Rotate a laptop or PC screen to a different orientation on Windows 10 and 11.
Multiple monitors are common in many workplaces, allowing users to see more of their laptop or desktop computers at once and improve their productivity with multiple windows and apps running simultaneously.
While it’s perfectly possible to have multiple monitors running in landscape mode, you may lack the desk space to house more than two in this format. Or it might just be inconvenient to have two large frames stretching across your home office space. In this instance, it’s sometimes better to rotate your screen.
Most laptops and monitors may already be able to switch between the two modes, but if you have one that doesn’t, there is a simple trick to pivot the display. This can lead to increased productivity (especially when dealing with tall spreadsheets), a better view of a video call, or a fresh perspective while you work. It’s also popular among programmers and developers who want to be able to look at more of their code at once.
How to Rotate a Windows PC or Laptop with the Keyboard
For devices running Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11, users can hit Ctrl and Alt keys and any of the arrow keys to spin the display 90, 180, or even 170 degrees, with the screen going black briefly before it turns to the preferred mode.
Ctrl+Alt and the up key can take them back. The same method works for Windows 11, with Ctrl+Alt and the up arrow switching to landscape or the left arrow key for a portrait.
Users who don’t want to use the keyboard, or if the above method isn’t working, change orientation via the control panel.
Using the Control Panel to Rotate a PC or laptop display
For users running Windows 11, you can click on the Windows icon (Start button) in the bottom left-hand corner and then do the following:
- Click on the Settings icon (the small cog symbol)
- Under the System tab, click Display
- Scroll down to Scale and Layout
- Change the setting under Display Orientation
For Windows 10, the steps are almost identical, although the menus will look a little different.
In Windows 7, type Control Panel in the search bar, then Appearance and Personalization, Display, and Screen Resolution. Click on the screen you want to change (if you have multiple monitors) and change Orientation between Landscape and Portrait. Select Landscape (flipped) or Portrait (flipped) to rotate the screen.
Using the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel to rotate a display
The graphic card’s control panel can also rotate the display on your PC or laptop.
These graphics cards have icons on the system tray, you can click to bring up the control panel. Alternatively, you can right-click on the desktop, and in the context menu, you can select Graphics Properties.
Click on that to bring up the graphics card’s control panel. This will have a host of options that change the characteristics of the display. Within a Display’ or Desktop” menu icon, there should also be an option to change the rotation of the display by 90, 180, and 270 degrees (as well as zero to get you back to normal again).
With different graphics card manufacturers, things will be slightly other, but the principle remains largely the same. Some investigation will unearth the option you need to rotate the laptop or PC display.
How to Disable Automatic Screen Rotation on Windows 10
Convertible PCs and tablets running Windows 10 automatically rotate their screens as the device orientation changes. This works just like modern iPhones and Android smartphones. To stop your screen from rotating automatically, you can enable Rotation Lock.
To do so, open the Action Center by clicking the notification icon on the right side of your taskbar or by pressing Windows+A.
Click or tap the “Rotation Lock” quick action tile to lock your screen in its current orientation. Click or tap the tile again to disable the Rotation Lock.
The Rotation Lock option is also available at Settings > System > Display.
If you don’t see the option in either place, your device doesn’t support automatic screen rotation because it doesn’t have built-in accelerometer hardware.
If the Rotation Lock tile appears grayed out, you must put your convertible PC into tablet mode — for example, by rotating its screen around or detaching its screen from the keyboard. Rotation Lock isn’t available in standard laptop mode, as the screen will never automatically rotate itself in standard laptop mode.