Thanks to clever orientation sensors, your iPad and iPhone know which way you’re holding them and can rotate the on-screen image to match. However, that’s not always desirable as you might not want a photo, email or ebook to be rotated when you move your smartphone or tablet around.

Conversely, you might have accidentally enabled the screen rotation lock and can’t work out how to make the screen rotate again.

See also: How to connect your iPad to an HD TV

Here we’ll explain how to enable and disable the rotation lock and how to configure the slider above your iPad’s volume buttons to act as the screen lock, rather than mute.

Note that some apps don’t support screen rotation, so will display in their native orientation no matter whether the rotation is locked or not. Most games work only in landscape mode, but some apps work only in portrait.

See also: How to block a number on an iPhone

How to stop your iPhone or iPad’s screen rotating

Step 1. Turn on your iPhone and unlock it. Either go to the Home screen or launch the app you want and rotate the screen to your desired orientation.

Step 2. Double-press the Home button to display the list of running apps. Swipe right and you will see the rotation icon. Tap it to lock the screen in the current orientation.

iPhone screen rotation how to lock

When you see the padlock (below) the orientation is locked. You will also see a tiny version of this in the status bar at the top of the screen.

iPhone screen rotation locked

The process is the same for the iPad unless you have set the slider above the volume rocker to act as a screen rotation lock. If the latter, simply slide the switch down (so the orange dot is showing) to lock the screen.

How to make your iPhone or iPad’s screen rotate (unlock it)

Step 1. Double-press the Home button from the Home screen or within an app. Swipe right and tap the rotation icon to remove the padlock. The screen is now unlocked and will rotate as you move the iPhone (in apps which support this).

iPad slide switch screen locked

The process is identical if you have an iPad, but if you have set the slider to work as the screen lock, then slide it upwards so the orange dot isn’t visible.

How to set the iPad’s slider switch to lock and unlock screen rotation

An option on the iPad (which isn’t present on the iPhone) is to use the slider to lock the screen rotation or to mute the speaker.

To toggle this between the two, open the Settings app and tap General on the left. Scroll down until you see ‘Use Slide Switch to:’ and tap the option you want.

 iPad slide switch screen rotation setting