Odd bug randomly loads mobile version of Google Search in desktop Chrome

A bug with Google.com and/or Chrome today sees queries entered through the browser’s address bar return the mobile Search results page.

Instead of getting the desktop version, some users experiencing this bug on Tuesday are getting the mobile variant of Google Search. This manifests as a single column of cards that is centered with plenty of left and right white space.

It’s basically the results page you get when browsing on a phone or tablet, but shown on a much larger canvas. There is no side panel to show Knowledge Panel results as everything is in the center. Meanwhile, some users are seeing an odd, thin variant of the Google logo up top.

This bug affects both the Chrome desktop browser and Chrome OS. Users on both Chrome 85 — which hit stable last week — and Chrome Beta/Dev 86 are facing this problem. It also persists when using Incognito mode.

For some users, not every query returns the mobile page. A simple refresh most times brings back the desktop site. This is a first-party issue that does not look to be affected by extensions.

In our testing, sending an impacted mobile URL to an uninfected user correctly loads the desktop site. There are a handful of reports about this mobile Google Search bug today, but it does not currently appear to be a widespread issue.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com