How to Debug Website on Mobile Chrome
By Jash Unadkat, Community Contributor - April 19, 2022
Web developers often need to debug a website on mobile Chrome in case of encountering any bug or rendering anomalies. Chrome DevTools makes it possible for developers to inspect the code and trace the bugs at the core level.
This article aims at describing two methods using which one can debug websites on mobile Chrome.
Note: For developers willing to debug websites on Chrome for specific handsets, refer to the second method.
Method 1: Using Android USB Debugging Mode
Developers can leverage the Android USB debugging mode to debug websites on mobile Chrome. Assuming that the developer has an Android device for testing purposes, they need to follow the steps below to get started with website debugging on mobile Chrome.
Step 1: From the device Settings, enable the Developer options. To enable the Developer options, tap the Build Number option seven times.
Note: As per the official Android documentation, one can find this option in one of the following locations, depending on the Android version:
- Android 9 (API level 28) and higher: Settings > About Phone > Build Number
- Android 8.0.0 (API level 26) and Android 8.1.0 (API level 26): Settings > System > About Phone > Build Number
- Android 7.1 (API level 25) and lower: Settings > About Phone > Build Number
Step 2: Further, enable the USB debugging option in the Developer Options menu. One can find this option in one of the following locations, depending on the Android version:
- Android 9 (API level 28) and higher: Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options > USB debugging
- Android 8.0.0 (API level 26) and Android 8.1.0 (API level 26): Settings > System > Developer Options > USB debugging
- Android 7.1 (API level 25) and lower: Settings > Developer Options > USB debugging
Step 3: Launch Chrome
Step 4: Navigate to – chrome://inspect#devices.
Step 5: Ensure that the Discover USB devices checkbox is enabled as seen below.
Step 6: Now, the developer needs to Connect the Android device directly to the development machine using a USB cable.
Note: If the model name of your Android device is displayed, then DevTools has successfully established the connection to your device. On the contrary, If the device is showing up as Offline, accept the Allow USB Debugging permission prompt on your Android device. Refer to the official documentation for learning about troubleshooting issues.
Step 7: Now, launch Chrome on the Android device.
Step 8: On the chrome://inspect/#devices page, you see your Android device’s model name, followed by its serial number. The version of Chrome that’s running on the device is also displayed in the parentheses.
Step 9: A unique section is displayed for every open page in the mobile Chrome, and one can interact with the desired tab from this section.
Step 10: Enter a URL in the Open tab with the URL text box, and click Open. The page opens in a new account on your Android device.
Step 11: Now, click Inspect next to the URL that you just opened. A new DevTools instance opens.
Now you can start live Debugging for the desired web page on your mobile Chrome.
Method 2: Interactive Chrome Debugging on Real Mobile Devices using BrowserStack
In certain cases, a developer might need to test or debug a website on mobile Chrome for a specific handset. In such cases, it’s not feasible for teams to purchase a device every time for the sake of testing and debugging.
Here’s where teams or individuals can opt for BrowserStack – a cloud-based testing platform. Its real device cloud offers 3000+ real devices and browsers for live interactive testing under real user conditions and debugging of websites on real device-browser combinations.
One can choose to test and debug websites on handsets from popular vendors like Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, Google, and a few others. Moreover, developers get instant access to DevTools in a Live session for mobile Chrome on the desired Android handset. Simply follow the steps below to perform mobile Chrome debugging on real devices:
Step 1: Signup for free on BrowserStack Live.
Step 2: Navigate to the Live dashboard.
Step 3: From the dashboard, choose Android OS and hover on the desired handset. (For example, Samsung S22 ultra).
Step 4: Click on the Chrome logo once it appears after hovering.
Step 5: A new Live Chrome session will start instantly on a real Samsung S22 Ultra-Chrome once you click on the Chrome logo.
Step 6: Now one can start testing and debugging the desired web page using the Devtools available in the floating toolbar.
That’s how easily one can debug a website on Chrome for the desired real handset without any complex setup.
Additionally, teams also get access to multiple features available in the toolbar once a BrowserStack Live session begins:
- Geolocation testing allows users to examine a website’s performance on mobile when accessed from a unique geographical location.
- Instant bug reporting (through Jira, Trello, Slack, Github) enables the users to report bugs to their team directly from the Live dashboard.
- Responsive testing allows users to test websites in distinct screen resolutions (like 1024×768, 1280×800, 1820×1024, and so on).
- Local Testing enables users to test and debug work-in-progress web applications at scale in local environments without hosting them in public staging environments.
- Network throttler lets the QAs test the website’s performance in poor network conditions.
Debugging on Chrome can be tricky in some cases, particularly when a bug needs to be traced on a specific handset. The methods explained above will help developers and QAs effectively test and debug websites on mobile Chrome without any complex setup. No matter which method you choose, testing on real devices helps understand the bottlenecks faced under real user conditions for accurate test results.