How to Activate Full Screen Mode in Internet Explorer 11

View Web Pages and Media Without Visual Distraction

Toggle full screen mode in IE 11


Internet Explorer is no longer the default web browser in Windows 10 — that distinction goes to Microsoft Edge. However, IE11 ships with Windows 10, and many users prefer it. Like other modern web browsers, Internet Explorer 11 gives you the ability to view web pages in full-screen mode, hiding all elements other than the main browser window itself. This includes tabs, toolbars, bookmarks bars, and the download/status bar. Full-screen mode is especially handy when you are viewing rich content such as videos or anytime you want to view web pages without the distraction of surrounding elements.

Putting Internet Explorer 11 in Full-Screen Mode

You can toggle IE11 full-screen mode on and off in just a few steps.

  1. Open Internet Explorer.

    Internet Explorer icon in Windows 10 Start Menu
  2. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the browser window.

    Gear icon in Internet Explorer
  3. When the drop-down menu appears, hover your mouse cursor over the File option to open a submenu.

  4. Click on Full Screen. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut F11.

    Full screen submenu in File menu in Internet Explorer's Gear icon

Your browser should now be in full-screen mode. To disable full-screen mode and return to your standard Internet Explorer 11 window, press the F11 key.

How to Change the Default Browser to Internet Explorer 11

If you prefer Internet Explorer 11, you can choose it as your default web browser in Windows 10. Then, everything you do on your computer that requires a web browser automatically opens and uses IE11. To change the Windows 10 default browser to Internet Explorer 11:

  1. Right-click the Windows icon and select Search.

  2. Type control panel in the search field.

  3. Select Control Panel from the search results.

    Control Panel button in Windows 10 Start Menu
  4. Click Network and Internet in the Control Panel for more options.

    Network and Internet icon in Control Panel for Windows 10
  5. Select Programs from the options list and click Default programs.

    Default Programs button in Programs panel of Control Panel
  6. Click Set your default programs.

    Set your default programs link in Default Programs panel of Control Panel on Windows 10
  7. Locate and click Internet Explorer from the resulting window.

    Internet Explorer button in Default apps window in Settings on Windows 10
  8. In some versions of Windows, select Set this program as default and click OK to finalize the default browser change.

Running Internet Explorer 11 From the Start Menu

If you don't want to change your default browser to Internet Explorer 11 but want easy access to it, use the Start menu:

  1. Click on Start.

  2. Type Internet Explorer in the search field.

  3. When Internet Explorer 11 appears in the list, right-click it and select Pin to Start or Pin to Taskbar.