How to Control the Auto-Rotate on your Smartphone or Tablet

Isn’t it cool that your phone or tablet automatically rotates the contents when you change the way you’re holding it to see a picture take up more of the screen?

Isn’t it annoying that your phone or tablet automatically rotates the contents when you lie down to read your book in bed?  Especially when you’re in that reclining position just between vertical and horizontal and your book keeps flipping back and forth!

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Or – maybe your screen doesn’t rotate at all?

There’s a Setting for That!

On an Android device, access your quick settings by swiping down from the top of the screen.

  1. You should see an icon for auto-rotate. It may be labeled “Portrait” – meaning it’s locked in Portrait (vertical) mode.
  2. If it’s ON your screen will adjust
  3. If it’s OFF your screen will stay the same regardless of how you are holding your phone. Note that, if you were holding the phone vertical (portrait) when you tap the Auto-Rotate button, then your phone will be locked in portrait mode. If you were holding it horizontal (landscape) then it will be locked in landscape.

On an iPhone or iPad, access your quick settings on the Control Center. 

  • iPhone X or higher: Swipe down from the upper right corner
    or
    Earlier iPhones: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen
  • This will reveal the Control Center
  • You should see the Auto-Rotate/Orientation Lock icon right there

Still doesn’t rotate?

If your rotate setting is correct but your phone still isn’t cooperating, you need to “kick it.” You do that by turning the setting Off and On again. If that doesn’t work then restart your phone.

On the Kindle App

If your only need for controlling the rotate is for reading books on your Kindle App, there is an option right in the Kindle App to override your system settings. I want my phone to rotate my pictures, but I don’t what my Kindle book to rotate.

  • With the Kindle app open, tap the screen and find the settings for Layout. On iPhone it’s under Aa, on Android it’s under 3-dot menu and “Reading Settings.” Scroll down and turn On the Orientation Lock.
MrsGeek