The Sims 2 Windowed Mode Instructions

Change the shortcut's properties to disable full-screen mode

Characters from the video game The Sims 2


The Sims 2 and its expansion packs normally run in full-screen mode. This means that when you play the game, the screen fills the entire display, hiding your desktop and other windows. If you'd rather not play in full-screen mode, there's a way to make the game appear within a window rather than over the whole screen. This "windowed mode" option leaves your desktop and other windows visible and easier to access, and it also keeps your Windows taskbar just a click away so you can switch to other programs or games, see the clock, etc. Enabling it requires tweaking the game's shortcut. We'll show you how.

This guide is specifically for The Sims 2 on PC.

How to Enable Windowed Mode in The Sims 2

Follow these steps to get The Sims 2 to run in windowed mode:

  1. Locate the shortcut you use to start The Sims 2. It's most likely on your desktop, where it appears by default when the game is first installed.

  2. Right-click or tap-and-hold the shortcut, then pick Properties from the menu.

  3. In the Shortcut tab, next to the Target: field, go to the very end of the command and put a space followed by -window (or -w).

  4. Click or tap the OK button to save and exit.

Open The Sims 2 to test the new windowed mode shortcut. If the game opens in full-screen again, return to Step 3 and make sure there's a space after the normal text, before the dash, but that there isn't a space between the dash and the word "window."

This also works with lots of other games that run in full-screen mode. If a game doesn't have a windowed mode setting available in its graphics options, follow the steps above to see if it works.

Switching Back to Full-Screen Mode

If you decide you want to play The Sims 2 in full-screen mode again, repeat the same steps as described above but delete "-window" from the shortcut's command line to revert back to the previous settings.

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