How to exit full screen on mac

Last Updated: Mar 4, 2024 by

Using a Mac can be a seamless and enjoyable experience, but sometimes you may find yourself stuck in full screen mode and unsure of how to exit it. Whether you accidentally entered full screen mode or simply want to switch back to your desktop, this article will guide you through the steps to exit full screen on your Mac.

Exiting Full Screen on Mac

Exiting full screen mode on a Mac is a simple process that can be done in a few different ways. The first method is to use the keyboard shortcut, which is the most efficient way to exit full screen. Simply press the “Esc” key on your keyboard and you will be taken out of full screen mode and back to your desktop.

If you do not have an “Esc” key on your keyboard, you can also use the “Control + Command + F” shortcut to exit full screen. This will also bring you back to your desktop.

Using the Menu Bar

Another way to exit full screen on your Mac is by using the menu bar at the top of your screen. Move your cursor to the top of the screen and the menu bar will appear. Click on the green button in the top left corner of the menu bar, which is the same button you used to enter full screen mode. This will exit full screen and return you to your desktop.

Exiting Full Screen on Specific Applications

Some applications, such as web browsers, have their own full screen mode that is separate from the Mac’s full screen mode. To exit full screen on these applications, you can use the same keyboard shortcut or menu bar method mentioned above. However, if these methods do not work, you can also try clicking on the “View” tab in the menu bar and selecting “Exit Full Screen” from the drop-down menu.

Using Mission Control

If you are still having trouble exiting full screen on your Mac, you can use Mission Control to help you. Mission Control is a feature on Mac that allows you to see all of your open windows and applications at once. To access Mission Control, swipe up with three fingers on your trackpad or press the “F3” key on your keyboard.

Once in Mission Control, you can click on the full screen application you want to exit and it will bring you out of full screen mode. You can also click on the desktop to exit full screen on all applications.


Exiting full screen on your Mac is a simple process that can be done in a few different ways. Whether you prefer using keyboard shortcuts, the menu bar, or Mission Control, you can easily switch back to your desktop and continue using your Mac. Remember these methods the next time you find yourself stuck in full screen mode on your Mac.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.