The Fullscreen API provides an easy way for web content to be presented using the user's entire screen. The API lets you easily direct the browser to make an element and its children, if any, occupy the fullscreen, eliminating all browser user interface and other applications from the screen for the duration.

For the moment not all browsers are using the unprefixed version of the API. Consult the table summarizing the prefixes and name differences between them.

Activating fullscreen mode

Given an element that you'd like to present in fullscreen mode (such as a <video>, for example), you can present it in fullscreen mode by simply calling its requestFullscreen() method.

Let's consider this <video> element:

<video controls id="myvideo">
  <source src="somevideo.webm"></source>
  <source src="somevideo.mp4"></source>
</video>

We can put that video into fullscreen mode with script like this:

var elem = document.getElementById("myvideo");
if (elem.requestFullscreen) {
  elem.requestFullscreen();
} 

Presentation differences

It's worth noting a key difference here between the Gecko and WebKit implementations at this time: Gecko automatically adds CSS rules to the element to stretch it to fill the screen: "width: 100%; height: 100%". WebKit doesn't do this; instead, it centers the fullscreen element at the same size in a screen that's otherwise black. To get the same fullscreen behavior in WebKit, you need to add your own "width: 100%; height: 100%;" CSS rules to the element yourself:

#myvideo:-webkit-full-screen {
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
}

On the other hand, if you're trying to emulate WebKit's behavior on Gecko, you need to place the element you want to present inside another element, which you'll make fullscreen instead, and use CSS rules to adjust the inner element to match the appearance you want.

Notification

When fullscreen mode is successfully engaged, the document which contains the element receives a fullscreenchange event. When fullscreen mode is exited, the document again receives a  fullscreenchange event. Note that the fullscreenchange event doesn't provide any information itself as to whether the document is entering or exiting fullscreen mode, but if the document has a non null fullscreenElement, you know you're in fullscreen mode.

When a fullscreen request fails

It's not guaranteed that you'll be able to switch into fullscreen mode. For example, <iframe> elements have the allowfullscreen attribute in order to opt-in to allowing their content to be displayed in fullscreen mode. In addition, certain kinds of content, such as windowed plug-ins, cannot be presented in fullscreen mode. Attempting to put an element which can't be displayed in fullscreen mode (or the parent or descendant of such an element) won't work. Instead, the element which requested fullscreen will receive a mozfullscreenerror event. When a fullscreen request fails, Firefox will log an error message to the Web Console explaining why the request failed. In Chrome and newer versions of Opera however, no such warning is generated.

Note: Fullscreen requests need to be called from within an event handler or otherwise they will be denied. 

Getting out of full screen mode

The user always has the ability to exit fullscreen mode of their own accord; see Things your users want to know. You can also do so programmatically by calling the exitFullscreen() method.

Other information

The document provides some additional information that can be useful when developing fullscreen web applications:

fullscreenElement
The fullscreenElement attribute tells you the element that's currently being displayed fullscreen. If this is non-null, the document is in fullscreen mode. If this is null, the document is not in fullscreen mode.
fullscreenEnabled
The fullscreenEnabled attribute tells you whether or not the document is currently in a state that would allow fullscreen mode to be requested.

Things your users want to know

You'll want to be sure to let your users know that they can press the ESC key (or F11) to exit fullscreen mode.

In addition, navigating to another page, changing tabs, or switching to another application (using, for example, Alt-Tab) while in fullscreen mode exits fullscreen mode as well.

Example

In this example, a video is presented in a web page. Pressing the Return or Enter key lets the user toggle between windowed and fullscreen presentation of the video.

View Live Examples

Watching for the Enter key

When the page is loaded, this code is run to set up an event listener to watch for the Enter key.

document.addEventListener("keydown", function(e) {
  if (e.keyCode == 13) {
    toggleFullScreen();
  }
}, false);

Toggling fullscreen mode

This code is called when the user hits the Enter key, as seen above.

function toggleFullScreen() {
  if (!document.fullscreenElement) {
      document.documentElement.requestFullscreen();
  } else {
    if (document.exitFullscreen) {
      document.exitFullscreen(); 
    }
  }
}

This starts by looking at the value of the fullscreenElement attribute on the document (checking it prefixed with both moz, ms, or webkit). If it's null, the document is currently in windowed mode, so we need to switch to fullscreen mode. Switching to fullscreen mode is done by calling element.requestFullscreen().

If fullscreen mode is already active (fullscreenElement is non-null), we call document.exitFullscreen().

Prefixing

For the moment not all browsers are implementing the unprefixed version of the API. Here is the table summarizing the prefixes and name differences between them:

Standard Blink (Chrome & Opera) Gecko (Firefox) Edge Safari (WebKit)
Document.fullscreen webkitIsFullScreen mozFullScreen webkitIsFullScreen webkitIsFullScreen
Document.fullscreenEnabled webkitFullscreenEnabled mozFullScreenEnabled unprefixed webkitFullscreenEnabled
Document.fullscreenElement webkitFullscreenElement mozFullScreenElement unprefixed webkitFullscreenElement
Document.onfullscreenchange onwebkitfullscreenchange onmozfullscreenchange unprefixed onwebkitfullscreenchange
Document.onfullscreenerror onwebkitfullscreenerror onmozfullscreenerror unprefixed onwebkitfullscreenerror
Document.exitFullscreen() webkitExitFullscreen() mozCancelFullScreen() unprefixed webkitExitFullscreen()
Element.requestFullscreen() webkitRequestFullscreen() mozRequestFullScreen() unprefixed webkitRequestFullscreen()

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Fullscreen API Living Standard Initial version.

Browser compatibility

All browsers implement this APIs. Nevertheless some implement it with prefixed names we slighlty different spelling: e.g. instead of requestFullscreen(), there is a MozRequestFullScreen().

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 15 -webkit 9.0 (9.0) -moz
47 (47) (behind full-screen-api.unprefix.enabled)
11 -ms 12.10 5.0 -webkit
fullscreenEnabled 20 -webkit 10.0 (10.0) -moz
47 (47) (behind full-screen-api.unprefix.enabled)
11 -ms 12.10 5.1 -webkit
Feature Android Chrome Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? 28 -webkit 9.0 (9.0)-moz
47.0 (47) (behind full-screen-api.unprefix.enabled)
? ? ?
fullscreenEnabled ? 28 -webkit 10.0 (10.0) moz
47.0 (47) (behind full-screen-api.unprefix.enabled)
? ? ?

See also