Home / iPad / ‘Why won’t my iPad screen rotate?’: How to turn off the Orientation Lock on an iPad or troubleshoot its screen – Business Insider

‘Why won’t my iPad screen rotate?’: How to turn off the Orientation Lock on an iPad or troubleshoot its screen – Business Insider

Some apps are not designed to rotate with your iPad's screen.

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Some apps are not designed to rotate with your iPad’s screen.
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Guteksk7/Shutterstock
  • If your iPad screen won’t rotate, you might have to turn off the Orientation Lock or do some other troubleshooting.
  • If you have an older iPad with a side button that toggles up and down, it might be set to Orientation Lock.
  • Some apps are designed not to rotate, so test the Home screen and other apps to see if the problem is fixed.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The iPad is designed to rotate the screen automatically in response to how you hold it.

However, sometimes, the screen doesn’t rotate the way it should.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your iPad screen rotates properly.

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How to troubleshoot an iPad screen that won’t rotate

Turn off the iPad’s Orientation Lock

For times when you don’t want the screen to rotate, you can enable the Orientation Lock. On the other hand, here’s how to make sure it’s turned off:

1. Open the Control Center by swiping down from the top right of the screen on an iPad running iOS 12 or later, or by swiping up from the bottom of the screen on an older iPad.

2. Check the status of the Orientation Lock icon, which looks like a padlock with an arrow curving around it. If the icon is white and the padlock and arrow are red, it’s enabled, and that’s probably your problem.

Toggle the Orientation Lock to make sure it's off.

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Toggle the Orientation Lock to make sure it’s off.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

3. Tap the Orientation Lock icon to turn it off. The icon should turn transparent and the padlock and arrow will turn white.

4. If it was already off, toggle the Orientation Lock on and then off again by tapping it twice. Some older iPads have a side switch that can be used to enable the Orientation Lock as well. Check to see if your iPad has a switch, and try to toggle it to see if that affects rotation.

Another way to do this is to start the Settings app.

1. Tap the “General” tab.

2. Check to see if the “Use Side Switch to” section is set to lock rotation or mute.

3. Try switching it to mute to see if that resolves the problem.

If you have an iPad with a side switch for locking orientation, you can turn it into a mute button instead.

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If you have an iPad with a side switch for locking orientation, you can turn it into a mute button instead.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Test apps on your iPad to see if they rotate

If the Orientation Lock wasn’t your problem, make sure you’re using an app that actually rotates. Some apps – especially many games – are designed to work with a single orientation, and will not rotate no matter how you hold the iPad.

1. To check, press the Home button to go to the Home screen.

2. Start a built-in Apple app, like Safari or Mail.

3. These should all rotate normally. If they do – and the app you were trying to use does not – then that app isn’t designed to rotate.

Restart your iPad

If you’ve had no luck so far, it’s possible that a software glitch is preventing your iPad from rotating and you need to restart your iPad. To see how to do that, follow the instructions in the article “How to restart and force-restart any iPad model.”

Get your iPad serviced

If none of those troubleshooting tips fixed your iPad’s screen rotation issue, you probably have a problem with your iPad’s hardware. Contact Apple customer support to have it inspected and repaired or replaced.


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