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How To Unlock Rotation on iPhone

Phones In Varying Orientations

There’s nothing more frustrating than a smartphone that won’t switch to landscape. You’re trying to read an article or refer to a map while you walk and suddenly realize your iPhone is stuck in portrait orientation, making it impossible to look at what you need.

Quick Answer

You can easily do it from the Control Center when you need to switch between portrait and landscape mode on your iPhone quickly. Your iPhone will then adapt to how you hold it once the portrait orientation lock has been disabled.

Rotating the screen is a great way to see more at once, and it gives you more space for text messages, emails, and your social networks. The increased screen space makes it easier to keep track of everything and more enjoyable to use your iPhone.

If you’ve got your iPhone in portrait mode, and then the urge strikes to unlock rotation and switch to landscape mode, here is what you have to do.

Method #1: Unlock Rotation on iPhone With the Home Button (iPhone 8 or Older)

iPhones come with a Portrait Orientation Lock that, when activated, prevents you from switching your phone to landscape. It locks the rotation of your iPhone, so it will stay in one orientation no matter how much you twist and turn. 

So, how does one switch the orientation of their iPhone 8 or older that comes with that good ol’ home button? Well, it’s a simple three-step process.

  1. Open the Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your screen.
  2. Click on the Orientation Lock button to turn it off.
  3. Rotate your iPhone 90° degrees sideways.

Being able to change the orientation of your iPhone or iPad screen is convenient, and this works both in apps and on the home screen, as long as you can access the Control Center.

Method #2: Unlock Rotation on iPhone Without the Home Button (iPhone X or newer)

With newer iPhones without home buttons, you can unlock rotation similarly to how you would do it with older iPhones. 

If you have an iPhone X or newer, you can disable the orientation lock so that your iPhone automatically adjusts the screen to suit rotation.

  1. Swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen to open the Control Center.
  2. Turn off the Portrait Orientation Lock by tapping on it.
  3. Turn your iPhone sideways to enter landscape mode.

You can then lock rotation in the position that feels most natural to you. Once you have done that, your screen will rotate when you turn your device.

Fixing the iPhone Screen That Won’t Rotate

In case your iPhone still doesn’t rotate even after disabling its portrait orientation lock, don’t freak out just yet. It might be fixable! 

If your iPhone doesn’t rotate, you can try these simple fixes to see if the problem gets resolved.

  1. Switch to a different app to see if the problem persists in all apps, as some apps do not support landscape mode.
  2. Restart your iPhone as this might resolve any software glitches causing this.
  3. Try resetting your iPhone from the settings as a last resort if none of the other fixes work.

If you’ve tried everything above and your iPhone still won’t rotate, then it might be time to give the Apple Store a call. The hardware may be faulty, which can result in such issues,

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my iPhone screen not rotating?

There are times when an app’s functionality can lead to your iPhone screen not rotating. Try apps that have been known to work in landscape mode. Because some apps do not support rotation, your screen might not turn even if you have Portrait Orientation Lock disabled.

How do I rotate my iPhone screen without the Control Center?

To enable or disable this without accessing the Control Center, go to your iPhone’s “Accessibility” settings. Under “Touch“, assign a double-tap or triple-tap to the “Lock Rotation” action. For this, you need an iPhone 8 or a newer model running iOS 14 or later.

What does the rotation lock button look like?

The button that unlocks the rotation is shaped like a padlock with a curved arrow. You can access this from the Control Center, and when you turn on the orientation lock, the icon will turn gray.

How do I make all my apps rotate on my iPhone?

Not all apps support landscape mode. Some apps don’t allow rotation, so even if Portrait Orientation Lock is off, your iPhone’s screen might not rotate. Despite how you hold your phone, these apps stay in portrait mode.

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