Desktop Mode

If you've been a BlackBerry user for a while, you may remember that on older versions of the BBOS you had the option to enable desktop view for web pages in the browser. It was a cool feature for when you wanted to easily get away from a mobile site but sadly went missing in more recent versions of the BlackBerry web browser.

Thankfully it has made its way back in BlackBerry 10 -- it's hidden a bit deep in the settings -- but it's there. If you want to enable Desktop Mode on your BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 it only takes a few taps, so keep reading to see how it's done.

To turn on Desktop Mode and view full web pages, you just have to toggle one setting:

Desktop Mode

  • In the Browser, tap the overflow icon (3 dots)
  • Tap Settings, then Developer Tools
  • Tap the toggle for Desktop Mode to turn it on 

That's that. Now when you load web pages you should be directed to the full desktop view of websites. Take note that sometimes you may still get redirected. Diferent websites have different redirect rules in place for how they direct traffic once they identify a device. But this setting should make it more easy for you to  

Making Desktop Mode an option vs. a feature

It's a little curious as to why BlackBerry chose to hide Desktop Mode within the Developer Tools menu vs. making it an option on the main settings panel. For a lot of people, myself included, I want to get the full version of a website vs. the mobile site. Especially with LTE speeds and a web browser as great as that on BlackBerry 10. Sometimes the mobile version of sites feels like a disservice on the Z10, given it's big 4.2" display and awesome rendering abilities. Some other mobile browsers -- such as the Google chrome browser -- include Desktop View as an option that is on the main browser features menu, something that I would like to see come to the BlackBerry 10 web browser too.

Talking to Matt from the Browser Team at BlackBerry (formerly RIM), I asked him about this curious location for the Desktop Mode setting. The short answer was that on a mobile device like a phone, BlackBerry wants you using the mobile version when available as that should deliver the fastest and most optimized browsing experience. That's logic I don't disagree with, but I do like to have the option to see the full version of a desktop site easily.

A lot of websites have crappy mobile experiences, so you want to be able to pull up the desktop view quickly. Having this setting moved so it can be more quickly toggled would be a benefit. I noticed while visiting some sites on the Z10, that when Desktop Mode is disabled and you choose to exit the mobile view on a site to view the full desktop site (by tapping a link on the webpage), the mobile default would override my choice (even though I was leaving the mobile site, I was directed back to it). When this occurred, turning on Desktop Mode allowed proper access to the mobile site.

Nitpicking over the location of this feature aside, it's there and usable on BlackBerry 10. So put it to use!