Adding a Desktop Mobile Toggle Button

The goal of a Bootstrap site is to deliver a mobile view that is so easily navigable that it never leaves the user yearning for a tiny shrunk down desktop experience on their phone. Still, despite a developers best intentions, some users just want what they want. And we should give it to them. We’re not designing sites so that we may enforce our will on others, but to provide content that users find easy to view, and some users have different preferences than others.

Luckily, we can easily provide both worlds, and default to a responsive view with the hopes that they will find it so convincing they’ll never need the desktop view.

Here’s a little snippet of code that I like to put on websites. You can see it in action on:

Add two toggles to your page.

<!-- Desktop / Mobile Footer -->
<div id="DesktopMobileFooter" class='h_center'>
    <div class="MobileToggle">
        View <a id="DesktopSite" href="#" >Desktop</a> | <strong>Mobile</strong> Site
    <div class="MobileToggle" style="display:none;">
        View <strong>Desktop</strong> | <a id="MobileSite" href="#" >Mobile</a> Site

Then add the following JavaScript:

$(".MobileToggle a").click(function () {
    var viewport = ($(this).attr('id') === "MobileSite") ?
                    'width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0' :
    $("meta[name=viewport]").attr('content', viewport);
    return false;

NOTE: As AJ pointed out in the comments, for this solution to work (and Bootstrap in general) make sure you’ve included the tags from Bootstrap’s Basic Template, specifically the viewport meta tag:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">


  1. Hi Kyle, I have tried your solution it changes the view port but the site does not refresh. Could you please provide me the relevant solution for this ? Thanks,Ankit

    1. I'm sure this is a couple years too late...but...for anyone else finding this snippet, it'll be a good FYI:

      You need to make sure to add the necessary viewport meta tag, otherwise there's nothing to update the content of:

      < meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0"/>

      After adding this (remove the space between "<" and "meta" since it wouldn't let me post it here without a space), it'll work as expected; no refresh needed :)

    2. Thanks AJ - yeah, it's part of bootstrap docs and bootstrap isn't really going to work without it in the first place, but doesn't hurt to have the reminder here as the solution is aimed at manipulating it specifically. I'll also add the snippet to the post so google doesn't try to remove angle brackets to prevent html injection.

  2. I did however, notice, in case anyone else has had this issue - on the newer Mobile Safari (iPhone 6 and later I guess) I'm seeing that as soon as I try to pinch zoom, it reverts back to the responsive site. I'm guessing it's that the viewport size is being changed when the zoom occurs, but still messing around with it...

    Anyone else having the same issue that has a solution?

    1. Ok, fixed it...turns out the version of Bootstrap I was using has a viewport fix that changes the viewport size on gesture. I added a conditional statement with a bool in session storage that allowed me to keep the fix when responsive, but removed when desktop size.

      Thanks again for this great solution!

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  4. I appreciate your thought process, excellent points… I may just “steal” a few of your thoughts for my blog! apple tablet mockup