I have a command line program that has somehow got set to run in full screen mode. I want to make it run in a window instead. How do I do this?

The details probably aren't relevant, but it's the Visual Basic compiler, a part of Visual Studio 2005. Whenever I compile a program in VS it runs the compiler, which loads very briefly as a fullscreen program. The flickering effect of having the screen go black everytime I compile is really annoying!

When I run the program from Windows Explorer by double-clicking it appears as fullscreen but then terminates before I can interact with it. Is there a non-interactive way to change it to windowed mode?


  • Sidenote: It's not actually me who's having the problem, it's my co-worker. I wrote the question in first-person, though, as it's easier to read than "My friend has this problem with his computer..." – Brian Beckett Jan 28 '11 at 18:34

Windows Console settings are kept in Registry (Start → Run → regedit), under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console key1.

  • The default settings are under HKCU\Console itself. Make sure the FullScreen value is set to 0. If not, change it.
  • Per-program settings are stored in sub-keys named according to the program's path. Look for an entry belonging to your compiler, fix it if necessary.
  • You can just delete the entire HKEY_CURRENT_USER\console key (although you will lose the customizations you might have wanted to keep).

A trick you could try:

Start a long compile, and just after the full-screen switch press Pause on your keyboard to pause it, then Alt+Esc to minimize the window. Right-click on its button in the taskbar, choose Properties, then Options, and select Display Options → Window.

1 In regedit, keys are the folders in the left-side tree, and values are items in the right-side list.

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