How to Stop iPhone Screen Rotation from Happening Automatically

Turn off screen rotation on iPhone or iPad with the touch of a button so you can enjoy reading or watching videos in bed!

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

What is portrait orientation and what is portrait orientation lock? On an 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 (Updated for iOS 14) 

Jump to:

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

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, or any of the later models, 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. Open the Control Center. On iPhone X or later, swipe down from the top right side of your iPhone screen. If you have an iPhone SE (2nd gen) or an iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center.

  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. Open Settings.

  2. Tap General.

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


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


  5. 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.


Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


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.