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

Tim Lenahan 03-12-2009

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 Quick Zip File Compressor & Extractor (Free WinZip Alternative) Read More 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!

Related topics: Multiple Monitors, Online Video, YouTube.

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  1. Marcel
    April 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    This is such a crucial feature, it is a shame that the Flash Player doesnt consider this!
    Btw. the tips in the given Youtube link above are far outdated and it would be nice if someone can provide the proper adress to fix the necessary bits and bytes in the dll with a hex editor.

  2. whateve
    January 6, 2015 at 12:30 am


  3. Amr
    December 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm
  4. Mason
    December 18, 2009 at 9:01 am

    The file is no longer on that site, can someone host it?


  5. chris
    December 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you! I've been looking for something like this for a while. World great with Windows 7 and Chrome.

  6. max
    December 5, 2009 at 12:19 am

    It works... but have you experienced unresponsive error while trying to watch a certain flash videos?

    • Tim
      December 5, 2009 at 4:19 am

      I don't think I have. If it's specific to certain videos, maybe it's a problem with those particular videos?

  7. absurdist
    December 4, 2009 at 10:06 am

    And now, of course, the link is dead... 7AM PST 4Dec

    • Tim
      December 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm

      It appears the link is now directing to a disclaimer before the file will download. Just click on the download button at the bottom.

  8. shri
    December 3, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    I am so so thankful to you and those who figured this out. This issue had been picking my brain for so damn long... Hurray :)

  9. Max
    December 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Here is a link to a youtube video that tells you how to modify the file yourself, if you are nervous downloading someone elses dll. it worked for me

  10. Amr
    December 3, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    In Windows x64 systems the file could be found in

    I just tried it in Windows 7 on Chrome and it's working.

    • Tim
      December 3, 2009 at 11:29 pm

      Thank you for that!

    • IzMan
      December 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm

      Thanks Man, I spent like half an hour looking for it(the file) before thinking to look in the comments here.

  11. LSM
    December 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    This should read: "ow To Keep Flash Videos Full-Screen On A Second Monitor - if you happen to be running crappy Windoze"

    • Tim
      December 3, 2009 at 11:28 pm

      Point taken... but we must remember the percentage of "windoze" users out there, myself being one of them, when we help solve problems.

  12. Daithaig
    December 3, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    It worked, thanks so much that has been bugging me for a long time. thanks again

    • Tim
      December 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm

      I had given up on it until I came across the solution! Remember, I'm not the fixer, I just gave it some voice!

  13. cr0ft
    December 3, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    There are also security issues involved with taking a third party DLL file and integrating it into your computer willy nilly. As a general rule, it is a godawful idea to do so since you have no idea what was changed and by whom.

    Granted, in the real world and in this case the risk is low, but it should be said it's not the best practice from a security point of view. A DLL file is an executable, after all.

    • Tim
      December 3, 2009 at 11:25 pm

      cr0ft has a good point. There are several things you can do to reduce the risk. Some of them are backing up the original file, trusting the source of the new file, run a good antivirus program and testing it on a less important computer before deploying it on your every day machine.

      Point taken.

  14. MacUser
    December 3, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I couldn't find an equivalent file my Macintosh.

    Does anyone know how to do the same thing on a Mac?