I'm really not sure whether this is an MSE-worthy issue, or just a Windows Phone one, but I'm hoping to provide enough details here such that it makes sense.


Pretty much just as stated in the title of this question, Stack Exchange Chat doesn't seem to recognize my phone as a mobile device, and consequently it doesn't give me a mobile experience.

I'll admit that I'm not really convinced that this is actually a Stack Exchange bug, but I'm at a loss for what else it could be, so I'm tentatively tagging this as .


  • I have a Windows Phone, running OS version 8.10.12359.845, which I believe may be a preview version (although they've yet to offer me an update).
  • Stack Exchange sites do recognize it properly, and I'm fed the appropriate, mobile layout.
  • I don't think I've ever had this problem on any other websites.
  • My phone's User-Agent is :

    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0; IEMobile/11.0; NOKIA; Lumia 822) like Gecko

Troubleshooting Steps

I opened Internet Explorer 11's developer tools and set the user agent to view the mobile site, and that works. Although it doesn't seem to be aware of Windows Phone 8.1 yet, at least in my version. The User-Agent for that is:

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows Phone 8.0; Trident/6.0; IEMobile/10.0; ARM; Touch)

  • 1
    No idea if it is the same on chat, but the mobile view setting is actually stored locally for the main site. If i switch to the full site from my phone, I get the full site next time i visit until I switch back to the mobile view. Have you tried to switch to mobile in chat? And does it keep changing back? Nov 21, 2014 at 0:52
  • @psubsee2003 Interesting. I wasn't even aware that there was such a setting, but I don't see it either. Do you know where that would be? In any event, even for the main site, without changing anything like that, it respects the browser setting for that. And I've never seen chat on this phone work correctly, so the default must be somehow wrong. Nov 21, 2014 at 8:42
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    The link to switch between mobile and full site is in the footer. If you switch to mobile view from your desktop, next time you visit that specific site from your desktop, you will get the mobile view. It works the same as from your phone. No idea where this would be in chat, but probably the same spot, if it exists Nov 21, 2014 at 9:07
  • @psubsee2003 Ah, beautiful. I'm used to looking there to go from a desktop view to a mobile one, but it hadn't even occurred to me that it would be there for the other way around. Anyway, it worked! I'm still curious of why that wasn't the default (especially since it was insanely difficult trying to tap that link on my phone, with the weird scrolling patterns that chat uses), but I can definitely live with this. Feel free to post that as an answer if the prospect of a free 25 rep points interests you. :P Nov 21, 2014 at 9:14
  • I personally don't see why this would bother you. SE's mobile chat sucks. No replying, starring, anything.
    – Scimonster
    Nov 21, 2014 at 9:36
  • @Scimonster I know it's not the best, but I'm a moderator and occasionally there are matters that I need (or like) to follow along with even when I'm not a computer. And mobile chat is definitely better on a phone than the desktop version, at least for that kind of thing. Nov 21, 2014 at 10:10

1 Answer 1


I can't speak to your core problem and tell you if it is an SE problem or not (or if it even is one), but changing the user agent to get the mobile view is an over-complicated work around. SE has provided a simpler method to switching between the full site and mobile view from any browser. There is a button in the footer of both the chat full site and mobile view to switch between views. Click it and you'll get the mobile view on your device.

desktop view chat footer

mobile view chat footer

The rest is just theory since I don't have direct experience with chat on a mobile device and with switching between views.

You just need to click it once and assuming it behaves like the same buttons on the main site, your choice of views will be preserved in the future.

This could also explain your situation. If you happened to visit once before on your phone and accidentally clicked the "Full Site" button, you would have been given the full site and it has not switched back because you made the change initially.

  • I'd somewhat prefer the user-agent switching. Obviously it's not practical on a desktop (nor do I want it to be), but phones these days make it so easy with their built-in UI that it's nice to take advantage of that. But yeah, I am quite certain that I never changed that site-specific setting on my phone from mobile to desktop, mostly since I just quite recently started actually even using chat. But who knows. I'll take what I can get. Some day when resources are free and time is unlimited, someone at SE can look into this. Until then, this seems to be working beautifully. Thanks! Nov 21, 2014 at 10:14

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