In virtualbox fullscreen mode, can I disable or move the popup menu bar?


See below for the solution that worked for me, on OSX 10.9 (Mavericks).

This issue seems to have been in and out of forums for the last 5 years or so. The most commonly suggested solution is to edit the VirtualBox Info.plist file and add LSUIPresentationMode = 4. Documentation can be found on the apple developer website, under: information property (plist) key reference -> launch services keys.

This should work for most apps, but because of how VirtualBox operates, it only provides a temporary fix. Switching apps, exiting full-screen or changing spaces causes the menu to re-appear. My solution is to force (NOT, to run as an agent app; by editing it's Info.plist file. This has the effect of disabling the menu bar (in windowed AND fullscreen mode) and also, unfortunately, removing the virtual machine from the application switcher. On Mavericks, the dock will still appear in fullscreen after moving the cursor to the bottom of the screen,...

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When you click the "Maximize" button in the upper right corner of the window while running a VirtualBox virtual machine, you might expect the application to enter full-screen mode. However, this isn't the case; the window expands, but you can still see other applications running on the Windows task bar. Use the menu bar or a keyboard shortcut to enter true full-screen mode in VirtualBox.

1. Locate the key displayed in the lower right corner of the VirtualBox window. This is the "Host Key" -- VirtualBox requires you to press the Host Key to enter and exit full-screen mode. By default, the Host Key is the "Ctrl" key on the right side of the keyboard.

2. Press the "Host Key" and "F" simultaneously to enter full-screen mode. Alternatively, click the "View" menu at the top of the window and select "Switch to Fullscreen." This displays a dialogue box containing information about the full-screen mode in VirtualBox. Place a check in the box labeled "Do Not Show This Message...

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When using VirtualBox you may at some point enter Scale or Full Screen Mode and then wonder how the hell you get out of it again and get your menu toolbar back!

Click to Enlarge – VirtualBox Toolbar

Well the solution is very simple but not very clear. In the settings you will notice that mentioned a lot is the Host+(something) key. One of these key presses is to exit scale or full mode which is Host+C or you can use Host+Home to bring up the menu bar and then you can click the View menu option and change the settings.

But – what if you are using a Windows machine – what the hell is the Host key!?. Well, the Host key on a Windows machine is actually the Right Ctrl key (unless you have manually reconfigured the shortcut keys). So you can go ahead and press the Right Ctrl + C to exit these modes.

So what other Host key presses can I use in VirtualBox?

Well, below is a few key presses that you can use and some that you may want to avoid. We have seen...

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Menu bar of OS X

I can not think of a way to disable it. I should not attempt to do so.

Dock of OS X host

You could try automatically, or routinely, changing its position – from the bottom, to one side – before taking the VirtualBoxVM (guest) full screen.

Hot corners in OS X host

I wonder whether they can be automatically disabled before taking the guest full screen, automatically re-enabled after escaping from full screen …


I assume that can be used to control at least the position of Dock.


It's not the answer you want, but if you'll regularly go full screen with a VirtualBoxVM then I reckon it'll be good to find an alternative to hot corners.

Does the hardware with your Mac support...

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When you send a VirtualBox client into fullscreen mode Host + F, there’s a small ‘Mini Menu’ bar pinned to the bottom of the screen that has Devices and Machine menus on it. This gets in the way, and although you can ‘un-pin’ it so it auto-hides, I keep bumping it in WinXP VMs when I’m mousing around the XP taskbar. Fortunately, the interwebs is our friend, and a kind blogger pointed out that you can move the Mini Menu bar to the top of the screen:

Make sure your VM is not running Open the Settings for that VM by right-clicking on it in the main VirtualBox GUI Go to General -> Advanced tab Check the Mini Menu entry for ‘Show at top of screen’

You can also turn the thing off entirely, if so...

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The Virtualbox Menu bar disappears if the virtual machine is running in “scale mode”.

Resizing the machine’s window: The virtual machine’s window can be resized when it is running. In that case, one of three things will happen:

– If you have “scale mode” enabled, then the virtual machine’s screen will be scaled to the size of the window. This can be useful if you have many machines running and want to have a look at one of them while it is running in the background. Alternatively, it might be useful to enlarge a window if the VM’s output screen is very small, for example because you are running an old operating system in it.

– To enable scale mode, press the host key + C, or select “Scale mode” from the “Machine” menu in the VM window. To leave scale mode, press the host key + C again.

– The aspect ratio of the guest screen is preserved when resizing the window. To ignore the aspect ratio, press Shift during the resize operation.


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Shan -

I found the same bug, but have some additional information which may help. My configuration is Full Screen Minibar->Always Show, and Position on Screen->Left, and Hide Menu Bar in Full Screen (Checked = enabled).

The problem is that the menu bar appears when I move the mouse to the top in full screen mode, even though the setting says that the menu bar should not appear. I observed the following:

* If you are impatient after booting the guest and move the mouse to the top immediately after booting and logging in on the guest OS, the menu bar will appear, despite the setting.

* If you restore a suspended guest, the same problem occurs.

Workaround: Use the Minibar to disable, then re-enable Hide Menu Bar in Full Screen. This fixes the problem for that...

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Another feature that I like from Virtual Box is ‘Full screen Mode‘. You can run another Operating System in Virtual Box as if that it is a real Operating system.
If it doesn’t work with your Virtual Box, probably you may have a problem with your display setting or card driver.

To change from ‘Normal Mode’ to ‘Full screen Mode’ in Virtual Box is very easy.
From main menu in Virtual Box, select File > Full Screen Mode.

You will have a reminding message before you switch to ‘Full screen Mode’. You can go back to ‘Normal Mode’ at any time by pressing HOST + F.

HOST button in Virtual Box is RIGHT CTRL button.

Now, I’m in ‘Full Mode’ screen. Seem like I run XP in my laptop. Cool, right?

After I press combination Host + F, now I go back to ‘Normal Mode’.

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I am running Ubuntu 12.04 in VirtualBox 4.2.6 on a Windows 7 host. After installing Ubuntu I wanted to get the VB interface in fullscreen. I therefore installed guest additions from Virtual Box Manager (devices > install guest additions -> run --> reboot).

But after booting I can only see a part of the desktop without menus. In addition I am asked again to install the guest additions after every reboot (the guest additions CD reappears even though I had removed it).

Editing the resolution in system settings via right click > appearance -> all settings (since I can only partially see the desktop) the actual resolution changes but the whole desktop still does not fit.

Do I have to uninstall/reinstall the guest additions? What other options do I have?

Answers 3

To be able to scale the screen geometry, and to enable fullscreen mode of a Virtual Box guest Ubuntu we need to install the guest additions:

In case this fails we may try to...

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