Home / Tech / How to unlock and rotate the screen on an iPhone, or troubleshoot it if it won't rotate

How to unlock and rotate the screen on an iPhone, or troubleshoot it if it won't rotate

iphone photo

  • While iPhone screens are generally viewed in vertical format, rotating your screen to a landscape view can come in handy when watching videos or viewing certain images.
  • You should be able to rotate your iPhone screen seamlessly. If it won’t rotate, the app or screen you’re on may not support screen rotation, or you may need to troubleshoot your device. 
  • You can also keep your iPhone’s screen locked to a particular rotation if wanted.
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While most of the time, it makes sense to keep your iPhone’s screen formatted vertically, there are occasions in which rotating to landscape formatting is necessary. Whether you’re catching up on Netflix, viewing hi-res images, or playing a game, it’s not always ideal to use the standard iPhone screen formatting.

Thankfully, rotating your screen is a quick and easy process that should only take a few seconds. Not only that, but you can lock your iPhone’s screen in a particular rotation to ensure it doesn’t change even if you happen to physically move the phone in your hand. Here’s everything you need to know.

How to rotate your iPhone screen

1. First and foremost, ensure that iOS’s Screen Rotation Lock isn’t active on your iPhone. To do this, look in the upper right-hand corner of your home or lock screen, next to the battery indicator, for a small icon that looks like a lock with an arrow curving around it. If you don’t see it, this means Screen Rotation Lock isn’t active. If the icon is there, you’ll need to disable it.

2. To disable Screen Rotation Lock, unlock your iPhone so that you’re on the home screen and swipe up from the bottom to reveal the Control Center.

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3. Locate the aforementioned icon featuring a small lock with a line curving around it. If Screen Rotation Lock is active, this will appear highlighted. Tap it to unhighlight it, which will disable Screen Rotation Lock and allow your screen to rotate freely.

4. When finished, press your iPhone’s home button to return to your home screen. Now, when physically rotating your phone to landscape mode, your screen should follow suit.

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What you should do if your iPhone screen won’t rotate

It should be noted that while iOS and certain apps like Netflix and YouTube support screen rotation, not all applications will. If you’ve ensured that Screen Rotation Lock is disabled on your phone, chances are the app in question may not allow reorientation of your screen.

If you’re certain that an app supports screen rotation but it’s not working on your iPhone, you have a couple of options to try and fix the issue.

1. Restart your device. Sometimes technology can be finicky and a simple restart gives your phone a chance to get things right. There’s no rhyme or reason to why this works, but it often does.

2. If you’ve restarted your device and disabled Screen Rotation Lock but your screen still won’t rotate, it may be time to contact Apple Support to fix the problem. Your phone may have a broken accelerometer or another issue that you’d need a professional to fix. Taking your phone to your local Apple store or authorized Apple repair store is the first step to getting the issue fixed.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

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  • How to reset an iPhone to its factory settings, whether you’re selling it or troubleshooting the device

  • How to record a phone call on your iPhone using third-party apps

  • How you can easily delete all the photos on your iPhone at once

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