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I'm connecting to a remote Mac through a Windows. ahh it gets more complicated than that.

I'm sitting by my iMac. I use Virtual Box in it to launch Windows 7. In it I have a VPN connection to a remote Windows network, which allows me to use Remote Desktop to one of the Windows (Vista!) boxes over there. From that Vista box I VNC into a Mac OS X Lion. (Don't ask me why, but that Mac doesn't have a public ip which prevents me from accessing it in the first place.) So: OSXLion -> (virtual)Windows7 -> Windows Vista -> OSX Lion

That last Mac was recently upgraded from Snow Leopard. Now with Lion, sometimes apps run in fullscreen. Somehow I can't get out of that fullscreen. Normally you'd move the mouse pointer to the top of screen and a menu list bar drops down allowing you to reach the fullscreen button top right. Now, in my current setup that menu list bar never drops down on the remote Mac at the end of the line.

Any ideas?

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Can't you just press ⌘⇧F to exit fullscreen? – slhck Mar 21 '12 at 16:52
⌘ is swallowed somewhere on the way. Due to the fact that I connect through two different Windows systems and then use a VNC client which actually does work with but seems not very tailored for a client Mac system, special buttons like ⌘, ctrl and what not seem just impossible to get through all the way. I just found out though that a F9 push opens the Mission Control where I can navigate to desktop on the remote Mac. :-P Still I'd just like to switch off the fullscreen feature completely on that old Macbook. – Jonny Mar 21 '12 at 16:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

a Ctrl left or right arrow will move between fullscreen apps and the desktop

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Actually it works! Thanks :-)) Note: I ended up SSHing into the Mac, and "kill -9 ###" the XCode process itself. Still, I'll be looking for a way to disable fullscreen mode all together due to the bad VNC compatibility between Windows<>Mac OS X Lion. – Jonny Apr 19 '12 at 2:12

Command Ctrl F will Exit or Enter Full Screen on Apple OS X Mavericks (and a few versions earlier). This is the shortcut to get out of full screen when you hit the new double arrows at the upper-right corner of any window....

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I'm sometimes using TigerVNC on a Macbook pro with OS X (10.9.5, Mavericks). Simple F8 doesn't work (instead it starts a song on iTunes!) In fact, as mentioned here:

On most Mac laptops, some of the function keys (F1 - F12) are used to control hardware features


If you want to use these function keys for standard keyboard shortcuts, you must use the fn key, located in the lower-left corner of the keyboard.

So, Fn-F8 is actually what works (and exits from fullscreen).

That said, every so often, I still run into trouble with a VNC in fullscreen (changed config, different VNC, or something else).

In that case, in a pinch, one thing that really seems to always work (so far) is:


This is Force-Quit and is, as far as I can tell, not trapped by anything. It kills without further ceremony the current application (VNC stuck in fullscreen) and will give you control back over your mac.

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