How To Launch Steam Games In Windowed Mode

Did you face an error like ‘out of range,’ or is the game causing problems? Steam games are a handful, but you can fix the issue conveniently. All you need to do is launch Steam Windowed Mode.

Do you not know how to do that? It’s alright. This guide will help you understand the importance of Windowed Mode. You will also learn how to use it and other reasons to use the mode.

This is your best guide to launch Windowed mode on Steam.

What Is Steam Windowed Mode?

Many games exist for different platforms. But, they get recalibrated and modified for a Windows system. These games have a common term known as ‘legacy games.’ Steam often works as a game launcher and an emulator for these games.

There are two standard modes – windowed mode and full-screen mode. You can use either one of these.

Players use windowed mode to play games that have higher system requirements. By using windowed mode, you can run high-spec games on a low-end PC.

When launching certain games, you may encounter errors like being out of range. This issue can be fixed by launching the game in windowed mode.

Windowed mode for Steam games can often solve many performance-oriented issues.

Solutions To Launch Steam Games In Windowed Modes

  1. How To Launch Steam Games In Windowed Mode?
  2. The In-Game Settings 
  3. Change Steam Launch Parameters
  4. Check The Game Launcher Settings
  5. Change Game’s Screen Resolution

How To Launch Steam Games In Windowed Mode?

Before you try any of the given methods below for game launch options, try keyboard shortcut keys. Press ALT + Enter. Almost every game that launches in fullscreen mode has this setting. It allows you to shift from fullscreen mode to windowed display mode conveniently. If this option doesn’t work, move to the options given below:

1. The In-Game Settings

certain games click screen resolution

The best way to launch a game in windowed mode is by checking the in-game settings. For this, you will have to:

  • Launch the game first.
  • Go to the settings in the game. 
  • Find Game’s Video settings or display settings window.
  • There, you will most likely find the option to change the window.
  • Often, it offers fullscreen and windowed modes. There might be other resolutions as well.
  • Click the screen resolution that suits you. You can find windowed mode there.
  • Apply the settings and close the game.
  • Restart the game and see if the settings took effect. 
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Remember that most games come with built-in settings like these. If you can’t find the settings, or if the settings are not permanent, it might be due to the game launcher.

Some games use Steam Client or Game Launcher options to keep the settings permanent. You will have to follow through with other solutions below.

2. Change Steam Launch Parameters

properties window either fullscreen following line game other monitor run windowed

As mentioned earlier, some games don’t allow in-game settings. At that point, you’d have to rely on external options. Your Steam Client can help you solve the problem and launch a game in windowed mode.

You will have to set various game launch options. For this, you will have to go to Steam Library.

  • Open Steam and go to the Game Library option.
  • Right-click on the game you want to play. Select Properties option.
  • This will open a lot of options. Go to the ‘General’ Tab.
  • There you will find ‘Set Launch Options.’ Click on it.
  • You might get a pop-up of an advanced user warning. Allow it and proceed.
  • You will have to type ‘-windowed’ in the pop-up bar. Then, click Ok to save the changes.
  • Close the property windows, apply all the changes.
  • Now launch the game and see if settings take place.

If that doesn’t work, you will have to follow the steps again.

But this time, type ‘-windowed -w 1024.’

This should help you solve the problem. Remember that you have to write them without the inverted comma.

Remember, if you don’t know how to set steam launch parameters, you can visit the official website. They have information on windowed mode parameters and other essential information. 

3. Check The Game Launcher

steam game title bar original location task bar alt enter comppany prompt resume play

If your game doesn’t use the Steam launcher or internal settings, you can try this option. It works for Source engine, Goldsrc engine, and Origin.

  • The first method is to right-click the game launcher’s shortcut and go to Properties.
  • Go to the ‘Shortcut tab’ and find the field called the ‘Target’ field. There, you will have to add parameters where the quotations end.
  • These follow the same launch parameters that you used on Steam.
  • So, you can add ‘-windowed’ or ‘-w’ after the end of the quotation mark.
  • Click OK, apply settings. Then try to launch the game. It should work just fine.
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Some game launchers are entirely customizable. They come with various launch options for you. There will be a display mode and much more. In some cases, it is known as the game’s properties window. So it is worth checking. 

