How to Activate Full Screen Mode in Internet Explorer 11

View web pages and media without visual distraction

Internet Explorer 11 hides all web page elements other than the main browser window when it's in full-screen mode. Use this mode when you want to view rich content such as videos or to view pages without distracting surrounding elements. Here's how to open a link in Internet Explorer full-screen mode.

These instructions apply to Internet Explorer 11 on any supported version of Microsoft Windows.

Activate Full-Screen Mode in Internet Explorer 11

Turn IE11 full-screen mode on and off in a few steps.

  1. Open Internet Explorer.

    Internet Explorer icon in Windows 10 Start Menu
  2. Select the gear icon (located in the upper-right corner of the browser window).

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

  4. Select Full Screen. Alternatively, use the F11 keyboard shortcut.

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

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

Set Internet Explorer to Always Open Maximized

If Internet Explorer does not open as a maximized window when you select it in the Start menu, the shortcut has the incorrect default Run property. Change it from the Windows desktop.

  1. Right-click a blank area on the desktop. Point to New and select Shortcut.

    The Shortcut command
  2. Select Browse, then navigate to Program Files/Internet Explorer/iexplore.exe.

    The Browse button
  3. Choose Next.

    The Next button
  4. Enter a name for the shortcut, then select Finish. The shortcut appears on the desktop.

    The Finish button
  5. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.

    The Properties command
  6. Go to the Shortcut tab. Then, select the Run drop-down arrow and choose Maximized.

    The Maximized option in the Shortcut menu
  7. Select Apply, then select OK.

Internet Explorer opens in the maximized state any time you open it using a shortcut.