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Tech tips

Can’t make your iPhone screen rotate? 6 easy fixes

When you think the features on your gadgets couldn’t get any better, they do. Technology is always advancing, whether it’s an upgraded screen on a new smartphone or a massive update to an app.

When the advances work, they’re great. When they fail, it can be incredibly frustrating to deal with. Even the most user-friendly devices can have glitches that come up from time to time. We saw it recently with the iOS 14 update, which caused iPhone battery issues for some users.

Now, glitchy iPhone screens are causing annoying issues. Some people can’t get their screens to rotate from horizontal to vertical and back again. There are a few easy ways to fix the issue, though. Here’s how.

1. Restart your phone

One of the easiest fixes for this issue is to restart your phone. Restarting your phone can take care of lots of glitchy issues — including a non-rotating screen. So, if you’re having problems with getting your iPhone to rotate when you turn it, try restarting it. That may fix the issue right off the bat.

2. Make sure the app you’re using supports screen rotation

You may think the problem with the non-rotating screen is with your phone, but your app could cause it. Not all apps support screen rotation. In fact, some of the more popular apps don’t support screen rotation.

A couple of popular apps that don’t support screen rotation include Starbucks and Instagram. Have you ever tried to turn your phone to view an Insta post in a different mode? It won’t work. The Starbucks app won’t support screen rotation either, and not even the barista can help.

3. Turn off your iPhone’s screen rotation lock

If restarting your phone and checking apps didn’t solve the issue, you might want to turn off your iPhone’s screen rotation lock instead. You may have toggled on this feature by accident. If you did, your phone will “lock” the rotation feature and you won’t be able to rotate the screen.

To turn off the rotation lock on an iPhone without a home button:

  1. Swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen to open Control Center.
  2. Tap the Portrait Orientation Lock button to make sure that it’s off. (Note: It looks like a padlock with an arrow around it.)
  3. That’s it. Your iPhone should rotate properly now.

To do this on an iPhone with a home button:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom edge of your screen to open Contol Center.
  2. Tap the Portrait Orientation Lock button to make sure that it’s off.
  3. That’s it. Your iPhone or iPod Touch should rotate properly now.

Related: 7 annoying iPhone problems and how to fix them

4. Turn off display zoom

If you’re having issues with the screen rotation on an iPhone 6 Plus, 6S Plus, 7 Plus, 8 Plus, or any iPhone Max model, the display zoom might be the culprit. The home screens on these models will auto-rotate when you turn them, and you might need to turn off the display zoom to get things back on track.

To turn off Zoom, go to Settings > Accessibility > Zoom, then tap to turn Zoom off.

You can also turn off display zoom using iTunes. To do this:

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to a computer.
  2. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder. On a Mac with macOS 10.14 or earlier, or a PC, open iTunes.
  3. Select your device when it appears in Finder or iTunes.
  4. Select Configure Accessibility.
  5. To turn off Zoom, deselect the Zoom checkbox.
  6. Click OK.

Related: 10 smart iPhone tricks you’ll use all the time

5. Make sure your accelerometer is not broken

Your iOS device’s accelerometer is what senses movement and gravity affecting your iPhone. In other words, it’s what controls the rotation of your phone screen from portrait to landscape and then back again. It’s obviously an important part of the mix when it comes to rotating your screen. If your phone is refusing to rotate, the accelerometer could be the issue.

If that component is damaged on your iPhone, you’ll have issues with rotating your screen and will need to get it fixed. Unfortunately, there’s not really a DIY way to fix that issue yourself. You’ll need to go through the potential fixes above to rule them out. If those don’t fix the rotation issue, you can take your iPhone to the Apple Store or repair shop to have it checked.

Tap or click here to see how to make an Apple Store appointment.

6. Reset all settings

If none of the other fixes on this list work, you might have to reset all of your phone settings. This is the last resort option, but it could fix the issue.

Luckily, you won’t lose any of your important information — like your contacts or calendars — by resetting your settings, but you will lose your preferred iPhone settings and network settings. You’ll also lose the cards saved in Apple Pay and maybe some other nonessential information like your Wi-Fi password, too.

Before resetting your iPhone, it’s a good idea to back it up first. Tap or click here for step-by-step instructions on backing up an iPhone.

It’s pretty simple to reset your iPhone settings. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset
  2. Tap Reset All Settings

That’s it, now all of your preferences and settings are reset. Information (such as contacts and calendars) and media (such as songs and videos) won’t be affected. If none of the fixes we’ve presented here work, we recommend taking your device to the Apple Store. Don’t forget to make an appointment.

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