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Is there a way to prevent any program run in full screen mode? I'm usually working with several programs at once, and I find it annoying to be in and out of full screen to go from one to another when that happens. I´m using Windows 7.

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You know that Win-D and Alt-Tab, work for navigating between full-screen windows, right? –  David Feb 25 '13 at 15:31
    
Could a Virtual Desktop App help? I use Virtawin to "seperate" apps that have stubborn fullscreen modes. The apps are still in fullscreen but at least they don't switch in and out of fullscreen as I'm working. –  cloneman Feb 26 '13 at 2:07
    
Are you talking about the "Aero Snap" mode that maximizes the window when you move near the edge of the screen? Or applications that actually take over the entire screen? If the application takes over the entire screen, the only way to avoid that is to use a setting within the application, if it provides one. –  davidcl Mar 2 '13 at 0:01
    
Does F11 bring it to normal mode ? –  Lamb Mar 2 '13 at 16:22
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4 Answers

I have tried different key words on Google search, with a lot variation of "disable full screen in windows 7", it seems that this is not possible.

If I don´t want an application runs in fullscreen mode, I must disable this option manually in the program settings.

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Unfortunately, some programs do not have an option to disable fullscreen mode. –  Jim Fell Feb 25 '13 at 15:10
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When you move a window near the edge of the screen, that initiates the Aero Snap action that maximizes the window. You can disable this feature as follows :

  • Open Control Panel / Ease of Access Center / Make the Mouse easier to use.
  • Place a check mark in the Prevent Windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen option.
  • Click OK.
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AFAIK, that's the only to avoid full-screen in Windows. For a specific application, you must find some setting in the application itself to avoid it. –  harrymc Feb 25 '13 at 17:18
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Although it's not the greatest solution, running the application from within a virtual machine accomplishes the desired effect. The screen resolution of the virtual machine can be set as desired, and then the application fills only the virtual machine's window space.

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Alt + Enter often works (mostly on DirectX applications). This seems to be a tradition more than anything else, but I've found a surprisingly large number of programs support it. Also, Esc is worth a shot.

There is also a program called DxWnd that is designed specifically for this purpose: forcing fullscreen programs into windowed mode. I haven't used it in a long time, but it's still actively developed and it's worth a shot. It was originally designed for and works best with DirectX, but it seems OpenGL (another graphics library similar to DirectX) and GDI (general Windows programs often use this) support has been added. See here for download links.

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Thanks, Bob! The DxWnd utility sounds like exactly what I need. Unfortunately, I cannot test it because I'm currently in the middle of reinstalling everything, after a troubled upgrade of the main system. It sounds like DxWnd should do the trick, though! Thanks! –  Jim Fell Mar 3 '13 at 19:04
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