How to Unlock Screen Rotation on iPhone.
Most of us tend to view our smartphone screens vertically, unless we’re watching videos, playing games, or viewing certain high-resolution images.
One of the great things about the iPhone, unlike other devices, is that its screen can reorient depending on how you hold the phone.
However, sometimes the screen won’t rotate to match the side you rotate the iPhone to, which can be very frustrating and makes it difficult to use the phone.
Before you conclude that your phone may be broken and make an appointment with Apple Genius, read this guide to find out why this is happening and how to unlock iPhone screen rotation.
What causes iPhone locked screen rotation issue?
Ideally, your iPhone’s screen should rotate smoothly. Otherwise, it is possible that the screen rotation function is locked, or the screen or application you are using does not support this function.
One of the main culprits for screen rotation issues on iPhone is the home screen accelerometer calibration during startup.
The accelerometer in your iPhone measures acceleration in smartphones, but its main purpose is to detect orientation changes and instruct the iPhone screen to switch or rotate between the top and bottom and vice versa.
If the accelerometer doesn’t calibrate at startup, you can restart your iPhone in portrait mode and see if it returns to normal.
Together with the built-in gyroscope sensor, the accelerometer helps you control games by moving your iPhone or, if you are using the Maps app, it helps you point out precise directions.
Holding your iPhone sideways in landscape orientation flips the screen to match its orientation, just like holding your phone upright in portrait orientation.
Your iPhone is smart enough to know that you are holding it in portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) format, and rotates the screen accordingly. However, when the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors fail, the screen can rotate when you don’t want to, which can be quite annoying.
If you are struggling with screen rotation locked problem, we show you how to find screen rotation on iPhone and unlock it so you can enjoy your content in your preferred format.
How do you unlock iPhone screen rotation?
Before we move on to the steps you can take to unlock iPhone screen rotation, it’s important to know if your phone has screen rotation lock turned on.
If your iPhone is running iOS 7 and later, the screen rotation lock is enabled when you open Control Center, but you can quickly do the same by tapping the icon bar at the top of your phone screen next to the battery icon.
When the rotation lock icon is on, it appears with a curved arrow next to the battery icon. If you do not see it, then the blocking is disabled.
On iPhone X / XS / XR and 11, you will not see the rotation lock icon on the home screen. You can only see it in the upper right corner of the Control Center.
However, you can double-tap the Home button and find the screen rotation lock / unlock button on the right next to the music player controls. A simple touch will unlock it and you can rotate the screen again.
Here’s how to unlock screen rotation on iPhone:
1. Disable portrait orientation
2. Restart the application / try another application
3. Restart iPhone
4. Disable display scaling
5. Reset all settings
6. Repair the accelerometer
Turn Off Portrait Orientation Lock
If you’ve tried to rotate iPhone sideways and the display is stuck in an upright position, portrait orientation lock may be enabled.
You can quickly turn it off by going to the Control Center. The way you get there depends on which iPhone you are using.
On iPhone X, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open Control Center. If you’re using an iPhone 8 or earlier with a physical Home button, open Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
In the Control Center, look for a lock icon and an arrow with a curved line around it. If the lock icon appears with a highlighted background (white), it means it’s on, so tap it to turn off portrait lock.
A message will appear at the top of the Control Center stating that portrait orientation lock is disabled.
Return to the Home screen by pressing the Home button or swiping down from the top right corner, and then try turning your iPhone on its side to see if it rotates freely.
Note. In older versions of iOS, you can find the rotation lock feature in the Fast App Switcher. To open it, double-click the Home button and swipe from left to right.
If the screen still won’t rotate, try the other solutions below.
Restart the app or try a different app
If your iPhone screen still doesn’t rotate after turning off the portrait lock, chances are the app or screen you’re on does not support changing screen orientation. You can try the following solutions to the problem:
Restart the application if it freezes or crashes. To do this, open the app switcher by swiping up from the Home bar and holding for a second to open the function. On an iPhone with a Home button, double-click to access the App Switcher.
Find the app you want to close and swipe up on the preview area. Go to your home screen, find the app and reopen it. If the screen rotation issue was with an app, these steps should help you rotate the iPhone screen again.
Note. Not all applications support screen rotation. Likewise, the home screen on most iPhones does not rotate, unlike the iPhone 6 / 6S / 7/8 Plus.
Restart your iPhone
Still unable to unlock screen rotation? The problem might be an error on your iPhone. To fix this problem, restart your iPhone, as this will usually fix any software conflicts that might be causing such problems, and check again if it works normally.
To restart iPhone, press and hold the Volume Up or Volume Down Side Button until the Slide to Power Off menu appears. If your iPhone has a Home button, you can press and hold the Sleep / Wake button to view the power menu.
Swipe the slider to power off to turn off your iPhone, then press the Sleep / Wake button or the side button to turn it back on.
You can also do a forced restart and see if it fixes the problem. After iPhone restarts, check if screen orientation works again.
Disable view magnification
Display Zoom allows you to magnify the iPhone screen by magnifying text and icons on the Home screen. It is only available on supported models including iPhone 6/7/8 Plus, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
If you have one of these iPhone models with display scaling, it may interfere with screen rotation. To resolve this issue, disable display scaling by going to Settings Display & Brightness.
Under Display Scale, click View, and then click Standard Set.
Your iPhone will restart with the new zoom settings and you can check if the screen can rotate normally again.
Reset all settings
If you’re at this point and still can’t fix your screen rotation issue, you can reset your iOS settings. This will reset options such as network settings and Wi-Fi connections to fix some bugs and quirks like screen rotation lock issue.
To reset all settings, go to Settings General.
Then click “Reset”.
Click “Reset All Settings” and enter your password to confirm the action.
Your iPhone will restart, after which you can check again if screen rotation is working properly. If it doesn’t, you may have to completely reset your iPhone by selecting Reset and clicking Erase All Content and Settings. Before doing this, back up your iPhone and then use this option.
If you are at this point and screen rotation is still not working, your iPhone may have a defective accelerometer. The accelerometer controls the screen rotation when motion is detected on your iPhone. If it’s broken, it won’t be able to track movement normally and won’t even know when to rotate the phone screen.
This fix requires a professional, so contact Apple Support and set up service for your iPhone, or visit an Apple Authorized Repair Store to get it done.