This is dangerously close to "recommend me an app" although it is not necessarily so.

I am currently doing a lot of reading on an online library site. Usually my browser (chrome, android 4.4.2) will go to a "full screen" mode when I scroll down a page of sufficient size. But such is not the case here, and that site is not unique in this sense either. The how and why of this is irrelevent to me, I just want to be able to read with the nav bar hidden.

Unfortunately, with the trendy "easier to use" (i.e., dumbed down) interface AFAICT you cannot force this behavior. Last time I used firefox it had tabs in a manually hidable sidebar, so I installed that. But it now looks and behaves just like chrome :( As an irony, it seems that firefox's own homepage is an example of one which will not invoke fullscreen when scrolling down.

I am aware of "immersive mode" apps but have not tried this because I presume it will then just hide the system notification bar and I will get a slightly bigger view of the browser with tabs along the top. However, if I'm wrong please correct me.

Does anyone know of a way out of this, including a browser which still includes a manual fullscreen mode (as silly and archiac as it may sound)?

  • Yeah, as @Firelord says, nav bar doesn't get hidden unless you're playing some game or movies; to give a confident reply, I've been using Chrome for years and it's never hidden my navbar. And, there's this browser called UC Browser which gives you an explicit option to choose full screen.. You can try that and reply :)
    – Gokul NC
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 17:29
  • @Firelord By "nav & tab bar" I mean features of the browser, not the OS. The nav-igation part would where the current URL is shown, etc. If you swipe down on a long page all that disappears, you just see the page (ala F11 on a PC).
    – goldilocks
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 18:06
  • Related: Force fullscreen mode in Chrome for Android
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 7:18

3 Answers 3


Sadly Google Chrome and other browsers don't have a feature to hide the url bar and tab bar. One alternative is the app Full Screen Browser. Its features are:

  • Web browser that allows for full screen viewing.
  • Hide or dim navigation bar (Home, Back etc).
  • Hide action/status bar

I am using Fully Kiosk Browser to read books on https://openlibrary.org

It works great. Key features:

  • Immersive mode from the start
  • Ability to choose screen orientation without having to enable rotation system wide. I like reading in landscape. There is also reverse landscape.
  • Home screen shortcut for the website (library or book in my case) so that we can quickly jump into reading.
  • No ads or any other nonsense
  • Only issue with it is the lack of debugging since it's just straight up broken on my site
    – Shardj
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 12:11

Use Opera Browser. It has a dedicated full screen mode that works like a charm!

  • Opera fullscreen isn't controllable from JS and it doesn't hide the device's main nav bar, only the top url bar
    – Shardj
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 12:16
  • Opera for Android allows switching to fullscreen mode manually (no scrolling required), but only in landscape position, as mentioned on their blog.
    – Weaver
    Commented Jun 23 at 23:21

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