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How to go full screen in Windows 11 and 10

Games often forego normal window size controls.

Published onJuly 7, 2023

Although many Windows apps go full screen automatically — particularly games — you can’t always count on that when you’re trying to maximize the content you see. Here’s how you can switch any Windows app to full screen, including games that don’t default to the setting.


To make an app go full screen in Windows, here are the top three standard options:

  1. Select the app and hit Windows + up arrow or (in some cases) F11.
  2. Click the Maximize (square) button in the top-right corner.
  3. Double-click the title bar (the blank space in the top border).


How to go full screen in Windows 11 and 10

In most circumstances Windows offers several ways of making an app full screen, presumably because of how essential the option is. Chances are you’ll settle on only two or three of them. In fact, we’ve actually left out a few methods that are unreliable or needlessly complicated.

Using keyboard shortcuts

Windows logo

With an app selected, hit Windows + up arrow on your keyboard.

There’s also F11, which blocks out all other Windows elements, including the taskbar. Hit F11 again to exit. Not all apps support this viewing mode.

Using the Maximize button

The Windows 11 Maximize and Snap Layout button
Roger Fingas / Android Authority

Assuming an app’s borders are visible, click on its Maximize button, which looks like a square and sits next to the Close (X) button in the top-right corner. Ignore the Snap Layout pop-up if it appears.

Double-clicking the title bar

Most Windows apps have empty space in their title bar, which is a part of the border that connects to the Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons. Double-clicking in this space maximizes a window, and double-clicking again returns to the previous size.

Using this method may not be convenient in apps where the title bar is completely stacked with tabs — Google Chrome, for instance, leaves so little free space that you might as well click on Maximize.

Snapping the window to the top

If you have Snap Assist features on, click and drag a window to the very top of your desktop. You’ll see most of your desktop blur. When you release your mouse button, the selected app will go full screen.

Using the taskbar

When an app is already open, use Shift + right-click on its taskbar icon to access window control options. Choose Maximize.

How to make games full screen in Windows 11 and 10

Games can be odd beasts when it comes to window size. While some follow Windows conventions, many games bypass them, usually by jumping directly to a borderless full screen mode. They’re doing this to both enhance immersion and reduce the resources consumed by other apps.

Even if they offer a windowed mode, or launch in one, they may still lock out regular full screen controls. If that’s the case, you’ll need to explore in-game settings menus, usually under a header like Video or Graphics. In Respawn’s Titanfall 2, for instance, you have go to Settings > Video and cycle through Display Mode options.

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