Windows 10 not playing games fullscreen [Fixed]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
6 Comments
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  • Even if it’s mostly stable, the truth is that Windows 10 is not always playing games fullscreen.
  • We’ve looked at multiple user reports, so you’ll find below the best strategies you may use to resolve this distracting issue with ease.
  • For more quick tips, we can only welcome you to our Screen Issues section as well.
  • Do not hesitate to bookmark our Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub for further reference.
Fix Windows 10 not playing games fullscreen

We all love to relax with a favorite game on our computers, but it seems that some users are having problems with fullscreen games and Windows 10.

This sounds like an unusual problem, and today we’ll try to fix that. Some users report that they are unable to run games in fullscreen mode.

According to them the game just switches to desktop and stays that way while game sounds play in the background.

This makes most games unplayable since games run in fullscreen mode by default, but there are a few solutions that you can try.


We’ve written extensively about fullscreen issues in games before. Bookmark this page in case you need it later.


How can I fix Windows 10 not playing games fullscreen?

1. Run your game in windowed mode

run game in windowed mode

If your game comes with a configuration file, or if you can set its configuration before starting it make sure that you set it to run in windowed mode.

This isn’t the best solution, but it’s a workaround that will allow you to play your favorite game again.

For the best experience, be sure to select borderless window mode and the same resolution that you use on your desktop.


2. Set display scaling to 100%

  1. Open the Settings app and go to System > Display.
    Windows 10 not using full screen
  2. Find the Change the size of text, apps, and other items and set it to 100%.

It has been reported that many games won’t run properly unless the display scaling is set to 100%, so let’s see how to set display scaling to 100% in Windows 10.

You might have to sign out of your account and sign back in order to apply the changes, so be sure to do that. Once you do that, be sure to check if your games are working again.


Note: Game Fire is a game booster that will get rid of low FPS, freezes, lags, and other issues while playing. Download it now (free) for a better gaming experience.


3. Change your main screen

  1. Right-click on your Desktop and choose Display settings from the menu. When the Display settings window opens you should see two monitors labeled with numbers.
    Windows 10 not using full screen
  2. In Display settings window click Identify.  A number should appear on your screen. Usually, it’s 1 or 2.
  3. Now in Display settings set the monitor with the same number you got in Step 2 as the main monitor.
  4. Save the changes and try running games in fullscreen.

You can experience problems with fullscreen and games if you’re using dual monitor setup. However, you can fix this problem simply by changing your display settings.

This is a simple trick that can help you fix this problem, so be sure to try it out.


4. Change Nvidia Control Panel settings

  1. Open Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Go to Manage 3D settings > Global settings.
    Windows 10 not playing games full screen
  3. Change Preferred graphics processor from Auto-select to High-Performance Nvidia processor.
  4. Click on Apply to save the changes and try running games in fullscreen mode.

If you own both integrated and dedicated graphic you might need to change few Nvidia Control Panel settings to fix this issue.

Few users reported that they fixed the problem simply by adjusting their desktop size and position in Nvidia Control Panel. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Go to Display > Adjust desktop size and position.
    Windows 10 not playing games full screen
  3. Locate the scaling option and set it to No scaling and click on Apply to save changes.
    Windows 10 fullscreen games keep minimizing

After making these changes, you should be able to run games in fullscreen without any problems. If you use AMD graphics, you should be able to find similar options in Catalyst Control Center.


Can’t open Nvidia Control Panel on Windows 10? Don’t panic! Here’s a guide to fix the issue quickly!


5. Disable Teamviewer

disable Teamviewer

Many users reported various fullscreen issues with their favorite games, and according to them, the common cause is Teamviewer.

If you’re not familiar with Teamviewer, it’s a remote assistance application that allows you to control any other PC remotely.

This is a rather popular application and many users have it installed. Even though Teamviewer is a great application, sometimes it can cause issues to occur.

Many users reported fullscreen issues while playing games, but they were able to solve the problem simply by disabling Teamviewer. After doing that, the issue should be resolved.

If disabling the Teamviewer doesn’t help, you might want to try uninstalling the application and check if that solves the problem.

If you need another remote control application that won’t interfere with fullscreen games, be sure to try Mikogo or Radmin.


6. Use the Compatibility mode

  1. Locate the problematic application, right-click it, and choose Properties from the menu.
    Games won't go full screen Windows 10
  2. Navigate to the Compatibility tab and check Run this program in compatibility mode for an option. Now select the desired version of Windows from the menu and click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 full screen not working

If you’re having problems with fullscreen games on your PC, you might want to try running them in Compatibility mode.

This mode is specially designed for older applications that aren’t fully compatible with Windows 10. To run a certain application in Compatibility mode, you need to complete the above procedure.

After enabling Compatibility mode, try to run your game again and check if the issue still persists.

Keep in mind that you might have to try several different compatibility modes before you find the one that works for the selected game.

