Both the iPhone and iPad feature a built-in accelerometer, which in layman terms, means the screen will rotate as you move your device either left to right or right to left. The display moves in the direction that you move your iPhone or iPad. If you are browsing the web and turn your iPhone to landscape mode, the browser will rotate with you. In most situations, this works exactly as designed and it benefits you, the user. There are instances when auto rotation can be less than optimal. Personally, when I’m driving and listening to music, I use lock my rotation to avoid being thrown into cover flow. Thankfully, there is an easy way to lock rotation on iPhone and iPad. The process works the same for both devices, so whether you own an iPhone or iPad, we’ve got you covered.

Updated: February 19th, 2015

How to lock screen orientation on iOS 7/8

1. From the lock screen or home screen, swipe up to access Control Center.
2. Tap on the lock icon at the top right. A message will display (as shown below): Portrait Orientation Lock: On.

lock orientation

This will lock your screen in portrait orientation.

How to lock screen orientation on iOS 6

  1. Double-click on the home button to bring up the multitasking bar. This will provide you with apps that are currently open and makes for an easy way to access those apps.
  2. Swipe to the right to reveal controls for the Music app.
  3. At the far left, you’ll see an icon that has an arrow in the shape of a circle. This is the rotation lock icon.
  4. Tap on the icon. The icon will now show a lock with a short confirmation message that ‘portrait orientation is locked’.

lock rotation iphone

What about landscape lock?
Apple does not support a landscape rotation lock at this time. With so many folks using their iPhones and iPads to watch movies, TV and media, the option to lock landscape makes plenty of sense and maybe it’ll find its way into iOS 7.

Tip: When using the accelerometer, you can improve its recognition of movement by holding it perpendicular to the floor and then rotation. This is a good way to reset the position and achieve your desired rotation.


Our iPhones and iPads have a built-in accelerometer that works like you work. If you rotate right, the display will rotate, making it effortless to move from portrait to landscape and back again. While this is ideal in most situations, there are times when you prefer to stop your display from rotating.