4. Change Game’s Screen Resolution

open steam set launch options button target field double-click new window refresh rate

You don’t have to use Steam launch options for this one. Nor do you have to use the launch options window before the game. But, this is for the advanced users who know what they are doing:

  • First, find the save folder of your game. It is the folder that has all the settings, and your saved files.
  • Find a file with the ending of ‘.ini,’ but remember, each game has a different file name. So, you’d have to Google for the save file name of your game title.
  • Once you open it, it will open in the Notepad. Now, find ‘DisplayWidth and DisplayHeight.’ Options.
  • Make sure that they are under the resolutions supported by your monitor. 
  • Save the notepad file.

Now you can go ahead and launch the game to see if it changed. 

What Is Borderless Windowed Mode? 

borderless windowed mode command prompt simply press alt enter resume play

Conventionally, there was a full-screen mode and windowed mode parameter.

A Full-screen mode is great because it allows the system to configure the game. It can significantly boost a game’s performance. Primarily because it doesn’t use resources for windows file explorer and other similar things. But, it prevents the use of tools like your mouse cursor. If you want to shift displays, it would be hard to do so. 

Then came a display mode option we know as the game’s window mode display. It allows you to launch the game in the exact dimensions as full-screen. But, there are other windows like the taskbar and such available for you to access.

But with advanced gaming, people started to use more than one monitor. They’d need access from the main display to the second monitor. Windowed mode or full-screen mode didn’t make it easy.

Thus, game borderless window mode is one of the launch options. The borderless window mode allowed users to swap from their main display to the second monitor. Thus, they could conveniently access other monitors for their gameplay. More importantly, it gave the appeal of the full-screen resolution yet, worked as a windows setting.

In short, a borderless window makes the game more accessible. 

How To Launch Borderless Windowed Mode? 

Remember that you will need the official app for this to work. You can’t just select properties, access the general tab, or anything like that. There isn’t any drop-down menu, either. 

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Once again, you will have to work with Steam launch options. But, it is the launch parameters in the client.

  • Go to the Game Library tab.
  • Right-click on the game title and go to properties.
  • Click ‘Set Launch Options
  • This time, put ‘-popupwindow’ in the launch parameters.
  • Click OK. Close and restart the game.

Reset Steam Game Launch Options

Do you want to reset the properties of the steam game window settings? All you need to do is once again access the ‘Set Launch Options.’ Follow the above-given guide for it.

Now, Click set launch options, and instead of the windowed parameter, you type ‘-autoconfig’ and apply the settings.

Launch the game, and it will reset. 

How To Move The Game To Second Monitor?

All you need to do is run the game in Windowed Mode. Then click on the game and drag it to the monitor you want to use. That’s all.

Click ‘Set The Second Monitor as Primary Monitor’ in Windows. Also known as ‘Set this my main display.’ 

FAQs

How do I switch to windowed mode?

When you’re playing a full-screen game, press the Alt+Enter key combination to switch to windowed mode. By using the shortcut a second time, you can exit windowed mode and reactivate full-screen mode, among other things. There are certain PC games in which this keyboard shortcut does not work.

Is windowed mode better for games?

The major advantage of playing a game in borderless windowed mode is the increased level of freedom it provides. In contrast to fullscreen mode, borderless windowed mode allows users to move their cursor over extra displays without experiencing any interruption, making other programs considerably more accessible to the users.

Why won’t my Steam game go fullscreen?

You must enter a refresh rate that is compatible with your monitor, or else the game will not enable you to transition to full screen mode. Start the game and navigate to the Settings menu. Assuming that you’ve selected a supported refresh rate, you should now be able to select Fullscreen from the menu bar and select an acceptable full screen resolution.

How do I force borderless full screen?

If your game does not appear in the list of currently running applications after opening the Fullscreenizer window, click “refresh” on the window. Simply choose the game and press the “Fullscreenize” button. The game will come back into focus in the forefront, taking up the whole screen, including the taskbar and any other open windows.