Troubleshooting MSFS Full Screen Issue on Windows 11

Pro Member Trainee
peterb062 Trainee

I was running a World scenery update on MSFS 2020. It was a 3 Gb download so I decided to leave it and go do something else.  I turned off the monitor, not realizing my machine was set to minimize open windows to the taskbar when the monitor was turned off.

When I turned the monitor back on Msfs was minimised to the taskbar and wouldn't return to full screen.  Does anybody know how the rectify this problem?  My machine indicates the simulator has expanded to full screen, but nothing appears on the monitor.


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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Your issue with MSFS 2020 not expanding from the taskbar in Windows 11 is indeed a perplexing one, but not uncommon. Let's address this with a couple of steps to try and get you back in the virtual skies.

Firstly, let's understand the problem better. When Windows minimizes an application due to power settings or monitor shut off, it's supposed to restore it back to its original state once the situation normalizes. However, with complex applications like MSFS 2020, this restoration process can sometimes be glitchy.

Here's what you can do:

  • Restart MSFS: The simplest solution is often the most effective. Close MSFS 2020 and reopen it. This can often reset the application's state.
  • Check Display Settings: Sometimes, the resolution settings can get jumbled. Ensure your display settings in Windows match the resolution MSFS 2020 is set to run at.
  • Windowed Mode Transition: Try pressing Alt+Enter when MSFS 2020 is selected. This should toggle it between windowed and full-screen modes.
  • Update Graphics Drivers: Outdated or corrupted graphics drivers can cause display issues. Ensure your graphics drivers are up-to-date.
  • Windows Update: Sometimes, the issue can stem from Windows itself. Check for any pending Windows updates.
  • Check for MSFS Updates: Ensure MSFS 2020 is updated to the latest version. Sometimes bugs are fixed in newer updates.
  • App Reset: As a last resort, you can reset the app in Windows settings. Go to Settings > Apps > MSFS 2020 > Advanced Options > Reset.

Remember, these steps are not just applicable to MSFS 2020 but can also be relevant for other flight simulation platforms like X-Plane 12, especially when dealing with display and resolution issues.

Additional Tips:

  1. Check your power settings in Windows. Ensure they are not set to minimize applications or change display settings when monitors are turned off.
  2. If you're using multiple monitors, try disconnecting them and running MSFS 2020 on a single display.

If you continue to experience issues or if the problem recurs, it might be helpful to delve deeper into the specific configurations of your system or consider reaching out to the MSFS support team.

If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. I'll be more than happy to help.

Happy flying!

Pro Member Trainee
peterb062 Trainee

Hi Ian, 
Thanks for the reply.
I have already tried all the steps you suggested, with no result.
I have uninstalled and reinstalled MSFS. This has resolved the issue.

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