How To Keep Flash Videos Full-Screen On A Second Monitor

screenshot.16The first time I came across this issue, I was attempting to send video from my laptop to my television via s-video.  You see, at the time we did not have cable television (and still don’t by the way) so I was wanting to watch some YouTube videos with my wife while still working on other stuff on my laptop.

It really isn’t that complicated to do this.  The TV basically acts as a second monitor extending my screen to a second “desktop.”  Now I can watch videos while still working, right?

All was fine until I attempted to make the video full screen on the second monitor – the television – and still click on anything else on my laptop screen.  You see, flash video tends to not hold the full screen if something off the screen is clicked.  I’m sure there is a reason they have it that way but that is not the purpose of this post.  The purpose of this post is to tell you that I finally found a way around this!

Well, someone else actually figured it out, but I want to give some exposure to the trick because I’m SURE there are many people out there just living with this issue just like I have been.  Please note that I am a Windows user and I use Firefox and Google Chrome and I don’t think it’ll work on Internet Explorer.

So, to give a basic rundown, there is one file that needs to be changed.  It’s called “npswf32.dll” and it’s the culprit.  It’s found in C:\windows\system32\macromed\flash\.  The cool part is that someone else has already taken care of the technical part and has been kind enough to post the modified file online for our downloading pleasure!  Very cool, huh?

Let me now take you through the process of fixing the problem so that you can watch videos full screen on a second monitor. Just follow 4 simple steps: find the file responsible, backup the existing file, copy the downloaded/modified file into the file, and close and reopen all browser windows.

STEP 1: Find The File Responsible

full screen on second monitor

As I mentioned earlier, the file is found in C:\windows\system32\macromed\flash\ so basically just open File Manager and copy and paste that path into the box.

STEP 2: Backup The Existing File

full screen on second monitor

Anytime you are looking to replace an important file, like a DLL file, it’s good to back it up just in case the new file doesn’t work out the way you were hoping it would.

So let’s go ahead and rename the file to something like “NPSWF32old.dll” so the new file doesn’t copy over it.  To rename it, just right-click on the file, choose “Rename” and get your cursor in between the “2” and the period and type “old.”

STEP 3: Copy The Modified File Into The Folder

watch video full screen on second monitor

You can download the modified DLL file here.  Note it is compressed in a zip file so you’ll have to open and decompress it before moving it into place.  Some Windows versions will handle the zip file just fine for you.  If not there are free utilities that can help decompress them for you.  Then just move the new file into place.

STEP 4: Close & Re-Open All Browser Windows

full screen on second monitor

As far as the fix goes, that’s it.  You won’t see any difference until you close all browser windows and re-open them.  This will refresh things and put the new file to work!

Disclaimer:  I have tested this myself on my Windows Vista laptop using both Firefox AND Google Chrome and it has worked for me.  I believe people have tried it on Internet Explorer 8 and it DID NOT work and I am not sure about Opera.  In fact, if you try this running Opera, let me know if it works or not.  Also, keep an eye out because this may work now but it may need to be fixed again after further Flash updates.

Thanks to Polybore for posting this fix on his blog!  Also thank you to d.i.z. for posting the modified file for the world to download.  When a new version of Flash DOES come out, and it will, I would probably check back at d.i.z.’s page to see if he has another updated file.

Do you have a better fix for this problem?  Let us know!

Image Credit : unimatrixZxero

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