There are various reasons why you might want to rotate your screen in Windows.

It often makes more sense when using as a second screen, particularly if you like to have messaging apps open while you work. It may be useful for digital artists, so you can see your photo frame. On a separate monitor, you might want to have easier access to particular ports you use regularly too.

There are three key ways this can be done on a Windows laptop or PC. The easiest way is to head into settings on your device, but you may prefer to shorten this with a keyboard shortcut or even change it through your graphics card settings. 

Rotate screen using keyboard shortcuts


The first way you can try to rotate your laptop or PC screen is with a keyboard shortcut. Whether this work for you or not will depend on the hardware and software on your PC. Some software, for example Nvidia and AMD drivers, allow you to create ‘Hotkeys’ to rotate the screen using a shortcut such as Shift-Alt-Arrow keys.

However, the lack of a hotkey option could be because you don’t have the software installed. For example, Intel’s Graphics and Media Control Panel needs to be installed if you have Intel graphics.

The other methods require you to dive into the settings of the various devices, but that might become tedious if you regularly like to switch between portrait and landscape. 

Image: Tadas Sar on Unsplash

Rotate screen using Windows Display settings


The quickest way to rotate the screen in Windows 10 is to right-click on the desktop and choose Display settings. You can switch between portrait and landscape in the Orientation drop-down menu - it couldn't be simpler.

If you happen to still be on Windows 8 or the now-discontinued Windows 7, right-click on the desktop and choose Screen resolution.

You’ll see a graphic showing how Windows thinks your monitors are arranged, but you can click on a display to select it, and then drag it to the appropriate position. If you’re not sure which is which, click the Identify button and giant numbers will clear things up.

Rotate screen with Intel graphics


On a laptop or PC equipped with an Intel graphics chip, rotating the screen (or the external monitor attached via HDMI) is as simple as choosing the orientation you want from the drop-down menu.

Right-click on the desktop and look for a 'graphics options' entry.

Rotate screen with Nvidia graphics


If you have an Nvidia graphics card, you’ll see an option to launch the Nvidia Control Panel when you right-click on the desktop, so choose this instead of Screen resolution.

In the left-hand menu, choose Rotate display. If you see a message saying you can’t rotate the display with Stereoscopic 3D enabled, click the link and untick ‘Enable Stereoscopic 3D’. Then you will see the options for rotating the display back in the Rotate display section.

On our test machine, 3D was enabled despite us not having a 3D monitor connected.

Rotate screen with AMD graphics


If you have an AMD graphics card, click on Catalyst Control Centre when you right-click on the desktop.

Then, look for the rotation option, which may be under different headings depending on how old or new your Catalyst Control Centre version is. On newer versions it’s under Common Display Tasks.