How to Exit Full Screen in Windows 11

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.

Press F11

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.

The F11 key by bit-tech.
The F11 key by bit-tech.

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.

The square button.
The square button.

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.

Press the Alt + Space key combination.
Press the Alt + Space key combination.

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.

Drag your cursor to the top of the screen, the X button will appear.
Drag your cursor to the top of the screen. The X button will appear.

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.

Select the program in full-screen mode. Then, click End Task.
Select the program in full-screen mode. Then, click End Task.

Other shortcuts

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.

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