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How to Force Rotate Into Landscape Mode on iPhone

MUO logo MUO 5/25/2022 Dan Price
© Provided by MUO

Everyone’s been frustrated by the way their phone handles auto-rotation at some point. Occasionally, your iPhone might not recognize that you’ve rotated it, leaving you with a less-than-optimal viewing experience.

Of course, iOS offers a way to lock your phone into portrait mode. It stops those annoying rotations when you’re lying down using your phone, among other scenarios. But what about if you want to force rotate your phone into landscape mode? Keep reading to find out how it’s possible.

Use iOS’s Built-In AssistiveTouch Feature

You can use the AssistiveTouch iOS feature to force-rotate your iPhone’s screen into landscape mode, even if you’re using the device in portrait mode. This is the only built-in way to force-rotate your iPhone screen.

To use AssistiveTouch, you first need to activate it in your iPhone’s Settings:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch.
  3. Make sure the toggle at the top of the screen is in the On position.
  4. Tap one of the four options (Single Tap, Double Tap, Long Press, or 3D Touch) and set it to Open Menu.
  5. Return to your iPhone’s Home Screen.

You should now see a new floating icon on the screen. Perform whichever action you set to Open Menu in the above steps, then go to Device > Rotate Screen. You can force-rotate left, right, or upside down.

If you’re concerned about the new onscreen icon being distracting, don’t worry. It will fade when not in use, and you can tap-and-drag to move it around your screen. If you’re new to AssistiveTouch, you might want to learn how to use the virtual iPhone Home button.

Unfortunately, if you force iOS into landscape mode and then move your phone, the landscape setting will be overridden. So, you’ll have to use this option each time it resets.

The force-rotate feature will not work on apps that do not support landscape view. Only the iPhone 6 Plus, 6S Plus, 7 Plus, and 8 Plus can rotate their Home Screens. There’s thus no possibility of a landscape Home Screen on iPhone X or later, likely due to the Face ID camera position.

Use a Third-Party Rotation Control App

Most iPhone users will be familiar with the concept of jailbreaking. Doing so allows you to break out of Apple’s restrictions; you can install apps and perform tweaks that are not normally available on iOS.

Explaining how to jailbreak your iPhone is beyond the scope of this discussion. In fact, we recommend that you don’t jailbreak your phone, for security reasons. There are also other jailbreaking concerns you need to consider.

But if you’ve already got a jailbroken phone, you should check out Gyration. It’s one of the few worthwhile rotation control apps for iOS. It’s available from the CydiaGeek repo and works on all versions of iOS.

The app lets you set forced rotation on an app-by-app basis. For example, you could make your preferred e-reader always open in landscape, while forcing Spotify to always run in portrait mode. The four options available on Gyration are Portrait, Landscape Right, Landscape Left, and Portrait (Upside Down).

Gyration is supported on devices running iOS 9 to iOS 14. There are currently no jailbreaks available for iOS 15, so you won’t be able to jailbreak your device if it’s on iOS 15 without downgrading it first. However, if you have a jailbroken device, Gyration is a great way app to put your phone into landscape mode.

Download: Gyration (Free)

Use a Video Rotation App

One of the main reasons people want to rotate the screen on their iPhone is to watch videos in the correct format. Of course, videos are naturally better in landscape mode, but the nature of smartphones means many people record their videos in portrait instead.

It’s easy to rotate videos from the Edit option in the Photos app on your iPhone. But not everyone keeps their videos in this app. Thankfully, some apps exist that can rotate your iPhone video from portrait to landscape and vice-versa. One of the best video rotation apps on iOS is Video Rotate + Flip. It’s free to use; you can remove ads with an in-app purchase.

Once you’ve converted your video from portrait to landscape in the app, it will export a copy to your iPhone’s Camera Roll. You can force-rotate videos of any length, and the app does not leave watermarks. And lastly, because the videos get rotated at the frame level, the output is compatible with all video players on your Mac or Windows computer.

Download: Video Rotate + Flip (Free)

Troubleshooting iPhone Landscape Mode Problems

Remember, although the above methods will all let you change the screen orientation on an iPhone, your phone should theoretically adjust itself whenever you physically rotate it. If it doesn’t, here are a few troubleshooting tips to try:

1. Check Rotation Lock

Are you sure that you haven’t accidentally enabled the portrait view lock? You’ll find this toggle in the Control Center. On an iPhone with a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access it. On an iPhone without a Home button, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen instead.

Here, tap on the rotation lock icon (which looks like a lock with a circular arrow) to turn it on or off. The lock will remain in place until you disable it again.

2. Toggle Display Zoom

As we already mentioned, owners of an iPhone 6 Plus, 6S Plus, 7 Plus, or 8 Plus can rotate their Home Screen. If it is not rotating, the Display Zoom feature might be to blame. To disable Display Zoom, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Display and Brightness.
  3. Scroll down to Display Zoom.
  4. Go to View > Standard.

3. A Broken Accelerometer

Your phone’s accelerometer is responsible for sensing whether you are holding your device in landscape or portrait view. Thus, if your phone is not rotating automatically, the accelerometer could be broken. It’s a possibility if you’ve eliminated every other probable cause. If you suspect this, you’ll have to take your device to a certified Apple repair shop. Contact Apple Support to start.

Learn More iPhone Screen Tips and Tricks

We’ve looked at how to rotate the screen on an iPhone. The solutions we’ve covered should take care of all your screen rotation issues. Learning how to control your screen rotation can be particularly useful if you plan to record your iPhone screen and don’t want it rotating the wrong way by mistake.

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