Apps and games can run in three different modes on a desktop computer system. They can run in fullscreen mode, windowed mode or borderless mode.
All of these modes have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Some modes get priority access to system hardware while others may offer faster Alt-Tab switching or improve streaming.
If Alt-Tab takes forever to leave the game or app, or if a streaming application does not support fullscreen mode, then you may not want to run a game in fullscreen mode after all.
Borderless Gaming is a free open source program for the Windows operating system that you can use to force games to run in borderless mode even if that is not supported by default by it.
While it won't work for all games just yet, the list of tested games include popular games such as Terraria, DayZ, Fallout 3 or Skyrim.
The program itself is easy to use. When you start it up -- it is portable and does not require installation -- it displays a list of processes in its interface.
The list of processes is updated automatically whenever you open a new window. It needs to be noted that it is limited to processes that spawn windows or run in fullscreen mode and not all processes running on the system.
Processes that you want to run in borderless mode need to be moved to the right side. Once there, it will always be resized for that mode automatically when the process is recognized by Borderless Gaming. While designed with games in mind, it is possible to run apps in a similar fashion on the system.
One of the positive effects of running games in a window is that using Alt-Tab to switch to another window is not slowed down anymore. While this may work fine in some games and systems, the Internet is full with user complaints about Alt-Tab taking forever to switch. In addition, it may also cause frequent game crashes or slow downs in the game once you return to it.
Some games may also run smoother in windows while others may offer better performance when run in fullscreen. This comes down to each game individually which means that you need to test it on your system to find out which mode is beneficial on it for you.
Still, the program is open source, portable, and regularly updated by its author. If you experience issues while trying to alt-tab out of games, streaming, or smoothness issues, you could give this a try to see if it resolves those issues on your system.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.