Chrome gets super-handy rotate to fullscreen video mode

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 13, 2017
Updated • Jun 13, 2017
Google Chrome

Chrome for Android has a new feature that switches to fullscreen video mode automatically when you rotate the Android device.

Note: The feature is hidden behind an experimental flag right now, and only available in development versions of Chrome. I tested it in Chrome Canary, and have not found it yet in Chrome Stable. Also, this is an Android only feature that won't be available on desktop versions of Chrome.

If you play videos regularly on your Android device, you may do so in portrait mode, or in landscape mode. Landscape mode offers several advantages over portrait mode when it comes to watching videos, as the extra width it provides is better suited for media playback.

While you can rotate the phone on sites to make use of that, doing so won't launch a dedicated fullscreen mode to play the video. You get the browser's address bar, other page controls, and media controls displayed in that mode as well.

On YouTube for instance, you have to tap on the fullscreen button to launch that mode, and to get out of if, you have to interact with the page again.

Chrome rotate to fullscreen video mode

chrome fullscreen video rotate

There are three prerequisites right now to use the rotate to fullscreen gesture fore videos mode on Chrome for Android:

  • You must run Chrome Canary or another development version of Google Chrome on Android.
  • You need to have rotation enabled, and not locked.
  • You need to set a flag on Chrome's experimental flags page.

Setting the flag

Rotate-to-fullscreen gesture for videos

Enter/exit fullscreen when device is rotated to/from orientation of the video. Only on phones.

To enable the feature, do the following:

  1. Open the Google Chrome web browser on your Android device.
  2. Type chrome://flags in the browser's address bar and load the page.
  3. Tap on menu, select find on page, and type rotate.
  4. This should jump straight to the rotate-to-fullscreen gesture for videos flag.
  5. Tap on the menu underneath it, and set the status to enabled.
  6. Restart Google Chrome.

Once you have done so, you may test the functionality by visiting YouTube. There you may start playback of any video, and rotate your device to switch between fullscreen mode and regular mode using that rotate gesture.

The feature works nicely on YouTube, but may not work on other video streaming sites. (via Deskmodder)


This looks like a handy feature to have, as you usually want to play a video in fullscreen mode when you rotate it. I'm not sure how Google will handle situations where this is not the case, or where users just want to use the functionality at times, but not all the time.

Chrome gets super-handy rotate to fullscreen video mode
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Chrome gets super-handy rotate to fullscreen video mode
Chrome for Android has a new feature that switches to fullscreen video mode automatically when you rotate the Android device.
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  1. Lady said on December 26, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore even in canary. Really looking for a solution as a lot of videos I watch are in chrome..

  2. Mark in FL said on September 17, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    PERFECT! Now I don’t need a 3rd party adware viewer app! SO far Canary is working fine. Thank you!

  3. john said on June 17, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Is there any to do this in Firefox?

  4. Pyke said on June 14, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Does it keep playing sound from the video when the phone screen is turned off ? Is it still in fullscreen and properly oriented when the screen is turned back on ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

      No, it does not continue playback, but still has the orientation when you turn the screen back on (video is paused though).

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