Flipping Your iPad: How to Lock Your Screen in Landscape or in Portrait

photo credit: Team Traveller via photo pin cc

When you flip your iPad, the screen orientation changes as you rotate your device. You may find yourself preferring one view over the other.

Are you a “landscape person” or are you a “portrait person”?

“Landscape” and “portrait” refer to the two ways that you can view the screen on your iPad.


Holding it straight up, so that the home button is on the bottom (or top), puts you in “portrait” orientation.

photo credit: griffintech via photo pin cc

To change it to “landscape”, merely turn your iPad, so that the longest side of the rectangle is on the bottom. It does not matter if the home button is on the left side or on the right side. You can demonstrate this for yourself by turning the iPad all the way around, 180º.

One of the most common things to do on an iPad is read, whether you are looking at a website, a newsfeed, or a magazine. Over time, you have probably come to prefer to hold your iPad one way or the other. Landscape or portrait? Perhaps you enjoy doing crosswords or puzzles on your iPad. Landscape or portrait? Many games allow you to choose your orientation, as well. Your choice.

As you shift your position, as you swap the iPad from hand to hand, it sometimes flips to the OTHER orientation, the one you didn’t choose. This is especially a nuisance if you are trying to read something as you are lounging on your side or leaning at an angle. The screen flips back and forth. It’s sensitive, and it can be annoying.

But there are two ways that you can lock the screen in either mode. They are both quick and simple to do … and then to undo. Try them both, then set whichever you would prefer.

Many people choose to simply use the hardware button (the mute button) on the upper right side as the “lock” button.

To enable that switch, go to Settings > General

Now Scroll down and look for “Use Side Switch to:”

Tap on “Lock Rotation”

You can now use the button on the side to lock rotation.

The OTHER way is to set the rotation from the screen.

In order to do that, the side button must be set as a mute switch. So go back to the Settings > General, and then scroll to the “Use Side Switch to:” This time, instruct your iPad to use the side switch as a mute button.

Now you will lock your orientation from the screen. Here is how you do it:

Double-click the home button. This brings up the line of running icons we talked about here.

Now swipe to the right as far as it goes.

You will now see the screen below, (with several controls that we will address on another day.)

Look to the left. Do you see the square box with the circled arrow in it? That is all we need. Give it a tap. Your screen is now locked in the position that you are holding your iPad.

Tap it again to unlock it. That’s all there is.

Click click the home button. Swipe to the right. Tap the circular arrow. Locked!

That’s TWO ways to lock your orientation.

1. Use the side switch by selecting “lock rotation” in the settings.
2. Access the ability from the screen by sliding right on the running-icons strip and then tapping on the lock rotation. (to use this, “mute” must be selected on the “use side switch” in the settings.)

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