Compatibility mode is a useful feature that allows you to run old software on your PC, so feel free to try it out.


7. Change the font size to 100%

how to change font size

If you’re having problems with fullscreen in your favorite games, you might be able to fix this issue simply by setting the font size to 100%.

We already showed you how to do that in Solution 2, so be sure to check it out for detailed instructions.

After doing that, you need to open Intel HD Control Panel application and make a few changes. When Intel HD Control Panel opens, navigate to the Display section and set the Fit setting to Fullscreen.

Now check Override application settings checkbox and save changes.

After doing that, you should be able to run older games without any problems on your PC. Keep in mind that this solution works only if you’re using Intel HD integrated graphics.

If you’re using AMD or Nvidia graphics, be sure to check their Control Panel software to change the aforementioned settings.


8. Restore your Taskbar to the default position

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now navigate to the Personalization section.
    Windows 10 fullscreen games keep minimizing
  3. From the menu on the left select Taskbar. Now in the right pane, enable Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode option.
    Windows 10 full screen games black screen

According to users, problems with fullscreen games can occur if your Taskbar isn’t in the default position.

Some users like to move their Taskbar to the side or to the top of their screen, but that can sometimes cause this problem to occur.

However, you can easily fix this issue simply by moving your Taskbar to its default position on the bottom.

Once you move your Taskbar to the bottom of the screen, the issue should be resolved and you’ll be able to play your favorite games in fullscreen once again.

If you don’t want to move your Taskbar to the default position, you can fix the problem by setting the Taskbar to hide automatically.

After you enable this option, you should be able to run games in fullscreen mode without any problems.


What can you do if your Taskbar is not working? Check out our guide to find out!


9. Change your resolution in the Catalyst Control Center

resolution in Catalyst Control Center
  1. Open Catalyst Control Center and navigate to Graphics/Desktop & Display section.
  2. Click the triangle button in the big Screen model section and then click on Properties.
  3. Now set your resolution to the lower one and save changes.
  4. Navigate to Graphics/Desktop & Display and click on the bottom left small laptop triangle icon.
  5. You should see several options available. Click on Fullscreen and save changes.

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem simply by changing your resolution in the Catalyst Control Center.

After doing that, you just need to change the resolution on your PC and set it to the desired value. Now your problem should be resolved and you’ll be able to enjoy games in fullscreen mode once again.

If the issue persists, repeat the entire procedure after minimizing the game.

As you can see, solving full-screen issues on Windows 10 is relatively simple, and we hope that you managed to solve this problem using one of our solutions.

You may often experience issues while trying to run certain games in fullscreen mode. Do keep in mind that the above solutions cover all these problems:

  • PC game won’t go fullscreen – Many users reported that Windows 10 isn’t running games in fullscreen. This is usually caused by your game or graphics card settings.
  • How to make a game full screen on windows 10? – To fullscreen a game, simply press Alt + Enter during gameplay.
  • Fullscreen games keep minimizing – If your fullscreen games keep minimizing, the problem might be a third-party application. These applications can interfere with your games and cause this issue to appear.
  • Windows 10 fullscreen games black screen, flickering, crash – Many users reported flickering, crashes, and black screen on Windows 10. These often occur if you have a dual monitor setup.
  • Taskbar showing in fullscreen game – Another relatively common issue on Windows 10 is the taskbar overlaying on top of games. If the taskbar won’t hide in fullscreen games, be sure to force-hide it.
  • Windows 10 game resolution problem – Sometimes, you just need to adjust your screen resolution to 1024 x 768, then try playing your game again.
  • Windows 10 not using full screen – This is a relatively common problem, and it’s most likely caused by your settings. However, you should be able to fix it by using our solutions.
  • Windows 10 full screen not working – This is just a variation of this problem, but you should be able to solve it easily with one of the above procedures.

FAQ: Learn more about playing fullscreen games

  • How to move a fullscreen game to the second monitor?

To move a fullscreen game to the second monitor, you could simply try dragging it. Don’t hesitate to use the steps described in this detailed article.

  • Why does my fullscreen game keep minimizing?

With so many PC configurations, chances are you’re experiencing a bug or it’s an isolated case that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. In that regard, apply these quick fixes.

  • Why is my whole screen zoomed in?

If your whole screen is zoomed in, then it’s most likely the result of having Windows Magnifier turned on.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2018 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • Or

    Right click on icon –> properties–>compatibility–>under
    settings, check the ‘override high scaling behaviour’ box, select the
    drop down under it and select ‘system’. Press apply and it should now
    start up properly.

  • Thank you so much for the help.
    I have had this issue for about a week and it has been really annoying me, i was able to enable the full-screen mode from changing the NVIDIA settings.
    Again thank you so much 🙂

  • Sometimes you can just look for a config.ini file in the game folder and just change the display resolution mode from auto to game in notepad to fix this.