I'm sure Arda mentioned this in chat, and it was mentioned in the site too, but for the life of me I wasted 15 minutes trying to get back into TF2 after alt-tabbing out, then wasted 15 minutes trying to find the relevant piece of information again.

So I'll ask: how do you turn "fake fullscreen" (windowed mode maximized without border) in TF2, L4D, HL2 and the other Source games?

  • There is, by the way, an easy way to do this with any game, not just Source games.
    – user56
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 13:26
  • 1
    @ArdaXi Maybe you could've linked to the relevant question while you were at it.
    – badp
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 14:17
  • That's not the relevant question. I don't think my solution has ever been asked, since it's much more useful if you have multiple screens. That's not to say you couldn't have linked to that in your question yourself.
    – user56
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 14:57
  • @Arda If I could've found your solution I wouldn't have asked this. I know it should be in the starred list, except I couldn't find it.
    – badp
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 15:01
  • 1
    @Lohoris Then edit it in the question!
    – badp
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


Use the following as your command line: (From the library right click on the game, then pick Properties → Set Launch Options.)

-sw -noborder

-sw means "Start Windowed." -noborder tells Windows to not draw borders (titlebar, window buttons) around the window.

You can also designate screen size (e.g. -w 640 -h 480), skip the intro video (-novideo), turn on low violence mode in L4D (-lv) and other options that may or not mean anything to you. A fuller list can be found here.

  • Small correction, I believe it's -novid for skipping start video.
    – Ehsan Kia
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 23:43

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