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How to exit full screen in Windows?

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  • 4 min read

The full-screen mode was the preferred mode for various workflows, especially if you have a small screen. However, in this era of multitasking, you will have to switch screens, often requiring you to exit the full screen in Windows.

Exiting full-screen mode on Windows is a straightforward process that can be accomplished in a few simple steps. In this article, we will provide several ways by which you can do this.

Keyboard shortcuts

You can use several keyboard shortcuts to exit full screen in Windows:

The F11 key

The F11 key is a simple way to exit the full-screen mode in Windows. Just press the F11 key located at the top of the keyboard to exit the full-screen mode in most Windows applications, including web browsers, media players, and image viewers.

There may be a chance that in your computer the F11 key performs a different function like print screen. You can always change it from the BIOS.

The Esc key

Use the Esc key as an alternative to the F11 key. But remember, the Esc key won’t work for all applications.

Windows + D or Windows + M

Press the Windows key + D or Windows key + M to minimise the screen. You can press this combination again to restore the screen to the original size again. Both the shortcut perform the same function, you can use any one of these two options.

Alt + Spacebar

Using the Alt + Spacebar keys, you can see an array of commands in the application menu from which you can easily exit the full screen. You can also right-click on the title bar to open the menu.

Also read: How to make a game full screen?

Application-specific methods

Several applications and websites, especially video streaming platforms, have specific buttons which can help you to exit full screen in Windows. For example, YouTube has the exit full-screen icon at the bottom right of the screen. Check out the screenshot above.

Other applications or websites may have an icon resembling two arrows pointing outwards or some other icon. Usually, the placement of icons will be at the bottom of the screen where you can easily locate them.

Also read: Esc key not working on Mac: Quick Fix

Use the split-screen feature

Windows 11 now comes with a split-screen feature where you can use up to four individual screens on one monitor. Usually, this feature is already activated and you have to just left-click on the title bar of the current window that you have opened and you will see the split screen widget hanging down. Now, place the current tab in the square space that you like.

Use this process for all the other screens that you opened.

Also read: Fix: The touchpad cursor disappears in Windows 11

Frequently answered questions (FAQs)

Let us head to some FAQs on the topic:

How do I get out of fullscreen on Windows?

You can use keyboard shortcuts like the F11 key, Windows + D/M, and Alt + Spacebar to exit the full-screen mode in Windows.

How do I exit the full screen without F11?

Use other shortcuts such as Windows + D or Windows + M.

How do I exit full screen in Word?

To exit full screen in Word, press Esc or click on the Close icon at the top right corner.

Also read: Can’t remove read-only from folder in Windows 11: Quick Fix


Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]