Windows can rotate your screen without any additional software. This is especially useful if you have a desktop screen that rotates. Many computers have hotkeys that can rotate your screen as well, and it’s easy to press them unintentionally.
Updated, 7/22/18: We’ve reviewed this article for accuracy and can make sure that it still works on the latest versions of Windows 10. You can rotate your screen on Windows 11 the same way too
How to rotate your screen on Windows 10 or 7
To rotate your screen on Windows 10, right-click on the desktop, then select the Display Settings command. In Windows 7, right-click the Screen Resolution command instead.
Related: How to rotate your computer screen on Windows 11
On Windows 10, you will be taken to Settings > System > Display window. In Windows 7, you’ll end up at Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display > Display Settings.
Select the orientation option under Resolution, click the dropdown menu under it, and then choose your preferred screen orientation – landscape, portrait, landscape (inverted), or portrait (inverted).
This window looks different in Windows 7, but has the same orientation options.
If you don’t see a screen orientation option in the Settings app on Windows 10 or Control Panel in Windows 7, try updating your computer’s graphics drivers. This option may be missing if you are using generic video drivers that are not suitable for your computer’s graphics hardware.
How to rotate your screen using hotkeys
Some computers have hotkeys that quickly rotate the screen when pressed. They are provided by Intel graphics drivers and are only enabled on some computers. If your computer screen suddenly rotates while pressing something on the keyboard, it is possible that you accidentally turned on the hotkey.
To rotate your screen using hotkeys, press Ctrl + Alt + Arrow. For example, Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow returns your screen to its normal vertical rotation, Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow rotates your screen 90 degrees, Ctrl + Alt + Down arrow turns it upside down (180 degrees), Ctrl + Alt + Left arrow rotates 270 degrees.
You can change these hot keys – or disable them, if you like – using the Hot Key Manager tool in the Intel Graphics Control Panel or Intel Command Center on your computer. To access it, click the little blue icon in the taskbar, launch it from the Start menu, or press Ctrl + Alt + F1 to open Intel Command Center. Click Options, then head to Support (four small squares) > Hot Key Manager.
If you don’t see the Intel Graphics Settings tool on your computer, you probably aren’t using Intel Graphics. If you do not see the screen rotation shortcuts on the Hot Key Manager screen, they are not available on your computer.
How to disable auto-rotate screen on Windows 10
Convertible Windows 10 PCs and tablets rotate their screens automatically as the device changes orientation. This works just like modern iPhone and Android smartphones. To stop your screen from rotating automatically, you can enable the rotation lock.
To do this, open the Action Center by clicking the notification icon on the right side of the taskbar, or by pressing Windows + A.
Click or tap the “Lock Rotation” quick action box to lock the screen in its current orientation. Click or tap the tile again to disable the rotation lock.
The Rotation Lock option is also available in Settings > System > Display.
If you don’t see the option anywhere, your device doesn’t support auto-rotate screen because it doesn’t have built-in accelerometer hardware.
If the Rotation Lock box appears greyed out, you should put the convertible into tablet mode — for example, by rotating its screen around the keyboard or detaching its screen from the keyboard. Rotation Lock is not available in standard laptop mode, as the screen will not rotate itself automatically in standard laptop mode.
How to rotate your screen using the graphics driver control panel
Options for rotating your computer’s screen may also be available on Intel or NVIDIA, depending on which graphics hardware your computer has. However, the built-in Windows option should work on all computers. If for some reason Windows can’t change the screen rotation, you may be able to do so using the graphics driver’s control panel.
Class: On computers with AMD graphics, this option is no longer available in the latest versions of Catalyst Control Center. It was previously under General Display Tasks in this app, but now you have to change screen rotation from the standard Windows Settings app or Control Panel instead.
On computers with Intel graphics, launch Intel Command Center from the Start menu, or by clicking the little blue icon in the taskbar. Select the Display tab, which is the little monitor icon, and choose the display orientation. This option wasn’t available on one of our computers with Intel graphics, so we had to use the standard Windows Settings app instead. It will only be present here on some computers.
Class: Older computers with Intel Graphics will need to use the Intel Control Panel instead of the Command Center. It can be launched by right-clicking on an empty space on the desktop and clicking on “Intel Graphics Settings” or something similar.
On computers with NVIDIA graphics, right-click on the desktop and select “NVIDIA Control Panel.” Select Rotate View under Display and choose Screen Orientation.
The NVIDIA Control Panel forces you to confirm your choice, so you don’t accidentally flip your screen in a way that makes it difficult to use.
Rotating the screen is one “if you give the mouse a cookie” scenario – once someone learns to orient the view differently, they will have one of two ideas. The first is usually “It would be funny to reverse my friend’s offer so they can’t use their computer properly.” The second is “Now I need a screen to put it in portrait!”
If you are going to place a monitor in portrait mode, be sure to get a monitor that has a stand that allows it to swivel.
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