Using Virtualbox 4.2.10 with Windows 7 as host and guest.

If I press Ctrl+F, the OS goes full screen. If I check the resolution, it says 1680×1050 -- same size as my host OS that has many (approximately 20) other options, including MUCH bigger resolutions.

Now if I press Ctrl+F again (I want it to just fill the available window), it goes back down to 1024×732.

If I shrink the window, the resolution DOES scale down, BUT will not scale back up when I resize the window again. When I check the resolution after resizing it down, it's at 640×480 (no other options available).

Here is a video describing the problem.

HD Version

Could someone please help me fix this odd problem?



  • Windows 7
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 2 Nvidia 680's (factory overclock) on SLI (4GB for each video card)
  • CPU virtualization turned on


  • Windows 7
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Guest tools installed
  • What happens if you disable or take out one of the Nvidia cards? How many monitors ? Are you trying to use multiple monitors (if yes, what does "full screen" mean) ? – harrymc Apr 17 '13 at 7:36
  • "Full Screen" to fill the entire screen? No box, no border, goes over my task bar. I can't remove my video cards, I don't have on board video. I'm only running 1 monitor currently. – Josh Apr 17 '13 at 14:00
  • Would it help if I took a screen capture video of what's going on? – Josh Apr 17 '13 at 14:02
  • It would certainly not hurt. – harrymc Apr 17 '13 at 14:21
  • I added the video into the body (last line) – Josh Apr 17 '13 at 15:49

From the virtualbox.org manual Chapter 9. Advanced topics :

When guest systems with the Guest Additions installed are started using the graphical frontend (the normal VirtualBox application), they will not be allowed to use screen resolutions greater than the host's screen size unless the user manually resizes them by dragging the window, switching to full screen or seamless mode or sending a video mode hint using VBoxManage. This behavior is what most users will want, but if you have different needs, it is possible to change it by issuing one of the following commands from the command line:

VBoxManage setextradata global GUI/MaxGuestResolution any

will remove all limits on guest resolutions.

VBoxManage setextradata global GUI/MaxGuestResolution >width,height<

manually specifies a maximum resolution.

VBoxManage setextradata global GUI/MaxGuestResolution auto

restores the default settings. Note that these settings apply globally to all guest systems, not just to a single machine.

In the case of the poster, it was the first command that fixed the problem.

|improve this answer|||||
  • When I set the MaxGuestResolution to 'any', my Ubuntu guest just displays a black screen. Changing it to 'auto' did not revert to the guest working - it is still just a black screen. – David Doria Jan 25 '16 at 23:47

FIX: Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager -> File -> Preferences -> Display -> Maximum Guest Screen Size -> Automatic

|improve this answer|||||
  • Your previous answer was deleted because there wasn't a coherent answer in the previous post, just some rambling – Sathyajith Bhat Apr 19 '13 at 5:30
  • See my answer : auto just restores the default settings. And I didn't delete your answer - I am not a moderator. – harrymc Apr 19 '13 at 5:39
  • Sathya: The first line of my previous response was the same. The rambling was context and methodology. It was hastily worded because it was written at midnight PST after reading through virtualbox changelogs, running experiments, and restoring data so I could get back to work. My apologies for not clearly denoting answer and context. – pauloppenheim-liveloop Apr 19 '13 at 5:45
  • harrymc: yes, that is indeed supposed to be the default setting. There is a bug. In recent versions (I haven't been able to determine when this came about) it appears GUI/LastGuestSizeHint (which defaults to 640x480 and typically isn't changed) takes precedence. Resetting the option (whether through the GUI or commandline, whether auto or any) makes vbox behave correctly. I'm still trying to get an exact repro to file the bug against vbox so this doesn't waste anyone else's time. – pauloppenheim-liveloop Apr 19 '13 at 6:11
  • similar, but not exact, issue in the virtualbox bugtracker: virtualbox.org/ticket/11677 – pauloppenheim-liveloop Apr 19 '13 at 7:07

In the virtualbox menu (from either the main window or a virtual machine):

  • File >
  • Preferences >
  • Display >
  • Maximum Guest Screen Size > "None"

Then restart your vm for it to take effect.

enter image description here

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.