How To Lock the Screen Orientation on the iPad

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iPad orientation lock

For many users, the iPad lives up to its description as an ‘intimate’ device – getting used often when laying around on a couch and similar. There are a number of situations – not least when playing games – when you will not want the iPad to continue its normal habit of flipping screen orientations as you shift it around; when you’ll want it to just stay fixed in landscape or portrait mode.

Happily, this is easy to do on the iPad. Here’s how:

— Double-tap on the Home button to bring up the iPad’s Multitasking Bar. This will show you all your recently used apps.

— Swipe to the right in the bar, in order to show the items at the far left of the bar. You should see the built-in iPod’s app icon, controls for the iPod, a brightness control slider, and the Orientation Lock control at the far left of the bar.

— You simply tap on the Orientation Lock to toggle orientation locking on and off (in whichever mode it is currently in).

That’s it. Another very basic but very handy iPad tip – hopefully helpful for those of you who are new to the iPad.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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9 thoughts on “How To Lock the Screen Orientation on the iPad”

  1. Is there not a way to assign the volume mute button to this same function? I remember reading somewhere that this could be done.

    1. Yes. In the latest version of the iPad operating system (iOS 4.3 or 4.3.1) you can choose how to use this button under:

      Settings > General > Use Side Switch To

      The choices are to Lock Rotation or Mute.

      1. Thank you, thank you for pointing that out! I just upgraded my iPad to 4.3 and was so annoyed that the switch didn’t work as the lock rotation any more!

          1. Thanks, it works. But in settings, Mute is checked while Lock Rotation is in bold when rotation is locked. Counter-intuitive to my old brain.

  2. Not sure I follow you there Tom. If I check Mute then that word is in bold to show it’s selected.

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