How to Make an App Open in Full Screen Mode Automatically on Mac

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The full-screen mode on many native Mac applications is great. It takes full advantage of most Mac Retina displays, and it gives you the maximum working space. It also diminishes distractions by hiding the Dock and the status bar. If this is a look you like, you can follow the steps below to make sure some applications always open in full-screen mode on your Mac.

Macs actually have a featured called “Resume” that allows apps to save their state on close. When reopened, the application will launch itself in the same state. This means reopening any documents you had open and placing windows in the same location as they were on close. This will also capture window settings like full-screen status.

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Make sure the box next to “Close windows when quitting an app” is unchecked. This will allow Resume to function, permitting the app to reload its previous status.

Once that’s set, you can set up the apps that you’d like to have open in full-screen mode. For example, if you want to have Safari in full screen, you would do the following.

1. Open Safari.

2. Set Safari’s window to full screen by clicking the green button in the upper-left of the window.

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3. Quit Safari.

When you reopen Safari, it should still be in full-screen mode. If you want other applications to also open in full-screen mode, you’ll need to open those applications separately and follow the same steps there.

You’ll also want to adjust how to quit applications. If you close windows before quitting an application, then those windows will not be saved. Some users, especially those that migrated from Windows, may have developed the habit of closing application windows before quitting the application. Make sure you stop doing this. If you close application windows before quitting, Resume will not function properly, and your application may not open in full-screen mode.

You can also launch applications at login so that they’ll be full screen and ready for you when you open your Mac. Of course, you may also have to navigate out of the windows if your last application opened in full-screen mode. Give it a try and see how it works for you. If it imposes a lengthy startup time on your Mac, you may want to limit the number of apps starting at launch.

1. Open System Preferences.

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2. Select the “Users & Groups” pane.

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3. Click the “Login Items” tab.

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4. Click the “+” button at the bottom of the list of applications.

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5. Select the application you wish to have launched at startup.

On Quit

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You also have the option to reopen all the applications you have open at the time you shut down your Mac or log out. At the shutdown confirmation window, be sure to check the box that says “Reopen windows when logging back in” before clicking Shut Down or Log Out.

The first setting, regarding closing windows when quitting apps, will affect every application on your Mac. However, it won’t automatically make every app open in full-screen mode. You’ll need to set that up individually within each app. Other apps will, however, open in the last state you left them in. If you don’t like this behavior, you can close windows before quitting certain apps. However, be advised: this may be a difficult habit to keep separated from NOT closing full-screen application windows.

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