How to Lock the Screen on Your iPhone or iPad with Portrait Orientation

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

What is portrait orientation and what is portrait orientation lock? On iPhone, when you tilt your device on its side, the screen follows and rotates to landscape orientation. Turning on portrait orientation locks the screen so that no matter which way your iPhone is turned, the screen will stay in place. Instead of your iPhone screen flipping between portrait and landscape view, you can use portrait orientation lock. We’ll cover how to lock your iPhone screen and how to use a small workaround to lock rotation on iPad as well. And just in case your screen won't rotate, we'll also tell you how to unlock screen rotation on iPhone and iPad. Here’s how to lock your iPhone or iPad screen with portrait orientation.

Related: How to Use (& Turn Off) Split Screen on iPhone 6 & 6s Plus

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Table of Contents:

How to Lock Your iPhone or iPad Pro Screen

How to Lock Rotation on iPad (Air or earlier)

How to Unlock Screen Rotation on iPhone or iPad

How to Turn on Portrait Orientation Lock on Your iPhone & iPad Pro

You can lock the screen orientation on your iPhone or later model of iPad quickly and easily in Control Center. If you have an iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4, or iPad Air 2, you will be able to lock your iPad screen using portrait orientation in Control Center just like you do on iPhone. To do this:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center. On iPhone X, swipe down from the top right side of your iPhone screen.

  2. Tap on the Portrait Orientation Lock icon.

Your device's orientation will now stay locked in portrait mode until you turn Portrait Orientation Lock off. It's simple to unlock screen rotation on iPhone or iPad, just open Control Center again and tap the lock icon again. There is no option for locking your iPhone screen in landscape mode.

How to Turn on Lock Rotation on Your iPad (Air or earlier)

If you have an older version on iPad, you can lock your screen on iPad using the side switch. This works for iPad Mini 1/2/3, iPad Air, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), and iPad (4th generation). When you have one of those models of iPad, you can set the side switch to lock and unlock your iPad's screen orientation in Settings or you can use Control Center. To do this:

  1. Set up the side switch to lock your screen orientation. You can do this by opening Settings.

  2. Tap General.

  3. Select Lock Rotation under Use Side Switch To...

You can now use the side switch to lock your iPad in portrait or landscape mode.

If you prefer to use the side switch as a mute button, you can lock your iPad's screen orientation by holding the iPad in either landscape or portrait orientation, swiping up to open Control Center, and tapping on the Orientation Lock icon.

Newer models of iPad have no side switch; so if you have the latest model of iPad, Control Center is the only place to lock the screen orientation.


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Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor and SEO Content Manager at iPhone Life. She manages the web editorial team and oversees all web and newsletter content. A long-time Apple enthusiast, Sarah can't live without her iPhone, Macbook Air, HomePod, Apple TV, or Apple Watch. As the original contributor to the iPhone Life Tip of the Day Newsletter, she wrote hundreds of iPhone how-tos to help users master their iPhones. It's safe to say that she has written or edited every tip published on! In her 20 years of editing and writing, Sarah has done everything from working as the associate editor of the Iowa Source magazine to developing recipes and reviewing cookbooks for a vegetarian cooking website. But teaching people how to use their Apple devices is her favorite job so far.