Full Screen is useful when you want to focus on a single task or want to declutter your screen. There may be times when you need to exit full screen, but the normal shortcuts or keys are not working. Therefore, this guide shows you different ways to exit full-screen mode on Windows.
Pressing the F11 key on your keyboard immediately takes you out of full-screen mode and back to windowed mode. Using a laptop, you may need to simultaneously press the Fn key + F11 keys to exit full-screen.
Press the ESC key
Pressing the ESC key on your keyboard can help you exit full screen. This method doesn’t work for all programs, but it’s worth trying, especially for specific applications. For example, if you’re watching a YouTube video in full-screen, pressing the ESC key will return it to its standard size.
Use the “Restore” button
Most applications hide the toolbar in full-screen mode. However, some don’t. In these cases, you can find a square “restore” button in the top-right corner of the screen. This button is used to enter and exit full-screen.
Alt + Space key shortcut
If you can’t see the toolbar containing the square button, you can try pressing the Alt + Space key combination. This will open a menu where you can select Restore to exit full-screen mode.
Click the X button
The X button should appear when you drag your cursor to the top of the screen. Click it to exit full-screen mode.
Use Task Manager
If all else fails, you can try to open the Task Manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and select the program in full-screen mode. Then, click End Task to close the program and exit full-screen mode. This method should only be used as a last resort, as it will force the program to close without saving any unsaved data.
These are other shortcuts you can use to exit full-screen mode.
Alt + F4: Closes the active program.
Alt + Tab: Switches between open programs.
Ctrl + M: Minimizes the active program.
Windows + D: Shows the desktop.
Back in 1966 when I was born, technology as we know it today was drastically different. In my lifetime, I witnessed the word of computing change from the giant ENIAC machine, to the supercomputers of today.
Since a young age, I have been obsessed with technology, and it was only natural that I continued my career path to study computer science. I graduated from NYU Computer Science in 1990.
I went on to work for IBM as a software engineer where our team pioneered a what would later become IBM Cloud. From 2001, I worked as an IT recruiter for one of the top tech firms.