How to Force an Application to Open in Maximized Mode Always

Sandeep Agarwal

Window-ThumbnailRecently, I ran into a problem where most of my application and explorer windows stopped opening in maximized mode. Rather, they showed up in odd sizes. My general experience is that most people face this problem at some time or the other. And, to be frank I do not know the cause or reason behind this trouble.

I am sure you can relate to what I mean and you probably also understand the pain associated in maximizing a window (manually) each time you launch a program. So, is there a solution to counter such situations?

Yes, there is. The fix we are going to discuss is not a generic one and would not work throughout the system in one go. Instead it has to be applied at the application level (to be more specific, at an application’s shortcut level). Say for example, Notepad or MS Word on your machine refrains from starting with maximized windows while you would always love that they did. Here’s the fix.

Cool Tip: You can also use the title bar context-menu of a window to quickly toggle among maximize, minimize and restore.

Step 1: Navigate to the shortcut that you always use to launch an application (take Notepad as an example). For me, it was the one residing at the start menu.

Step 2: Right-click on this shortcut and choose to start the Properties modal window from the context menu.


Step 3: On the properties window switch to the Shortcut tab. Scroll to the drop down section that reads Run and change the value against it to Maximized.


Step 4: Click on Apply and then on Ok. The properties window would close and the next time you start the application it would open in maximized mode.

Note: Remember that the trick can be applied only at the shortcut level because you will find the Shortcut tab associated with a shortcut only.

Thus, you need to be careful in selecting the shortcut that you always use to launch the app. In order to make it consistent you may want to apply the setting at multiple places.

There may be certain applications that you would like to start as minimized i.e. when you open an application it goes and sits on the taskbar. For such cases you need to follow the same steps except that you need to select Minimized instead of Maximized as you did in Step 3. I have it set for my desktop email client.

If you wish to apply this setting to Windows explorer, right-click on the taskbar icon for explorer, right-click on Windows Explorer and then go to Properties. Other steps follow as before.



This indeed is the best way to ensure that an application opens as a maximized window always. Regardless of the screen you connect to, the process ensures an application’s behavior. I am sure you will have a number of tools and applications to apply this setting to.

Let us know if it helps. Tell us if you are aware of a generic fix that would affect all the applications at once.

Top Image Credit: Seyed Mostafa Zamani

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