for “mobile.” This is used to let the browser know to load the mobile version of YouTube. The code for the mobile site makes it easier for the phone processor to read the data on the mobile site and display it faster.
So, with that in mind, where do we go from here? Well, that depends on what type of phone you have. Let’s take it step by step.
- If you use an iPhone or an iOS device, you will need to click on the address bar on your preferred mobile browser. Near the left of the address bar, you will see an icon that looks like “aA”
- This icon will give you a small menu that allows you to request the desktop version of YouTube. Tap the icon, and you will be sent to the desktop version.
If you use Chrome on iOs, it pretty much works the same way. However, the browser menu is on the right side instead of the left icon on the address window.
Firefox on iOS also has a similar icon but uses a set of three lines as a menu bar. You may find this menu at the top or bottom of the screen depending on how you like your address bar menu placed, but you can always move that as well.
If you use an Android device, access the menu for your chosen browser. After selecting the menu, you will see an option to request the desktop site. This reloads the content on your phone as if you were viewing it on a desktop.
Depending on what browser you use, locating your menu will vary. However, it’s normally on the side of the address bar with dots or an icon. Both will allow you to switch the desktop mode.
Desktop YouTube on mobile
Depending on your device, switching to desktop view may or may not cause some errors. Remember, the desktop view is built for desktops and isn’t made with mobile in mind, so you may run into some problems with ads or how content is displayed on your phone. It’s typically not enough to stop the phone from loading most content. Phones are getting a lot more powerful, so depending on how new your phone is, you likely won’t run into any speed issues. Still, you’re free to use the desktop view, just be aware that you may run into a few problems while using it.
If you are fine with running into some performance issues, you can watch the desktop version of YouTube on your smartphone. Though YouTube has made a lot of updates to the app over the years, so using the YouTube app is the clear winning option if you want the best performance. So, if you’re looking for the best performance, we would recommend using the mobile app. However, if you still want the features the desktop version offers, follow the steps above, and you’ll be able to watch desktop YouTube on your smartphone.