Home Vista Solved: Netflix won’t stay Full Screen – Exits Full Screen mode unexpectedly

Solved: Netflix won’t stay Full Screen – Exits Full Screen mode unexpectedly


I’ve only noticed this problem with a Windows Vista machine, but from researching the issue I understand it can happen on several OS depending on what is running in the background that is stealing focus from the Application you’re currently working with.

One guy had a problem of losing focus completely, that is, he could be doing something like typing and all of a sudden his keystrokes weren’t registering and he’d have to click on the application again to give it back focus.  In his case, he had a program running called Changer XP that was messing with him.  My issue is similar but manifests in two ways:

1. I had iTunes, a folder of pictures and Adobe Photoshop CS3 open and was working on editing a couple pictures.  As the system was just sitting there, I saw it flip from PS to the folder and then back again.  Trippy huh?

2. The other issue is a huge annoyance.  Whenever I’m watching full-screen video in Netflix the screen will suddenly and unexpectedly exit the full-screen mode causing me to have to click it again.

I don’t know the cause yet, but I have reason to suspect the file system is running some process that is stealing focus temporarily causing these effects.  The primary suspect is my ESET antivirus.  It would make sense that real-time virus protection could be stealing focus.  It is interesting to note that I have the same AV running on an XP box but that one has no problems.  Might be an issue with ESET–VISTA.  I will have to try disabling the antivirus and play a Netflix video to see if that’s the cause.

Here is something to try in the Registry too: http://askville.amazon.com/Vista-application-focus-current-window/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=8758657

Update 1/2/2010 – After watching 3 or 4 episodes of Man vs Wild I can now tell you what the problem was… It was due to having another profile logged in while I was on mine.  So what you need to do to get Netflix to stay fullscreen is Switch User and Log Off that profile.  Should solve your problem and make Netflix stay fullscreen mode.


  1. I have the same problem with Netflix on Windows 7. Drops out of full screen unexpectedly. I do have other profiles but almost never logged into more than one at a time. I now suspect the power save settings , the monitor was set to go off after 30 minutes I have changed it to 2 hours to see if that corrects the problem.

  2. Solved. I’ve had this problem in Vista so long I can’t believe it’s solved. I did two things and am not sure which worked. First I went to the HP site ( for my HP laptop) and updated every driver and everything else I could. Then I followed the link mentioned above to regedit Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop. Every Netflix movie I’ve tried now stays full screen. Hooray.

  3. Excellent! Glad to hear you solved the problem. Updating your drivers is a great first step before messing with the registry. If anyone else has a similar experience and can pinpoint what worked for them please share it below – mitch

  4. I just started having the same problem, with netflix exiting full screen all on it’s own. Running windows 7 on a new this month HP compaq 2010.
    Might have something to do with the other problem I am/was having(Think it is OK Now, just did “This” last night).
    I was having problem with monitor coming to life randomly in the middle of the night, waking me up, of making it harder to go back to sleep if I did wake on my own.
    But after reading on the net, I tried setting in power management/Advanced “Allow Wake Timer” to Disabled.
    Also in ethernet settings of device manager, I set
    Wake with pattern match/Magic Packet to Wake with NONE.
    Not sure if this has to do with my new problem, but it did start doing this new “Netflix exits full screen” problem the same night I changed the power option settings.
    BTY So far, did seem to fix my “waking monitor problem, but it has only been 1 night.
    Maybe I should try putting back the power option to the old settings one at a time and try net flix again. But I would like the monitor to stay asleep once it goes to sleep.

  5. Interesting issue. Seems like you need to test one thing at a time to see which solves your computer not staying asleep issue. I’d look at the Wake Timer option first as that is likely to allow the computer to turn on at a specific time to perform functions like Backing Up your data. Your power settings should shut it off again once the function completes, but you said you don’t want the monitor waking you. You can also try turning the monitor off when you leave the computer for the night. That way if it wakes up the glow won’t bother you until it sleeps again.
    Please write back and let me know which feature was affecting Netflix though..I’m interested to see what things affect it in Windows 7 (please include the version of Win7 you have) thank you!

  6. Seems to be OK now. I restarted and Netflix no longer exits full screen. Maybe something was running taking away from netflix like mentioned above.
    Computer does seem to be staying asleep, I have not changed anything back.
    What did start happening though, is I had the monitor set to turn off after 10 minuets, and it was shutting down while watching netflix.
    It had never done that before, but everything I read seemed to say it was normal, so I had to set it to turn off after 1/2 hour, and a episode usually lasts 25 mins, so I guess it’s as good as it gets.
    Watching an AVI Or WMV did not seem to shut the monitor down.
    This is Windows 7 home premium, 64 bit.

  7. Nope. That could not be it. If it is underbuffering you see it rebuffer…it doesn’t exit Full Screen mode to do that. This has been “solved” for years…lol

  8. Tks a lot. I used the registry setting and now looks like the problem is over. Netflix stays fullscreen all the time. Didn`t even had to reboot.

    By the way, full instructions on
    “Open Start, type Regedit in the search box. Give Windows rights when prompted by UAC. When you open your registry, navigate to the branch Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, and change the settings for the keys ForegroundFlashCount and ForegroundLockTimeout.

    These are the settings modified by Tweakui when you tell it not to let other apps steal focus. Note that you’ll need to enter the value as a hexadecimal number, i.e.
    ForegroundFlashCount = 3
    ForegroundLockTimeout = 0x00030d40.


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