Alexandria Researcher in Kiosk Mode

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A “Kiosk” mode is a feature found in most browsers that limits user access on a computer to specific web pages only. In Kiosk mode, browser windows are full screen and the address, tools, menu, and status bars are hidden from use and not displayed.


Windows: Configuring a browser to run at startup

The following steps will work with Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

To make a web browser launch automatically during startup, create a shortcut to the browser and place it in the Windows Startup folder:

  1. Click Start followed by Run and type:
    %userprofile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  2. Please note that this location will only affect your user profile at startup; if you would rather have the browser launch at startup for every user who logs on to the computer, place the browser shortcut in this location instead:
    %allusersprofile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  3. This opens the Startup folder for the current (or every) user profile.
  4. Next, right-click inside folder and choose New followed by Shortcut and provide the path to the browser for which you want to execute at startup.

    This is how you create a new shortcut.


  5. Alternately, you can simply just drag the browser shortcut to this folder too.



Google Chrome – Full Screen Kiosk Mode

The following steps are for running Google Chrome in full screen Kiosk mode on a Windows machine:

  1. Right-click on your Windows Desktop and select New followed by Shortcut.
  2. This opens a standard operating system explorer (i.e. finder) window, allowing you to Browse for the “chrome.exe” file.
  3. Although it can be different (depending on your setup), the file is usually found here:
    %username%/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe
  4. Click Next.
  5. Type a name for the shortcut (e.g. “Chrome Kiosk Mode”) and click Finish.
  6. Right-click on the new shortcut on your Desktop and go to Properties.
  7. At the end of theTarget field, replace “chrome.exe” with “chrome.exe --kiosk http://[enter URL here]”.
  8. Next, click Apply followed by click OK.
  9. If you would like to launch Google Chrome every time your machine restarts, copy the newly-created shortcut and paste it into your Startup folder.
  10. Double-clicking on the newly-created shortcut will launch Google Chrome in full-screened Kiosk mode.
  11. To exit the Kiosk mode, press <Alt+F4> on your keyboard.
  12. The shortcut for Full Screen is <F11>; you can also click the Wrench (“Google Chrome Wrench Icon.jpg”) icon in the top-right corner of the browser and select the Full Screen icon (“Google Chrome Full Screen Icon.jpg”).
  13. When Google Chrome is running in full-screened Kiosk mode, the toolbars are not available; however, you are still shown a reminder at the top of the page that <F11> exits Full Screen mode.
  14. If you've copied this shortcut into your Startup folder (see above), Google Chrome will automatically launch in Full Screen Mode when your computer is restarted.



Mozilla Firefox – Full Screen Kiosk Mode

The following steps—broken down into two parts—walk you through how to launch Mozilla's Firefox in full screen Kiosk mode on a Windows machine:

  1. Unfortunately, Mozilla's Firefox does not support a native Kisok mode. However, there are several Kiosk Add-ons (e.g. “Full Fullscreen”, “R-kiosk”, etc) available for Firefox that will launch the browser in Full Screen mode without any address bars, toolbars, browser menus, or tabs. The downside of using various Add-ons to ensure that Firefox reboots in full-screened Kiosk mode every time is that they are often outdated as new versions of the browser are released.
  2. Due to the wide variety of available extensions, we can't tell you exactly which Add-ons to use. You are required to do some research on your own and choose the extension(s) that are best suited to your unique environment.
  3. Once you have researched and chosen the extensions (i.e. Add-ons) that meet your needs, download and install the plugin(s).
  4. Next, from the browser's main Firefox menu, select Add-ons (“Mozilla Firefox Add-ons Icon.jpg”) and locate your newly installed plugin within the Extensions tab. Some third-party plugins require you to set specific options (e.g. Fullscreen on Startup, Prevent Navbar Auto-Popup, or Hide Tab Bar).
  5. From the main Firefox menu, select Options and be sure to set your default Home Page to what you want your browser to automatically launch with. The default Home Page should usually be the main page of the Researcher Workstation; however, it can also be your site/institution's home page which, in turn, provides a link to the online Researcher.
    If you're having trouble locating your online Researcher's web address, click here to find out how.


