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Enable Full Screen Mode in Media Center Without Trapping the Mouse

If you have a dual monitor setup and use Windows Media Center, you’re probably aware that when WMC is in full screen mode, it traps the mouse so you can’t work on a second monitor. Here we look at how to solve the annoyance.

The Maxifier is an application that allows you to open Media Center in full screen mode without restricting the mouse. It relieves the annoyance of WMC capturing your mouse on a dual monitor setup.

Note: If you don’t have two monitors attached, most of The Maxifier’s functions won’t work.

Installation and Use

Download, extract, and install The Maxifier. (See the download link below)

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The Maxifier runs minimized in the system tray and you access the options by right-clicking on the icon. If Media Center is not already open, you can choose Start Media Center to start WMC on the main start screen. Or, choose one of the other selections to open another area of Media Center. By default, Maxifier opens Media Center in full screen mode on the secondary monitor.

When Media Center is open in full screen mode, you’ll notice you can now freely move your mouse around your multi-monitor setup.

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When Media Center is open, you’ll see five additional options. The Fit Screen options simply fits Media Center to the full screen, but still show the Windows borders. Full screen options put WMC in full screen mode.

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The Maxifier Options allow you to choose from the various start up options. Selecting Watch for Media Center starting will prompt Maxifier to open WMC to the main start page in full screen mode on the secondary monitor automatically, even if you open Media Center without using The Maxifier.  (You may need to restart for this to take effect)

If you have more than 2 monitors, you can define on which monitor to open Media Center, and which monitor you consider to be the main screen.

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You can also define a number of Hotkeys in The Maxifier settings. First, select the Enable Hotkeys checkbox. To create a Hotkey, click in the text field and then press the keys to use as the Hotkey. To remove a Hotkey, click in the field and press the Delete key.

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Conclusion

The Maxifier is a simple program that enables Media Center users to take full advantage of a multi-monitor workspace. It works with both Vista and Windows 7. Version 1.4 is a stable application for Vista, and Version 1.5b is a beta application for Windows 7.

Looking for more Media Center tips and tweaks? Check out some startup customizations for Windows 7 Media Center, how to automatically mount and view ISO’s in WMC, and how to add background images and themes to Windows 7 Media Center.

Link

Download the Maxifier

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 06/11/10

Comments (6)

  1. Chuckles

    FINALLY!! Thank you so much!

  2. NIck

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

    MICROSOFT PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THIS GUY IS DOING
    HIRE HIM
    PAY HIM FOR FIXING YOU STUFF

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

  3. David

    Here we are a year later. This fixes my problem and is exactly what I wanted. Thank you for posting it. Off to pay my gratitude to the author.

  4. Shash

    An improvement from MCE multi monitor however both programs do not fully extend on 1920 X 1200.

  5. Prokop

    In Windows7 x64 does not work correct.

  6. Giles

    Thanks greatly. Appears to be working fine on Win7 64bit

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