I had a Google Hangout with a friend today. There were 3 windows: one "big" with her, one small with me, one small with her. Even the "big" window was small, less that a quarter of my screen (at "best resolution for retina display"). I could not find a full-screen button, nor did clicking any of the buttons on the Hangout screen do anything.

I am running OS X 10.8.2, she's running Windows XP SP3. I am on Google+, she is not. We both are upgraded to the latest version of the Google talk video plugin.

Has anyone else had this problem? How do I make the screen larger?

7 Answers 7


Here's a simple solution..

I'm using Chrome for this. (I'm sure all other browsers will work just the same.)

Once you have a hangout window open press the "F11" button. This will make your video somewhat larger. Then take it one step further. Now press & keep it pressed down your "Ctrl" button while pressing the "-" button till you blow up the main video screen. (Of course, to exit out of all of this you'll need to press the "Esc" button to excape. & then the "Ctrl" button plus the "+" until things look normal again in the hangout browser. That way you can better see your navigation to the left again.)

Also, from my experience by doing this. I'm still able to surf in another window of the the same browser with out affecting the size of anything. Meaning, when you make your video smaller or larger in the "Hangout window" it will NOT affect all other opened windows of the same browser.

Hope this has helped you.

This "will" solve your problem.

Best of luck!

  • so weird! very counter-intuitive, I was trying to use the CTRL+, the CTRL- works, well, better, still crappy resolution, but I can make out characters now...
    – BillyNair
    Dec 15, 2013 at 6:33

If you're using Chrome, there's an extension called "Toggle Fullscreen for Hangout", which works well, and makes it truly fullscreen (by double clicking the main video). Unfortunately, I can't find an alternative for Firefox.


She tried the hangout on a faster machine, and all was well. Perhaps if the machine is old and can't keep up with video, Hangout will try to get results by using a smaller window.

  • This doesn't seem to be related to the question you originally posted, is this a comment you would like to make to the question?
    – Hydra
    Feb 19, 2013 at 14:21
  • I asked if I could make Hangout fullscreen, because it was an unusually small window and none of the buttons in it worked. When the person on the other end changed to a faster computer, my Hangout was now fullscreen and the buttons worked. So her change answered my question.
    – dfrankow
    Feb 19, 2013 at 18:00
  • This answer introduces the idea that the presence of video somehow affects the windowing. That's a new one on me. I don't see any info like this in the OP so can't upvote this answer. It would be best to edit the question to match the answer if you have ex-parte information like this. Remember, we are building a database here that has already been around for a decade and will persist for years to come. People will Google on the exact title you're using, for instance. So it is best if it applies only in special situations (video, old machine) that it is clear from the get-go.
    – SDsolar
    Apr 2, 2018 at 7:26

You can try to install this Chrome extension to make the video in full screen. Just make sure to restart chrome to make it work.

Toggle Fullscreen in Hangout

  • Doesn't support screen sharing.
    – qyb2zm302
    Jun 4, 2014 at 21:00

I know this isn't the best option as it's not native to Google Hangouts, but I created a plugin last night in my own search to solve this issue.

You can find it here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-hangouts-screensha/enifniafogdejcolondaffofhnognknb?hl=en-US

It modifies the CSS around the video to keep it fullscreen.


It is simple. There is a full-screen button just like on any window.

If you are doing it from within gmail you first want to separate the windows by clicking on the arrow button (pop-out) icon at the top.

Once it is separated then just use the normal Maximize button.


Press the arrow button (it points toward the upper right hand corner) and it will open a new tab on your browser, then expand the screen. to expand the screen just guide your mouse to the border and then a button like two arrows on one line will come. Press the mouse and move it outward to expand the screen. This always works on the browser. on phone you don't need to worry cause it will be on full screen

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.