How to open macOS VirtualBox VM in fullscreen

Installed macOS using VirtualBox on your Windows PC only to find that it doesn’t run full screen? Well, that’s something a lot of new VirtualBox users encounter, but it’s not really a problem. This can be solved with a simple command line.

When using VirtualBox to run macOS in a guest environment, the default OS resolution is set to 1024×768. Since most people have at least Full HD 1080p monitors these days, it would seem like macOS is running in a small window. Even if you try to maximize the window, the guest operating system will not expand to fill your screen. To resolve this issue, you will need to match your virtual machine’s resolution with the monitor’s resolution.

You do not know where to start ? Don’t worry because we will help you here.

How to open macOS VirtualBox VM in fullscreen

Note that these steps only work for VirtualBox and no other software like VMware Workstation.

  1. First, download this file which contains the command line to change the screen resolution. This will make it easier for you to follow up. Open the command prompt on your computer as an administrator and copy/paste the first line of the file. Press the Enter key.

    How to open macOS VirtualBox VM in full screen

  2. Then you will need to copy and paste the second line into the file. But, before doing that, change the resolution to your monitor resolution. For example, if you have a 4K monitor, change the resolution value to 3840×2160. Once you have pasted the code, press the Enter key.

    How to open macOS VirtualBox VM in fullscreen

  3. Next, launch VirtualBox, select your macOS virtual machine in the left pane and click “Start” to start it.

    How to open macOS VirtualBox VM in fullscreen

  4. Now macOS will boot up and fill your screen, but you will still see the VirtualBox window and menu items. To hide it and enter exclusive full screen, press Ctrl + F on your keyboard.

    How to open macOS VirtualBox VM in full screen

So. You have successfully configured your macOS virtual machine to run in full screen.

There is one thing you need to keep in mind when increasing the resolution of your virtual machine, especially for higher resolutions such as QHD and 4K. As you scale up, macOS performance may seem slower in VirtualBox as more resources are used. Therefore, it’s best to stick with Full HD or lower resolution to maintain a balance between performance and quality.

This is just one of the things that new VirtualBox users encounter when setting up a guest environment. Another is to connect external USB devices. When you connect a device to your USB port, it is recognized by Windows and not by the guest operating system. In order for macOS to detect your USB device, you will need to mount it in the virtual machine using VirtualBox. You can learn more about connecting USB devices with VirtualBox here.

I hope you were able to make sure that your macOS virtual machine fills your entire screen every time you start it. What screen resolution did you use in the command line? Have you noticed the performance hit after increasing the resolution? Share with us your experiences and react in the comments section below.


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Steven L. Nielsen