YouTube Windowed FullScreen is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that plays full screen videos in windowed mode

Aug 2, 2020
Firefox, Firefox add-ons, Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

Want to watch YouTube videos in a larger view than theater mode, but don't want it take up the entire screen when you hit the full screen button? There's a way to do this.

YouTube Windowed FullScreen is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that plays full screen videos in windowed mode

YouTube Windowed FullScreen is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that plays full screen videos in windowed mode.

Full screen mode as you may know does not allow you to interact with other tabs or applications.  This add-on can be useful if you want to watch videos while working with other applications, monitoring notifications from other programs/tabs, using dual monitors, etc.

Install YouTube Windowed FullScreen and it presents its settings window. Dismiss the panel for now, we'll get back to this later once we have seen it in action. Go to YouTube and play a video. Hit the ` key (Tilde) and the extension will force the video to play in a windowed full screen, hence the name.

How does it differ from the regular full screen mode?

Take a look at these screenshots, compare them and you'll notice the difference.

Youtube theater mode

Youtube theater mode


Youtube Windowed FullScreen

Youtube Windowed FullScreen

There is a lot of wasted screen real estate in YouTube's theater mode. When YouTube Windowed FullScreen is enabled, it hides the elements at the top (menu, search bar, sign in, notifications, etc) and below the video player (views, likes, comments, autoplay, etc). This gives you a more immersive and distraction-free viewing experience, while restricting the video to play in windowed mode.

Head to the YouTube Windowed FullScreen settings by clicking on the extension's button. It has three options, none of which are enabled by default.

YouTube Windowed FullScreen add-on settings

The first of these, allows you to set a custom shortcut key. Though the box next to this setting is blank, the addon does have a default hotkey pre-enabled, which as I mentioned earlier is ~. Click in the hotkey box to register a new key, and hit the save button to apply the changes.

The second option hides the full screen button in YouTube's video player. You can still switch to full screen mode when you have hidden the button, to do so hit the "F" key. There is one other thing this setting does, it adds a new button to toggle the windowed full screen mode. If you mouse over the button, a tooltip appears that says "Full browser mode".

The last setting is to "auto-toggle" the windowed full screen mode, which makes all videos open in this view by default.

There is no way to resize the video player directly, but since it plays in a full screen window, you can just resize the window to your liking. And yes, there is a noticeable difference between a regular YouTube window that's resized and a resized "windowed full screen".

regular resized vs Youtube Windowed FullScreen

Since the latter doesn't display the search bar and other elements in the window it is easier to use (resizes dynamically), as opposed to resizing and then scrolling down to hide the elements in a regular window until it meets your requirements.

I came across YouTube Windowed FullScreen on reddit about a week ago, where the author navi,jador announced the release of the Firefox add-on, which is a port of their Chrome extension.

Download YouTube Windowed FullScreen for Firefox and Chrome.

It is a good extension. An extra on-screen button to toggle full browser mode (without disabling the full screen button) would have been nice for users who prefer the mouse over using keyboard shortcuts.

A potential issue arises from the reliance on a single-key shortcut as it may conflict with other keys.

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YouTube Window Fullscreen
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  1. Vladimir Kissak said on October 1, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    “Enhancer for Youtube” do this and more! ;-)

    For Chrome:

    For FF:

    It centers the video player within the viewport.

  2. Emil said on August 3, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    I wish there was a plugin that redirects every youtube video to a player like mpc-be.

    1. Yuliya said on August 3, 2020 at 4:22 pm

      I know there was an extension Open with… which ciould send a webpage to MPV, and since MPV can utilise youtube-dl, it would play it. Of course, you can always drag and drop the link on top of your media player of choice from your browser.

  3. Anonymous said on August 3, 2020 at 3:37 am
  4. Yuliya said on August 2, 2020 at 9:03 pm
  5. Gill Bates said on August 2, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Windowed-fullscreen extensions are better if your browser has Autohide-UI function. So you can watch videos in fullscreen mode and you can also switch to other tabs/apps easily.

    As far as i know there are 3 browsers that support it right now :

    Whale Browser (settings>appearance)

    Mozilla Firefox (with custom UserChrome code)

    Microsoft Edge (you have to be in the browsers fullscreen (F11) mode to activate autohide-ui so you can only interact with your tabs/booksmarks and not other applications)

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