How to Freeze Screen Windows 10

To freeze the screen on Windows 10 or Macintosh machines, it’s best to depend on projectors that have the feature. They typically have that button on their remote control, which you can push and freeze the screen of whatever video or slideshow you’re presenting.

Regarding how to freeze screen windows 10 without a freeze button projector feature, here’s the lowdown.

More about The Freeze Option on Your Projector Remote

Most projectors in the 21st Century have a freeze button on their remote control that pauses or freezes the display. This enables you to look up notes, open your script for your presentations, or use Google for research without interfering with what’s on the projector screen.

a freeze button on their remote control
A freeze button on the remote control


The Benefits of a Freeze Screen

It’s awkward for your slideshow presentation, lecture, or video to halt in the middle of it being played because you’ve decided to use your laptop for something else.

Maybe you want to grade papers while playing a public service announcement to your class. Perhaps you wish to have Google or your PDFs on hand in case your thesis judges want to ask you questions regarding your thesis presentation.

It’s handy having the freeze screen option on your projector or Expand Desktop mode on your Windows 10 operating system for these types of situations.

It also hides your PC screen activities from the projector screen. It’s a screensaver-like method of hiding your PC screen from your projector screen. It’s much easier to deal with than activating the Expand Display or Desktop mode.

“Freezing the Screen” via Windows 10

Not all projectors carry a remote or the freeze screen feature. It’s like how some DVD or Blu-Ray Players lack certain features compared to other media players. In such cases, you can only freeze or separate the projector screen through your Windows 10 operating system.

Shortcuts and Function Keys

Your best bet is to extend your display on Windows 10. This also works in many of the modern Windows OS like Windows XP, 7, and 8 as well as Vista or even the 90s Windows (95 and 98). Just press the shortcut Win Key + P to go to Extend Display mode.

You can also use your laptop’s or desktop’s Function (Fn) keys to toggle between modes. Usually, it’s F7 or F8. Once you’re on Expand Desktop mode, you can pause or freeze your slideshow and do something else on your “main” PC screen.

You may also like: How to Connect Laptop/PC/Windows to Projector

How to Extend the Display on Windows 10

Windows 10 mainly depends on the Windows Key + P shortcut. However, there’s another way to access Expand Display mode without using this shortcut. It involves going to your display settings.

It’s a more cumbersome workaround but it’s always handy to have other options in case you have a broken Win Key or Fn button.

Accessing Advanced Mode of Display Properties

To be more specific, access Display Properties (with a left-click on the wallpaper or desktop), go to Advanced Mode and click the preferred display. In this case, it’s Expand Display mode. Duplicate Screen mode merely exposes your PC screen on the projector screen since they share the same screen.

You can also opt for PC Screen Only option in case you wish to turn off the projector screen temporarily without literally pushing it’s on/off switch. This way, your PC screen is still hidden from the viewers like with the projector freeze screen button.

How to Expand Display Mode Works

You’re not exactly freezing the screen on Expand Display mode. It’s more like you’re elongating the screen so that only parts of it can be seen from your PC screen to your projector screen so that whatever you do on your projector screen doesn’t affect your PC screen.

It also keeps your PC screen invisible from viewers of your projector screen, which is also the point of freezing the projector screen.

The Projector Modes in Windows 10

Push the Windows Key or Win Key (the key with the Windows logo on it) then tap the Letter P key in order to toggle between projector modes. You have four modes to choose from.

Extend Display

This is the mode typically used to extend your virtual desktop across multiple monitors. It can also be used by your projector screen to hide what you’re doing with your main PC or laptop screen. You can keep playing the presentation while using your PC screen for something else.

Duplicate Screen

Duplicate screen mode, also known as Mirror Mode in macOS devices, is when your PC screen mirrors or duplicates it screen onto your projector. In this mode, you won’t be able to hide your PC screen or multitask while the presentation is playing.

PC Screen Only

This is another good alternative to the freeze screen feature. It turns off your projector screen and only keeps your PC screen open, thus effectively hiding it from view as you use that screen yourself.

Second Screen Only

In contrast, Second Screen Only has the projector screen turned on while your PC is turned off. You can use this during the times when having both screens turned on looks distracting. However, you can’t multitask with only one unhidden screen.

Screen Freeze from the Laptop or PC Itself

As mentioned above, the Fn buttons are the ones that facilitate toggling from mode to mode in lieu of the Win Key + P shortcut.

Take note that sometimes, doing the Fn version of toggling means you can’t toggle using the Win OS shortcut because it’s a hardware-level change rather than a software-level one. To be more specific, Fn toggling is sometimes a hardware-level laptop/desktop feature separate from Windows 10.

This means if you accidentally turn on projector mode via Fn key, you can’t turn it off via Win Key + P shortcut. In the end, the projector-level screen freeze is the superior option since the other methods prove quite cumbersome to execute.

To Summarize

The projector freeze button is handy because it allows you to use your laptop screen without showcasing what you’re doing on the projector screen. Its sort of like your PC screen becomes your backend for multitasking while the projector screen serves as your front end display.

However, if you lack this freeze button from your projector, you can simulate roughly the same effect by going into Extend Display or Desktop mode. This mode elongates your PC desktop so that you have separate screens for your PC and your projector image.


  1. Freeze Projector Display“,, October 1, 2016
  2. How Do We Freeze the Display on an External Display?”, September 8, 2011
  3. How to Keep Using Your Computer While Showing a Movie on the Projector Screen“,, Retrieved March 22, 2021
  4. How to Toggle Projection Settings on Windows 10“, Help, July 24, 2019
  5. How to toggle projection settings (Mac)“, Help, June 23, 2019

James Core

I love my projector system and I am here to help you find the right projector for your needs.

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