The official Google Docs mobile app for android or iOS devices lacks a lot of features and tools available on the Google Docs desktop site. You know the pain if you’ve tried to do a hanging indentation in Google Docs document using the mobile app.
I am not hating the app, I think it’s great and I do personally use it if needed but when it comes to accessing certain features or tools, I pivot towards using the Google Docs desktop site on my phone instead.
It took a lot of hits and trials to get it to work, so please leave a comment or share it on socials which will be much appreciated.
The process to access the desktop version website was tested on both iPhone, Android, and iPad before preparing this guide.
1. Open Google Docs Desktop Site On Phone or Tablet
The process is a bit trickier as compared to opening the YouTube studio desktop site on your mobile phone or tablet. Adding to it, if you would like to use Safari to access the desktop site on your iPhone or iPad, the process is slightly different.
On the other hand, if you are using an Android phone, chances are that you either already are using Google Chrome or you can just use the default browser on the phone. I’ve tested this process on different browsers on android and they all seem to work.
1.1 Open Google Docs Desktop Site on Android (Google Chrome)
- Open any browser of your choice and go to docs.google.com, I am using Google Chrome.
- Sign in with your Google account credentials.
- If you are already logged in, you will see the below screen. Do not Sign in or tap on anything.
- If it’s the first time and you have the app installed you will be redirected to the app. Just go back to Chrome.
- Copy and paste the following address into the browser’s address bar and hit “Go”. It will look like the webpage refreshed automatically.
- Tap on the three dots (settings) icon on the top-right corner of the browser > “Desktop site”.
- Viola! You should be taken to the desktop version of the Google Docs website.
That’s how you can access the Google Docs web version on your android phone or tablet.
I would suggest that you either bookmark this article or create a desktop shortcut to the URL so that you can quickly copy and paste the URL mentioned above.
2. Accessing the Desktop Version Website on iPhone or iPad
To load the full desktop version site on your iPhone or iPad using the Google Chrome browser, follow the exact steps mentioned above
To install the Google Chrome browser on your iPhone or iPad, do the following:
- Open the app store and make sure you are allowed to install the application on that device.
- Search for “Chrome” and you should see similar search results as the one below.
- Tap on “Get” to download and install the browser.
- Once installed, follow the above instructions step by step.
2.1 Force Google Docs To Open in Desktop Mode on iPhone Safari
- Open Safari and head over to google.com.
- Sign in with your Google account if you are not already logged in.
- Once you are logged in, tap on the “AA” icon on the left-hand side of the address bar > Request Desktop Website.
- Tap on the Apps icon right next to your profile’s icon.
- Scroll with your finder and tap on “Docs” and let it load the site.
- Viola! You should now be taken to the desktop version of Google Docs.
3. Why do I use this instead The Google Docs Mobile App?
It’s very easy to answer the question actually. The default Docs mobile app feels like a stripped-down version of the full-fledged web version website.
I am sure Google has its reasons behind this but if I have to go back and forth between the app and the desktop site, I would rather use the desktop version to start with.
One might argue that the experience is not the same as using the app and I 100% agree with that statement. If my goal is to just write a lot of content in a preformatted document, I prefer using the default mobile app because of the convenience and better user experience that the app provides.
For accessing additional features and other tools that are only available on the desktop version, I use the trick mentioned above.
If you are facing other issues, please reach out to me using the comments section down below.