If I have a particular game that is taking up my entire screen, what ways are there to figure out whether that game is running in Fullscreen or Borderless Windowed mode?

The obvious solution for most games is to check what the graphics options say. One problem I've seen with this advice though is that I've heard of some games (can't think of any specific examples) where it's "Fullscreen" option actually runs the game in a Borderless Window.

1 Answer 1


If you ALT+TAB out of the game and the game minimizes, then its fullscreen (requires another application window in the background). If it stays open, then its borderless window.

To add to the paragraph above: If you don't have any other application window in the background, then simply open the taskmanager via CTRL+ALT+DEL and see if the game minimizes (another option is WIN+R to open the Run window).

Also if you have a second monitor, you will only be able to access it without ALT+TAB when the game is in borderless window. While the game is in fullscreen your mouse is locked to that specific screen.

Another option which I am currently not entirely sure about is the WIN key. If you hit it, the start menu opens up and should minimize fullscreen games, while borderless window games stay open

  • A few things to note: Some fullscreen games may not minimize if you don't have another window open in the background. Also, some games (especially strategy ones) can keep your mouse locked to their window.
    – Nolonar
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 11:06
  • @Nolonar <kbd>ALT</kbd>+<kbd>TAB</kbd> requires another application running in the background that is true. Though I can't remember ever having played a game that locked the mouse to 1 screen in borderless window mode Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 11:12
  • You don't normally need another window open for ALT-TAB to work. If you do it's because the game tried to implement it's own handling of ALT-TAB rather than relying on DirectX's default behaviour which will minimize the fullscreen application if there's no other application to switch to.
    – user86571
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 18:09
  • @RossRidge just tested on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and this game requires another application window to ALT+TAB out of it Commented Mar 30, 2019 at 22:08
  • I tested it on HOMM5 and it didn't need another window. A lot of newer games are borderless window though.
    – user86571
    Commented Mar 30, 2019 at 22:20

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