iPad Basics: A Fix for When the iPad Screen Stops Rotating

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iPad Rotation Lock

By default, the iPad display rotates as you change the way you hold the device – so it shows the screen in landscape mode when you hold it in landscape orientation, and adjust to portrait as you turn the device to that position.

If the iPad display ever stops rotating, it can be fixed quite quickly. Here are the quickest ways to do this:

– If you can see a little lock symbol next to the battery status in the iPad’s status bar (as shown above) then the iPad is set to lock rotation. If you have chosen to use the iPad’s side switch (the one on the right hand side of the iPad just above the volume controls) to Lock Rotation, then you can just flip the side switch to its up position to disable rotation lock. You choose what the side switch is used for in the Settings app – under this section: General > Use Side Switch to.

– If you have set the side switch to act as a Mute button, then you’ll need to pull up the Multitasking Bar in order to disable the rotation lock. Double-tap on the home button to bring the Multitasking Bar up, then swipe right until you see the Rotation Lock button at the far left of the bar. Tap on it to unlock.

– If you don’t see the lock symbol in the iPad status bar when the iPad display will not rotate then the iPad is not responding as it is meant to. In this case you need to restart the iPad. A simple power off and back on should usually do the trick. If it doesn’t then a hard reboot should resolve the issue. To perform a hard reboot you hold down the Power and Home buttons at the same time for around 10 seconds. Ignore the Slide to Power Off bar across the top of the screen when it appears and just keep pressing the two buttons until you see the iPad screen go black and then see the Apple logo appear on the screen – then let go of both buttons.

In the vast majority of cases, one of the first two methods should work to get the iPad display rotating again – otherwise the third method should do the trick.

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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8 thoughts on “iPad Basics: A Fix for When the iPad Screen Stops Rotating

  1. Halo.. Can you help me?
    I already setting my new ipad orientation unlocked. My ipad rotation still not working. I already hard reset my ipad, but my rotation still not working yet. What should i do? My ipad software version 6.01. Thanks for help….

  2. I am facing the same issue. I have an iPad with retina Display with iOS 6.1. I have done the all 3 options stated above + i have also restore iPad deleting all data once but still the issue persist.
    Sometime when i do this a reset it start working but again after a few minutes back to same problem. Not quite sure what to do…

  3. Have the same problemas above, turned any switch possible, rebooted and restored – nothing! Stopped working after I updated to latest software yesterday.

  4. thank you it worked with the hard reset. saved me a trip to the apple store! so grateful!

  5. My screen stopped rotating a couple weeks ago too.
    I have NOT yet updated the OS., and after several hard reboots etc, nothing.

  6. So I updated the OS. Still nothing.
    But following a backup a few days later, rotate started working again, the quit again a couple days later. And now iTunes refuses to complete a backup. Damn you, Apple!

  7. I have tried re-booting, turning on and off, jiggling the side switch back and forth… Nothing works. I am no-longer enjoying my IPAD. Apple, please fix.