How to Rotate a Laptop or PC Screen: Flip Your Display on Its Side
Most laptop or PC applications work perfectly well in landscape mode. But occasionally, the screen’s position can hinder your productivity, especially if you want to work with or display information in a tall and thin window.
If you have a monitor that you can pivot to portrait mode, it may be worth spinning your working window around 90 degrees. This quick guide explains how to turn your desktop on its side to keep you working productively.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to flip screens to help employees remember to lock them as they walk away. Whatever the reason, rotating your screen 90° is an easy task. Here’s how to do it.
How to Rotate a Laptop or PC Screen Using Your Keyboard
If you’re running Windows 10 or 11 with an Intel GPU, you may be able to quickly rotate your screen 90°, 180°, or 270° at any time by pressing three keys.
- Hold down “Control + Alt” and then select the “arrow key” for which way you want your laptop or PC screen to face.
- Your monitor will then briefly go blank and return facing a different orientation in a few seconds. Press “Ctrl + Alt + up arrow” to restore the screen to its original settings.
This keyboard combination will rotate your entire screen and all of the open apps.
This feature is only available on Intel devices that support it. You can check your Intel Graphics Settings to see if your device does.
How to Check for a Rotation Option on Intel Graphics in Microsoft Windows
- “Right-click” anywhere on your Desktop and select “Intel Graphics Settings.” If you don’t see an Intel option, move on to the next section and try something else.
- You’ll want to select “Options and Support.”
- Next, select “HotKey Manager.”
- You’re looking for screen rotation shortcuts. If not present, then your device doesn’t support it.
If you don’t have an Intel HD GPU, as shown above, then check out Using Screen Rotation with the Intel® Graphics Control Panel for more ways to validate your rotation options. A couple of other Intel panels exist, such as the “Intel® Graphics and Media Control Panel” and “Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator Driver,” that use the same steps as above.
How to Rotate a Laptop or PC Screen via the Control Panel
You can access the Windows Control Panel to rotate your screen, but beware, it will be challenging to switch it back as the appearance gets flipped, and so do the mouse movements. However, if you rotate the monitor, you are all set! Here’s how to do it.
- Right-click the Windows desktop and select “Display Settings” from the dropdown menu that appears.
- In the “Settings -> Display” menu that appears, scroll down and click the “Display orientation” dropdown. Choose your rotation from the list.
- The screen automatically changes. A prompt appears. Select “Keep changes” to save your rotated display setting.
How to Rotate a Laptop or PC Screen Using AMD/Intel/NVIDIA Control Panel
You can also rotate a display using your graphics card’s control panel.
Note: There are too many software suites to list (AMD Catalyst Control Center, NVIDIA Control Panel, etc.), so treat this as a general guide.
- Right-click the Windows desktop, select your graphics card’s Control Panel, or right-click the GPU’s System Tray icon.
- Find the “Display” or “Desktop” menus to locate the rotation option for your selected monitor. The exact location varies from one manufacturer to another.
- Adjust rotation as desired. Some control panels automatically change it, while others require you to click “Save” or “Apply.”
- A confirmation appears while the screen rotates, asking you to confirm changes.
Locking Your Screen in Position on a Laptop or Tablet
You can lock your screen so it does not rotate, but only if you use a device with an internal gyroscope, such as a laptop with a detachable screen or a tablet. The Rotation Lock feature isn’t available on a desktop. If you’ve been the recipient of too many office jokes or want to prevent a new end-user from accidentally flipping their screen, lock the screen rotation.
- Click the Action Center Icon or press “Windows key + A.”
- Next, click the “Rotation lock” box.
Once you’ve done this, the screen’s position is locked. To unlock the screen orientation settings, use the same steps in this section.
How to Fix Screen Orientation When Stuck
Several users have stated that their screen becomes stuck in one position. The hotkeys don’t work to fix it, and many times, the user can’t even input their password to gain access to their PC. Let’s review some options if your screen gets stuck in one position, and the above methods aren’t working for you.
Aside from powering down your PC (which likely won’t work because your system will remember its last orientation), you can try unplugging your peripherals, wait a couple of minutes, then plug them back in. This process may force the system to reboot with the correct orientation.
- If screen rotation isn’t working, you can go into your system’s Registry using the “Win + R” keyboard shortcut.
- Next, type “regedit” in the box and hit “Enter” to open a new window.
- From here, follow the path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/AutoRotation.
4. Double-click LastOrientation and enter 0 in the Value box. This step should help you to reset your screen orientation. This process is challenging to follow if your screen is upside down or even sideways. If nothing else works, physically rotate your monitor to make completing the steps easier.
How to Rotate a Laptop or PC Screen on a Mac
Here’s a quick rundown of rotating the screen on a Mac.
- Click on the “Apple Menu” and select “System Preferences.”
- Now, click on “Displays > Display Settings.“
- Then, select your display.
- Next, click on the “Rotation” pop-up menu and select the amount of desired rotation.
- Select “Confirm” in the window that appears.
- You can easily undo the rotation by selecting “Rotation > Standard.”
Windows/Mac Tablet/PC Screen Rotation FAQs
Will the screen rotate back if I turn off my computer?
It will reboot with the same orientation you last used in most cases. The only way to rotate it back would be to use one of the methods above.
My screen is stuck and will not rotate after the newest updates. What can I do?
If your screen no longer rotates after the update, check that the rotate function isn’t locked. If it isn’t, then follow the steps above using the Intel Control Panel.
My screen still won’t rotate, so what else can I do?
If the rotate lock function is off and you’ve tried the control panel, you should power cycle your device to see if the problem corrects itself. If not, then try disconnecting your peripherals and reconnecting them.
Lastly, use Microsoft’s built-in troubleshooting software to check your sensors. If your computer is having a driver issue, it may cause the screen orientation on your computer to stop working correctly. You can change the driver yourself, check for a manufacturer’s warranty, or contact a repair shop for further assistance.
What if I have two screens and only one of them appears flipped?
In most cases, you can click on the screen that needs adjusting and use the keyboard to fix the issue. The alternative would be to head over to the control panel, select the screen that needs to be rotated, and choose the orientation.
If the issue is not immediately corrected, try to unplug the peripherals and plug the monitor back into your computer.
Why doesn’t Ctrl+Alt+Arrow work in Windows?
If the “Ctrl + Alt + Arrow” hotkey combination isn’t working for you, it’s likely because your PC’s graphics card doesn’t support the function. You can confirm functionality by using the “Ctrl + Alt + F12” keyboard shortcut and selecting “Options & Support.” Next, click on the “Hotkey manager” and browse for your keyboard shortcut.