[Tip] Enable Full Restricted Mode in Internet Explorer Web Browser

If you are using Internet Explorer web browser, here is an interesting and useful tip for you. Today in this topic we are going to reveal a hidden secret mode present in Internet Explorer browser which can restrict users from accessing menus, toolbar buttons, Internet options, etc in the browser window. You can call it the most restricted mode of Internet Explorer or Guest mode.

We have shared a few tutorials in past which allow you to restrict users from accessing various options and features present in Internet Explorer:

If you are not satisfied with the above mentioned restrictions and want to implement more restrictions on use of Internet Explorer, this tutorial will definitely help you.

Internet Explorer comes with a built-in "Full Screen Mode". No, we are not talking about normal full screen mode of Windows programs which can be accessed by pressing "F11" key. The "Full Screen Mode" covered in this topic is a different mode which works like a guest mode in Internet Explorer.

This secret mode hides all toolbars including navigation toolbar, command bar and menubar in Internet Explorer. Users can't access any option, menu or toolbar button. They can only use some basic keyboard shortcuts to open webpages, save pages, close tabs, etc.

Following is a preview of this hidden full screen mode in Internet Explorer:


As you can see in above screenshot, no toolbar or menubar is visible in Internet Explorer window. Users can see only titlebar in IE window.

This mode can be very useful for organizations which want their employees or users to access only a particular webpage and want to restrict them from accessing other websites or using menus and options in Internet Explorer. You can set your desired webpage as homepage of Internet Explorer and then apply this secret mode. Now whenever users will open Internet Explorer, your desired webpage will automatically open.

This mode can also be used to bring Windows 8 Metro app style UI to Internet Explorer desktop version.

If you also want to try or implement this secret full screen mode in Internet Explorer, check out following simple steps:

NOTE 1: This trick will work in Internet Explorer 7 and all later versions.

NOTE 2: To open a new URL in this secret mode, press Ctrl+O keys together and type desired URL.

METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)

1. Press "WIN+R" key combination to launch RUN dialog box, then type gpedit.msc and press Enter. It'll open Group Policy Editor.

2. Now go to:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer

3. In right-side pane, double-click on "Enforce full-screen mode" option and set its value to "Enabled".


That's it. Close Group Policy Editor and restart Internet Explorer. Now it'll always open in full screen mode.

In future if you want to remove this restriction and want to disable full screen mode, simply change the value of above mentioned option to "Not Configured" or "Disabled".

METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor (regedit.exe)

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. Create a new key Internet Explorer under Microsoft and then create another new key Main under Internet Explorer key. The final key structure would be:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

4. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD AlwaysShowMenus and set its value to 0


PS: Remember we have covered the same Registry key long time back here?

5. Again go to following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

6. Create a new key Toolbars under Internet Explorer key and then create another new key Restrictions under Toolbars key. The final key structure would be:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbars\Restrictions

7. In right-side pane, create 2 new DWORDs NoNavBar and NoCommandBar and set their values to 1


That's it. Close Registry Editor and restart Internet Explorer. Now IE will always open in full screen mode.

If you want to turn full screen mode off in future, delete all 3 DWORDs created in above steps.

=== === === === === === === === ===

Users can still access basic features such as opening new tab using Ctrl+T keyboard shortcut, opening new window using Ctrl+N keys, closing current tab using Ctrl+F4 keys, opening web URL using Ctrl+O keys, etc.

PS: This full screen mode in IE is quite similar to Google Chrome's app mode as mentioned in following tutorial:

[Did You Know] Google Chrome Allows You to Pin Website Shortcuts

Did you know about this secret mode of IE? Feel free to share your feedback in your comment...

Also check: Ultimate List of All Kinds of User Restrictions for Windows

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Posted in: Internet Explorer, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • Isn't it the same as IExplore -k (kiosk mode) which is around since Windows 95? e.g. "IExplore.exe -k google.com" opens Google fullscreen with all the chrome of the browser disabled. Ctrl+O works to open another URL.

  • This looks like Chrome's App mode for the desktop.
    Aside from the title-bar, scroll-bars, and a few other subtle difference, the two Chrome and Internet Explorer look almost identical when stripped down only to web-content.

    (IE on the left, Chrome on Right)

  • VG

    ^^ True as mentioned in following tutorial:


    No. Its not same but similar. That kiosk mode opens IE in absolute full screen without titlebar and min/max/close buttons. This hidden full screen mode is a restricted version of IE. Windows just hides menubar and toolbars from IE window.

  • Ah I see. It's different. New tabs can be opened in this mode but not in kiosk mode.

  • You have said that we will not able to use menubar. tab bar etc etc. But I am opening the tabs by clicking CTRL+T.
    Running: I.E8 Windows 7 ultimate

  • VG

    ^^ Its already mentioned in the tutorial. :)

  • A friend on FB told me he found a interesting hidden feature in IE11. It's called Performance Dashboard, and it's used to measure your computer performance while running IE. It can be accessed in menu 'Tools', or through keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+U.

  • Thanks - exactly what I needed. expecting users to know about alt f4 or f11 in kiosk mode is just too geeky.

  • Is there any way where one browser of ie uses this full screen mode and another browser opens in normal mode

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