How to Open Internet Explorer in Full Screen. Did you know that Internet Explorer has several modes that you can enable, such as kiosk mode and full-screen mode? The names of these modes are a little confusing because you can minimize IE to a smaller window in full-screen mode, but not in kiosk mode. I’ll explain in more detail below.
Kiosk mode is used on public computers where administrators don’t want users to be able to change any settings, etc. This is also really useful if you just want to increase your viewing area while browsing the Internet. Here’s an example of what IE looks like in normal, fullscreen, and kiosk modes:
IE Kiosk Mode
As you can see in the image above, kiosk mode takes up the entire screen and doesn’t even display a title bar at the very top with the minimum, maximum and close buttons. In kiosk mode, there is really no way to minimize the IE window unless you close it completely.
It is also very difficult to navigate in full screen and kiosk mode because there is no address bar or whatever. In kiosk mode, you can’t even close the window normally, but you’ll either have to use a keyboard shortcut or bring up the taskbar using the Windows key on your keyboard. Let’s talk about how to enable each of these modes.
Enable full screen mode in IE
Note that you can only enable full screen mode for IE in Pro, Ultimate, and Enterprise versions of Windows 7 and 8. This is because you need access to the Group Policy Editor, and it is not available in Windows Standard or Home editions. Also note that IE 7 or higher is required for full screen mode.
First open Group Policy by clicking Start and typing gpedit.msc. Click on the first result at the top.
With the editor open, navigate to the following location:
Computer Configuration – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Internet Explorer
On the right side, scroll down until you see Turn on Full Screen Mode, and then double-click the item. The default is Not Configured.
Select the “Enabled” radio button and click “OK”. You will also notice that the Help section details how this setting will affect IE. Scroll down to the next section for how to navigate IE using only keyboard shortcuts.
Activate IE Kiosk Mode
As mentioned earlier, kiosk mode even removes the title bar at the very top of the screen, so that only the currently loaded web page remains on the entire screen.
To open IE in kiosk mode, you must pass an additional parameter to the executable. You can edit the original shortcut for IE, or create a separate shortcut to open IE in kiosk mode. I prefer the second method so that you can easily select normal or kiosk mode without editing the shortcut.
You can create a kiosk mode shortcut by right-clicking anywhere on the desktop and choosing New – Shortcut.
In the layout box, copy and paste the following line exactly as shown, including the quotes. Note that the -k part is outside the quotes, which is exactly what you want.
“C: Program Files Internet Explorer IEXPLORE.EXE” –k
Click Next and enter Internet Explorer Kiosk or whatever to distinguish the link from the normal Internet Explorer desktop icon. Click Finish to create the shortcut.
By default, when you click on a link, IE loads with the default home page. The fun part is now trying to figure out how to do without using the Back or Forward buttons, the address bar, or anything else.
Fortunately, you can get a complete list of Internet Keyboard Shortcuts in File Explorer for easier navigation. You need to know the following basic commands:
Alt + Home – go to your home page
Backspace – go back one page (previous page)
Alt + right arrow – move one page forward (next page)
CTRL + O – open a new website or page ( enter the website url)
CTRL + W – close the browser window
While getting used to, browse the Internet in full screen or IE’s kiosk mode is actually pretty nice. It does not distract and effectively uses the entire screen area.
Kiosk mode in Windows 8
If you are using Windows 8.1, there is another way to enable kiosk mode so that it is the only application that the user can run. The user cannot go to the home screen and cannot close the application at all. They cannot access the Charms bar or anything else. Using the two methods mentioned above, the user can still access other programs, settings, File Explorer, etc., simply by pressing the Windows key on the keyboard.
This special mode in Windows 8 is called Assigned Access and can be used with any modern Windows application. This means that you cannot use it with any desktop application. Fortunately, there is a modern version of IE alongside the desktop version of IE in Windows 8.1.
To use this ultra-limiting kiosk mode, you first need to create a new local account on your computer. To do this, open the charms bar and tap Settings.
Now click on the Change PC Settings link at the bottom of the charms bar.
In the left menu, click on Accounts and then Other Accounts.
Click the Add Account button to start adding a new local account. By default, Windows tries to force you to create a Microsoft account, which we don’t want.
Click “Sign in without a Microsoft account” at the bottom and then click “Local account” on the next pop-up page.
Finally, give your new account a name and password. Click Next and then Finish.
Now that you’ve added your new local account, go back to the home screen and sign out of your current account. Click the account name and then click Sign Out.
Log in to the new local account you created and let it set up the profile. You must do this, otherwise the following steps will not work. Also, if you want to assign a non-built-in Windows app to an account, open the Windows Store app and download the app so that it is installed for that user. In our case, we’ll just use IE’s built-in modern application.
After you are logged in and the startup screen appears, log out. Log in using the original administrator account you started with. Open Change PC Settings again and click on Other Accounts. This time click on “Set up an account for limited access.”
Now all you have to do is select the local account you created and select the application that you want to assign to that account.
When you click Select Application, you will see that the list contains only modern applications and no PC applications. I selected Internet Explorer as shown below.
This is it! Now just log out of your account and log into your local account. You will see that the application loads instantly and there is nothing else on the system that you can access. It really ties the computer to one particular application. To sign out of a restricted account, you need to press the Windows key five times.
So these are the different Internet Explorer modes you can use in Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Enjoy!