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How to Rotate or Flip PC Screen in Windows

How to Rotate (or Flip) PC Screen in Windows

Maybe you’ve plugged in an external display and your primary screen has gone haywire as a result or perhaps you’re trying to look at a vertical infographic holistically instead of chunk by chunk. If your screen isn’t set up properly, it can make your tasks more difficult to complete. So how do you go about rotating your PC screen in Windows?
Keep reading to learn how to rotate your screen manually, enable or disable the auto-rotation feature, and how to use keyboard shortcuts to easily flip your PC screen. Before you know it, you’ll be flipping screens and rotating to portrait mode like a pro.

Why would you need to rotate your screen?

Whether you’re at your office or at home, there are times when it makes sense to look at your projects or other virtual information in a vertical format. Maybe you’re a graphic designer working on a poster and you need to get a better idea of what a portrait view of your subject will look like. Or maybe you regularly create spreadsheets that make sense only using a vertical screen orientation.
Horizontal orientation is the default, of course, and it’s also the standard you’ll use for your everyday web browsing, surfing, and other common tasks. But when those particular situations arise where you need to switch up your perspective, we’ve got the steps you can follow below to show you how to flip your screen [1].

How to rotate screen: vertical and back for Windows 7, 8, and 10

1. Press the Windows key, type “Display settings” and press Enter
2. A window will open with options to customize your display
3. Choose the display you want to change (to either a vertical or horizontal orientation)
Unless you’re using a multi-monitor or dual-monitor system, you’ll likely just see your main display screen, labeled 1. If there are multiple screens, you’ll see your primary screen labeled 1 and your secondary screen labeled 2, and so on
4. Under Orientation, click the down arrow at the edge of the box
5. Choose the orientation you want, click Apply, and then OK
If you’ve used these steps to change your screen from landscape to portrait mode and now you’d like to go back to horizontal, simply repeat the steps.

How to change or update your auto screen rotation feature

Similar to your mobile device that can flip or change your screen orientation automatically as you turn it, some convertible PCs and tablets can do the same. However, sometimes this feature can be a nuisance. It definitely isn’t ideal for all situations. Luckily, it’s straightforward to change, update, or disable the auto-rotation feature. In fact, there are multiple ways to do so [2].
Note: Auto-screen rotation is only found on those computers that have a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope sensors. Windows uses this type of hardware to evaluate your screen’s current orientation.

Enable or disable screen rotation using Action Center

  1. Open up the Action Center or press Windows key and the “A” key at the same time
  2. Click on the “Rotation lock” button to toggle on or off
    • Can’t see the button? Simply press the Expand option in the top-left portion of the Quick actions area
    • If the Action Center still doesn’t show you the option, then your PC either doesn’t support the feature or you need to manually add the button by using Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Add or remove quick actions, and then add the Rotation lock switch button
    • If the Rotation lock is grayed out, it’s possible that your device has an external device such as a removable keyboard attached or your convertible PC is in laptop mode. To change this, take away the keyboard or change the convertible to tablet mode

Enable or disable screen rotation using the settings

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click on Display
  3. Under the Scale and layout area, change the Rotation lock on or off
If you don’t see an option to turn the Rotation lock off and on, your device doesn’t have this feature supported

Enable or disable screen rotation using Registry

Pro tip: Before you use this method, it’s recommended you do a full backup of your PC’s file in case something goes wrong.
  1. Open Start
  2. Search for regedit and click the first result to open the Registry
  3. Use the follow path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AutoRotation
  4. Double-click Enable DWORD and change the number from 1 to 0
  5. Press OK
  6. Restart your computer

How to use or assign hotkeys or shortcuts to rotate your screen

Another way to rotate your screen is to use a keyboard shortcut or hotkeys.
  1. For Windows 10 devices, you should be able to use the following rotate screen shortcut to change or flip your display
  2. Hold down the CTRL and ALT keys simultaneously and then press the Up Arrow key while you continue to press the CTRL and ALT keys [3]
  3. If you find yourself switching between different screen orientations often, you may find it helpful to create your own hotkey
Note: You can only create a hotkey if your device uses Intel HD Graphics. If it does, you’re in luck. Click “hotkeys” and press Enable.

How to rotate your screen in Windows: solutions for your work and lifestyle

Flipping or rotating your screen is something that happens automatically when you change your smart phone’s position - and you probably don’t even think about it. However, when it comes to your laptop or tablet, the orientation switch may not occur automatically.
Knowing how to change your screen orientation is an important skill to have in your toolset. In addition, it’s also prudent to learn about how to auto-lock your rotation in case you’re viewing a video at an odd angle or need to flip the screen for presentation purposes.

About the Author

Michelle Wilson is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Michelle is a content creation specialist writing for a variety of industries, including tech trends and media news.

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