Fix: YouTube Full screen not working

There are several cases where users experience the scenario where their YouTube doesn’t go full screen when clicked. This is an ongoing issue which has been there for quite some time in the platform. Since YouTube uses several plugins such as Flash, they can interface or break on a potential update of a browser.

YouTube full screen issue
YouTube full screen issue

This issue doesn’t only relate to the update of the browser but can also be caused by several other factors such as bad cache/cookies, hardware acceleration etc. Before you read on, attempt at restarting your computer and check the issue again. If it still occurs, you can move on with the solutions. A restart helps reset the temporary configurations and if they are broken, a simple reset will fix it.

What causes YouTube not to go full screen?

Like mentioned before, this scenario is caused by several different reasons ranging from problems in the browser to internal system settings such as hardware acceleration. Some of the reasons why this error occurs are but not limited to:

  • There are two flash players installed in your browser. This is the most common cause why the window doesn’t go full screen because the two of them conflict with each other.
  • If you are using dual monitors and YouTube doesn’t open in full-screen, it is probably because of themes installed on Chrome.
  • There is a discrepancy in your stored browser cache and data. We can reset your cookies and cache and see if this solves the issue.

Before proceeding with the solutions, make sure that you have an active internet connection and are logged in as an administrator.

Solution 1: Checking Flash Player and content settings (Chrome)

People using Chrome might not know this but they might have two instead of one flash players installed in their browser (older version). This happens rather automatically if you install different versions and gets incorporated inside Chrome. We will navigate to the settings after disabling one of the flash players, check if this solves the issue. In the newer version, if you don’t have correct content settings, you might experience this error.

  1. Navigate to “chrome://settings/content” on your Google’s URL bar and select Protected Content.
  1. Make sure that both the options are checked.
  2. If you own an older version of Google Chrome, type “chrome://plugins” in the dialogue box and press Enter. Here if you have two flash players, they will be displayed along with the details. Locate the entry of the player including “pepflashplayer.dll” and click on Disable.
  3. Restart your Chrome and check if the issue is solved.

Note: You can also try disabling hardware acceleration and see if this solves anything.

Solution 2: Checking Full Screen API (Firefox)

Firefox users reported that they fixed their YouTube not going full screen by enabling the ‘full-screen-api.enabled’ option in the browser’s settings. This can be disabled without you even knowing it by automatic scripts or preferences set by you earlier on. We will check these settings and change the option if it is disabled.

  1. Type “about:config” in the browser’s address box and press Enter.
  2. Search for the entry “full-screen” from the search bar present at the top and make sure that full-screen-api.enabled is checked as true (the default value).
  1. Save after making changes and restart your browser. See if this solves the problem.

Note: There is also a workaround where before clicking on the full-screen button on Chrome, make sure that your Chrome window is minimized. When it is minimized and then you click the full-screen button, it works without any issues.

Solution 3: Checking in Incognito mode and clearing browser data

Now we will diagnose if the problem is present at your browser’s data end. You can easily check if YouTube is properly displaying the web page in an Incognito mode. If it is, it means that there is some problem with your browser’s data and not the browser. We will clear it and then try again. Make sure that you export or backup your information before erasing it.

  1. Press Ctrl + N when in the Chrome browser to launch an incognito tab. Now navigate to YouTube and try launching the full screen in any of them. If it displays the screen correctly, continue with the rest of the solution.
  2. Navigate to the normal tab and type “chrome://settings” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  3. Now scroll to the bottom of the page and select Advanced settings.
Advanced Google Chrome settings
Advanced Google Chrome settings
  1. Once the Advanced menu has expanded, under the section of “Privacy and Security”, click on “Clear browsing data”.
Clearing browsing data - Chrome
Clearing browsing data – Chrome
  1. Another menu will pop up confirming the items you want to clear along with the date. Select “All time”, check all options, and click “Clear browsing data”.
Removing cache, cookies, and browsing data
Removing cache, cookies, and browsing data
  1. Now restart your computer and try launching a YouTube video again in full-screen mode.

Solution 4: Logging out of Google profile

If all three solutions don’t work, we can try another workaround in which we log out of your user profile. This workaround signifies that either there is something wrong with the profile mechanism in your browser or your private profile has wrong preferences set. Do note that all your favorites, browser data, etc. will be removed when logging out.

  1. Click on the profile picture on the top-right side of your browser once and then select the button Synching to —.
Launching Google profile settings - Chrome
Launching Google profile settings – Chrome
  1. Now click on Turn off in front of your user profile. After turning off, click on Manage other people.
Turning off sync of Google profile - Chrome
Turning off sync of Google profile – Chrome
  1. Click on the three dots on the top-right side and click Remove this person.
Removing profile from Chrome
Removing profile from Chrome
  1. Restart your computer and try accessing YouTube in full-screen mode again.

Solution 5: Reinstalling Chrome

If all the above methods don’t work out, you can try reinstalling Chrome. This will remove all the current files and folders of the application and force to install new files when you install the whole package. Remember to backup all your bookmarks and important data before following this solution.

  1. You can download the latest installation file of Google Chrome by navigating to the official website.
  2. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  3. Search for Google Chrome through all the applications, right-click it and select “Uninstall”.
Uninstalling Google Chrome
Uninstalling Google Chrome
  1. Now navigate to Chrome’s official download site and download the latest version available. Launch the executable and install it again.
Downloading latest Google Chrome
Downloading latest Google Chrome

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.