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  1. Right-click on your Windows Desktop and select New followed by Shortcut.
  2. This opens a standard operating system explorer (i.e. finder) window, allowing you to Browse for the “firefox.exe” file.
  3. Although it can be different (depending on your setup), the file is usually found here:
    C:\\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
  4. Click Next.
  5. Type a name for the shortcut (e.g. “Firefox Kiosk Mode”) and click Finish.
  6. If you would like to launch Mozilla's Firefox every time your machine restarts, copy the newly-created shortcut and paste it into your Startup folder.
  7. Unless your Add-ons take care of it for you, the shortcut for Full Screen is <F11>; you can also select Full Screen from the main Firefox menu. Please note that most Kiosk Add-ons don't prevent a user from hitting <F11> to toggle between full and regular screen views. Most Kiosk extensions also allow users to use <Alt+F4> to close the browser, too. However, if this happens, when the browser is relaunched, it will reopen in Kiosk mode again.
  8. Close all pages/tabs and then restart the Firefox browser.
  9. Your default Home Page page should load and take up the entire screen.
  10. By default, this Full Screen mode auto-hides any visible toolbars. However, you can bring them back at any time by hovering your mouse near the top-edge of the screen. Alternately, pressing <F11> will exit Full Screen mode. Keep in mind that both these features may be disabled when using certain Add-ons.
  11. If you've copied this shortcut into your Startup folder (see above), Mozilla's Firefox will automatically launch in Full Screened Kiosk mode when your computer is restarted.



Internet Explorer – Full Screen Kiosk Mode

Accessing Internet Explorer in Kiosk mode is simple; both Internet Explorer v8 and v9 include a built-in Kiosk mode feature that allows you to open webpages without any of the advanced controls of the browser, such as the address/toolbar and top menu. This step-by-step documentation describes how to use the Kiosk mode feature with Internet Explorer.

  1. Right-click on your Windows Desktop and select New followed by Shortcut.
  2. This opens a standard operating system explorer (i.e. finder) window, allowing you to Browse for the “iexplore.exe” file.
  3. Although it can be different (depending on your setup), the file is usually found here:
    C:\\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
  4. Click Next.
  5. Type a name for the shortcut (e.g. “Internet Explorer Kiosk Mode”) and click Finish.
  6. Right-click on the new shortcut on your Desktop and go to Properties.
  7. At the end of theTarget field, replace “iexplore.exe” with “iexplore.exe” -k http://[enter URL here]”; be mindful of quotation mark placement (see example below). If you do not specify a URL, Internet Explorer will open to your default home page.
    This is how the Target field should look in your Internet Explorer Shortcut Properties.
  8. Next, click Apply followed by click OK.
  9. If you would like to launch Microsoft's Internet Explorer every time your machine restarts, copy the newly-created shortcut and paste it into your Startup folder.
  10. Double-clicking on the newly-created shortcut will launch Microsoft's Internet Explorer in full-screened Kiosk mode. When you run Internet Explorer in Kiosk mode, the Internet Explorer title bar, address bar, menus, toolbars, and status bar are not displayed and Internet Explorer will run in Full Screen. Make sure you are familiar with the keyboard shortcuts in Kiosk mode before beginning, or you may find yourself unable to navigate webpages.
  11. The shortcut for Full Screen is <F11>; you can also click the Tools menu in the top-right corner of the browser and choose Full Screen. However, when Microsoft's Internet Explorer is running in Kiosk mode, the toolbars are not available.
  12. Although the Windows taskbar is not displayed, you can still switch to other running programs by pressing <Alt+Tab> or <Ctrl+Alt+Del>.
  13. Because Internet Explorer is running in Full Screen mode, you cannot access the Windows desktop until you quit Internet Explorer.
  14. When you are ready to close Internet Explorer in Kiosk mode, press <Alt+F4> on your keyboard.
  15. If you've copied this shortcut into your Startup folder (see above), Microsoft's Internet Explorer will automatically launch in full-screened Kiosk mode when your computer is restarted.