A hand on a gaming keyboard.

Windows PC games often let you choose to play them either in full-screen mode or in a window on your desktop. You don’t have to dig through settings to change this—just press this keyboard shortcut to switch between windowed and full-screen mode in games.

Press Alt+Enter while you’re playing a full-screen game to enable windowed mode. You can press the shortcut again to switch out of windowed mode and re-enable full-screen mode, too.

This keyboard shortcut doesn’t work in every PC game. It’s up to the game’s developer to support it, but it does work in a wide variety of games—both modern PC games and older Windows PC games going back to the 90s.

If this keyboard shortcut doesn’t work in the game you’re currently playing, you’ll need to open the PC game’s graphics settings window and choose full-screen or windowed mode instead.

This keyboard shortcut even works in some applications that aren’t games. For example, in Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell, and the new Windows Terminal, you can press Alt+Enter to toggle between full-screen and windowed modes for your terminal.

Of course, many other desktop applications, including web browsers, use F11 to toggle between full-screen and windowed modes instead.

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »