How to Lock iPad Screen Orientation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Locking your iPad screen orientation is a simple process that involves accessing the control center and tapping the orientation lock button. This action will prevent your iPad screen from rotating when you turn your device, making it easier to read or watch content without interruption.

After locking the orientation, your iPad will stay in either portrait or landscape mode, depending on how you were holding the device when you activated the lock. This is particularly useful when lying down or when the device is being used on uneven surfaces where it might otherwise flip back and forth between orientations.


Have you ever been frustrated by your iPad screen flipping back and forth as you’re trying to read an article or watch a video? It’s a common annoyance, but fortunately, there’s a simple solution: locking the screen orientation. This feature is especially handy if you’re using your iPad in bed or on the couch, where changes in position can easily trigger a rotation.
Locking the screen orientation is not just about convenience; it can also help prevent accidental commands or inputs when the device is handled by children or used in a moving environment like a car or plane.

Plus, for users with motor or coordination difficulties, keeping the screen stable can greatly improve the usability of the device. Whether you’re an avid iPad user or just getting started, learning how to lock the screen orientation is a useful tip that can enhance your experience with your device.

Step by Step Tutorial: Locking iPad Screen Orientation

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’ll be achieving here. By following these steps, you’ll be able to keep your iPad’s display in one fixed orientation, either portrait or landscape, regardless of how you turn or tilt the device.

Step 1: Access the Control Center

Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to access the Control Center.

The Control Center is where you’ll find a collection of useful buttons and sliders to control various functions on your iPad, including volume, brightness, and, importantly for us, screen orientation lock.

Step 2: Find the Orientation Lock Button

Look for the icon that looks like a lock surrounded by an arrow circle.

This button is usually located near the top-right of the Control Center. Its icon is quite distinctive, so it should be easy to spot.

Step 3: Tap the Orientation Lock Button

Tap the button to activate the orientation lock.

Once you tap the button, you should see a brief message at the top of the screen confirming that the orientation lock is activated. You’ll also notice that the icon will change to a red color, indicating that it’s currently active.

Step 4: Exit the Control Center

Swipe up or tap the screen outside of the Control Center to close it.

Now that the orientation lock is active, you can return to your home screen or the app you were using without worry that the screen will rotate unexpectedly.


Prevents Accidental RotationsLocking the screen orientation prevents the iPad screen from rotating when you don’t want it to, which can be particularly annoying if you’re reading or watching something and moving around.
Improves UsabilityFor people with motor or coordination difficulties, a stable screen can make the iPad much easier to use and interact with.
Helps in Unstable EnvironmentsIf you’re using your iPad on the go, such as in a car or plane, locking the orientation can prevent the screen from flipping due to movement or turbulence.


Reduces FlexibilityWhen the orientation lock is active, you can’t switch between portrait and landscape modes without going back into the Control Center, which can be inconvenient if you need to change orientations for different apps or content.
Possible to Forget It’s ActiveYou might forget that you’ve activated the orientation lock and become confused when your iPad doesn’t rotate as expected.
Not App-SpecificThe orientation lock applies to the entire device, not individual apps, so you can’t have different orientations locked for different apps.

Additional Information

Locking your iPad screen orientation is a nifty trick, but there are a few extra tidbits you might find useful. For instance, if your iPad isn’t rotating and you can’t figure out why, it’s always a good idea to check whether the orientation lock is on. Sometimes we activate it without realizing and then later wonder why our screens won’t rotate.

Also, keep in mind that not all apps will obey the orientation lock. Some apps, especially games, might be designed to work in only one orientation, and they will ignore the device’s lock settings.

Lastly, if you’re using an older version of iOS, you may find the orientation lock button in a different location, such as the multitasking bar. No matter what version you’re on, locking the screen orientation can help you enjoy your iPad without any unexpected flips or rotations.


  1. Access the Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Find the Orientation Lock Button, which looks like a lock surrounded by an arrow circle.
  3. Tap the Orientation Lock Button to activate the lock.
  4. Exit the Control Center by swiping up or tapping the screen outside of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the orientation lock doesn’t seem to work?

Check if the orientation lock is definitely on, and also make sure the app you’re using supports different orientations. Some apps only work in one mode.

Can I lock the orientation in a specific app only?

No, the orientation lock applies to the entire iPad, not individual apps.

What should I do if I can’t find the orientation lock button?

Make sure you’re swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen to access the Control Center. If you’re using an older version of iOS, it might be in a different location.

Can I still use my iPad in both portrait and landscape modes with the orientation lock on?

No, once the orientation lock is activated, your iPad will only work in the current orientation until you turn the lock off.

What does the red color on the orientation lock icon mean?

The red color indicates that the orientation lock is currently active.


Locking your iPad screen orientation can be a game-changer, especially if you’re an avid reader or movie watcher. It’s a simple process that takes just a few taps, yet it can significantly improve your user experience by preventing those annoying screen flips.

Remember, the Control Center is your friend when it comes to managing your iPad’s settings quickly. So next time you find yourself in a spinning screen debacle, just swipe, tap, and lock—it’s that easy. Keep this guide handy for a frustration-free iPad experience.