The Control Center on an iPad provides quick access to a handful of important settings. Some of these settings may not be ones that you’ve used before, which can leave you wondering what they do. One of those icons, which looks like a lock, can be used to unlock rotation on your iPad.
The rectangular shape of your iPad screen makes it possible for you to view content in both portrait and landscape orientation. Some apps will force themselves to display in only one of those orientations, but many apps will let you pick based on how you are holding the device.
However, your iPad has a feature that it uses to automatically determine the orientation it should use. This feature allows the iPad to sense how it is being held, and display the screen in the orientation that makes it easier to view. But if you are finding that the screen isn’t rotating as it should, then it’s likely that the rotation is currently locked on the device. Our guide below will show you how to unlock the rotation on your iPad.
How to Unlock Rotation on an iPad
- Swipe down from the top-right corner.
- Tap the padlock icon.
You can continue reading below for additional information on unlocking iPad rotation, including pictures of these steps.
How to Turn Off Screen Orientation Lock on an iPad (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this article were performed on a 6th generation iPad in iOS 12.2. Note that the screens in the steps below may look slightly different if you are using an older version of iOS.
You can identify whether or not your iPad’s rotation is locked by looking for the padlock icon indicated below.
If you see that icon, then you can complete the following steps to unlock rotation on your iPad.
Step 1: Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open the Control Center.
Step 2: Tap the icon with the padlock on it to turn off the orientation lock.
The iPad rotation is locked when that icon is highlighted. My iPad rotation in unlocked in the picture above, meaning that the iPad will rotate between portrait and landscape based on how I am holding it.
The rotation lock only affects apps that can display in portrait or landscape. This includes most of the default apps. However, some iPad apps, such as certain games, may only be able to display themselves in one orientation. In these cases the orientation lock won’t affect how the app is displayed.
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Kermit Matthews is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than a decade of experience writing technology guides. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and has spent much of his professional career in IT management.
He specializes in writing content about iPhones, Android devices, Microsoft Office and many other popular applications and devices.