Orientation Lock on Apple iPhone

If you’ve ever used an iPad or iPhone, you know how frustrating it is when iOS switches the orientation from landscape to portrait mode (or vice versa) when you don’t want it to. Luckily, you can easily fix this with iOS’s built-in Orientation Lock.

To enable it, launch the Control Center in one of the following ways:

  • iPhone X or newer/iPad running iOS 12 or later: Swipe down from the top right of the screen.
  • iPhone 8 or earlier/iPad running iOS 11 or earlier: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen. (Control Center first appeared in iOS 7).

Swipe up from the bottom or down from the top right to open Control Center on your iPhone or iPad.

Control Center will pop up. Tap the Orientation Lock icon.

Tap the Orientation Lock icon on your iPhone and iPad.

When the Orientation Lock is activated, iOS briefly shows a message to confirm this, and then the Orientation Lock icon will be a different color.

The Orientation Lock icon is a different color to show it's enabled on an iPad.

At any time, you can quickly check the status of the Orientation Lock by looking at the Status Bar at the top of your screen (near the battery level icon). If you see a small Orientation Lock icon there, the feature is enabled.

iPhone Status Bar showing that the Orientation Lock is enabled.

To disable the Orientation Lock, just launch Control Center, and then tap the Orientation Lock icon.

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »