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Windows: starting Chrome in full-screen kiosk mode from a batch file

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/08/03

When configuring a web-based kiosk for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, I wanted to start Chrome in full-screen kiosk mode.

Chrome full-screen kiosk mode

The secret for full-screen kiosk mode is to pass the -start-fullscreen command-line option. Thanks [WayBack] User ginomay89 – Super User for answering that in [WayBack] tablet – How to set Google Chrome to automatically open up and in full screen – Super User.

Finding chrome

At first I thought about differentiating on the chrome.exe location that you can find in the registry. This turned out to be depending on how you install Chrome:

  • locally for the current user by a non-local-administrator user (by default the location is under %LocalAppData%)
  • globally for all users by a local-administratator user (by default is under %ProgramFiles(x86)%)

Oddly, there is no way (not even by denying UAC elevation!) for a local administrator to install Chrome for only the current user.

This is odd, as when non-local-administrator denies UAC, the installation is locally to the user.

Then I remembered there are two ways for Windows to find an application

The cool thing is that the start command does the latter, so I came up with this batch file that starts chrome with the -start-fullscreen parameter that will initiate kiosk mode with the default chrome settings:

start "Chrome Kiosk Mode" chrome --start-fullscreen

In case I want to compare the registry settings

Basically sorting out the registry settings would mean parsing the references to chrome.exe (often with extra parameters) in the below registry key/value-name pairs.

One day I might need to do this for different reasons, but currently the start trick suffices.

Installation locally for the user

:: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ChromeHTML.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\Application
:: ApplicationIcon

:: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ChromeHTML.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\DefaultIcon
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ChromeHTML.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\shell\open\command
:: (Default)


:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\ChromeHTML.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\Application
:: ApplicationIcon

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\ChromeHTML.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\DefaultIcon
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\ChromeHTML.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\shell\open\command
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\Capabilities
:: ApplicationIcon

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\DefaultIcon
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\InstallInfo
:: HideIconsCommand
:: ReinstallCommand
:: ShowIconsCommand

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome.C7I2DUC3GCCQKWDIBUVWGYZAWA\shell\open\command
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Update
:: LastInstallerSuccessLaunchCmdLine

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Update\ClientState\{8A69D345-D564-463C-AFF1-A69D9E530F96}
:: LastInstallerSuccessLaunchCmdLine

:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\chrome.exe
:: (Default)
:: Path

Installation globally for all users

:: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ChromeHTML\Application
:: ApplicationIcon

:: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ChromeHTML\DefaultIcon
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ChromeHTML\shell\open\command
:: (Default)


:: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant\Store
:: C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\ChromeHTML\Application
:: ApplicationIcon

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\ChromeHTML\DefaultIcon
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\ChromeHTML\shell\open\command
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome\Capabilities
:: ApplicationIcon

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome\DefaultIcon
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome\InstallInfo
:: HideIconsCommand
:: ReinstallCommand
:: ShowIconsCommand

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome\shell\open\command
:: (Default)

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Google\Update
:: LastInstallerSuccessLaunchCmdLine

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Google\Update\ClientState\{8A69D345-D564-463C-AFF1-A69D9E530F96}
:: LastInstallerSuccessLaunchCmdLine

:: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\chrome.exe
:: (Default)
:: Path

–jeroen

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