How to make Windows 11 (or 10) virtual machine full screen on VirtualBox

Yes, you can make a VirtualBox VM full screen or stretch based on the window size, and here's how to complete the task.

VirtualBox make VM full screen
VirtualBox make VM full screen
  • To run a Windows 10 or 11 VirtualBox VM in full-screen mode, open the “View” menu and choose “Full-screen Mode” or select “Auto-resize Guest Display.” You can also use the “Right Ctrl (Host) key + F” keyboard shortcut.

A virtual machine always starts with a default window size on VirtualBox, which is small and not ideal for navigating an operating system.

Usually, in the case of Windows 10 (or Windows 11), you would go to the “Display” settings to change the resolution to make the screen bigger or full screen, but you will quickly find out that the “Display resolution” option does not include many settings.

However, you have a few choices if you want to make a virtual machine running Windows 10 full screen. You can use the “Full-screen Mode” or the “Auto-resize Guest Display” option. The first option will make the guest operating system full-screen, meaning the VM will take the entire screen as the primary system. The second choice only stretches the virtual machine resolution based on the window size.

This guide will teach you the steps to stretch or full-screen a virtual machine on VirtualBox.

How to full-screen Windows 11 (or 10) on VirtualBox

On VirtualBox, you can only make a virtual machine full-screen if the Guest Additions are installed. If you have not installed the virtual drivers, complete those steps and continue with the instructions below.

To run a virtual machine in full-screen mode on VirtualBox, use these steps:

  1. Open VirtualBox.

  2. Right-click the virtual machine, select the Start submenu, and choose the Normal Start option.

  3. Sign in to your Windows 10 (or 11) account.

  4. Click the View menu in the virtual machine and select the Full-screen Mode (Right Ctrl (Host) key + F) option.

    VirtualBox full screen option

  5. (Optional) Click the View menu in the virtual machine and select the “Auto-resize Guest Display” option.

    Quick note: If the virtual machine window is already maximized, click the “Restore down” button and then the “Maximize” button again to allow VirtualBox to change the screen resolution automatically.

Once you complete the steps, the guest operating system will automatically change the resolution to full-screen mode.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].