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iPhone Tip: How To Lock Screen Orientation in iOS 4

In iOS 4, there is a lovely feature that Apple doesn’t explicitly mention. I love iPhone’s auto-rotation feature but at the same time I hate it.

I hate it turn the screen sideway when I lay in bed to browse web and check my email. Do you have the same problem? A few months, I wrote a post about two great hacks that can disable the auto-screen rotation. But it’s for jailbroken iPhone only.

With the release of iOS 4, Apple has finally introduced a screen orientation lock for iPhone. To lock your iPhone to portrait orientation,

1. You can simply tap the HOME button twice to bring the multitasking dock.

2. Swipe your finger to the right until you see the music control buttons.

3. Then just tap on the lock button. After you enable the screen lock, the auto rotation is disabled and your screen is locked to the portrait orientation.

To re-enable the auto rotation, you can simply go through the steps again to turn off the lock.

About Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com

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  • http://wondroushippo.com Carter Dotson

    I have not disabled portrait lock since I first enabled it. There are some uses for landscape orientation, but I can just easily disable the lock when I need to use landscape. 99% of the time, I just need to stay in portrait orientation.

  • http://itechzoom.blogspot.com Techno Crazy

    dude, this is awesome!
    Thanks 4 sharing….^^

  • please

    does not work with iphone 3g

    • http://www.simonblog.com Simon Ng

      @please,

      For iPhone 3G, there is no multitasking support on iOS 4. So this feature does not apply to you.

      • Geoff

        I dont know if you’re referring to only 3g or 3gs as well, but my 3gs has always had multitasking support. Not jailbroken either. Works great, thx

      • Don

        does this apply to the 3GS

  • Glenn R

    I had been wondering what that icon was for…….Cheers!

  • steve jobs is a retard

    why, oh why couldn’t apple make it JUST “orientation lock”? why does it have to be ONLY portrait orientation lock? so that in iOS 5.0 they could say “we changed everything. AGAINX2!!!!”?

    oh did i mention that apple is retarded?

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  • Dannie

    For 3G~ generations, in order to use it almost the same as 4G, you need to upgrade its version to iOS first (by plug your iphone with PC, then in iTunes, you can find the Update button. Push there and finish). Hope this helps!

  • Panda

    THANKS! I read about it on tips and trick on apples iphone, but I couldn’t get it to work. I just read it again after reading your guide and it seems its a translation error, in my language the claim that you should flick the phone quickly from left to right, instead of swipe… NICE one! so THAAANKS!

  • Me

    Ah…thank you for the screen orientatin tip! Now I don’t have to picket in front of Apple headquarters next week!

  • chuchi

    thank you so much for this post it worked for me on my ipad awsome

  • Jess

    Thanks!! This has been a constant source of irritation for me. Yes. Like you said, when in bed, it gets annoying when you’re lying sideways. Might seem like a small thing but this simple solution made my day.

  • Anthony

    When in bed turning the iPhone upside down locks it in Landscape mode and you are able to read it right way up.

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  • Goddess

    Thx for concise instructions!

  • chaz

    thank you so much. i was pulling my hair out, it was bothering me so much. :) now i can hack my friends ipods by doing that HAHAHAHAHAHAHA:)

  • Ugh

    @stevejobs is a retard

    You’re so right. And for me personally, I almost never want it to lock into portrait view–I want it to lock in landscape. Because of texting and using the full keyboard.

  • Ryan

    Thanks! Loving this!

  • sanju

    Tnx dude its really an awesome feture

  • Charley

    thanks for the info. I have no idea how mine got locked out of rotation, but it was really bugging me that pix wouldn’t turn. Now I know how to lock and unlock. Saved me a trip to the apple store, and looking foolish.

  • Marama

    I currently love you like a god haha! I have had my iphone for 8 months and could not for the life of me figure it out. Just tonight a friends friend showed me and holy jebus PORTRAIT LOCK HELLO haha. I can’t actually believe how simple it was fml for being such a tard lol

  • http://www.simonblog.com/2010/06/29/iphone-tip-how-to-lock-screen-orientation-in-ios-4/ Dustin Long

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! My 3 yr old was playing around with my phone the other day and then suddenly it wouldn’t auto rotate. I noticed the icon up in the top right corner of the screen but didn’t know why it was there. After spending a bit of time on google I came across your article about apps that could only work on jail break phones and thought that won’t work; just at the last minoute noticed your link to this article, and you have saved my life! So simple, but so hidden! Cheers, Dustin

  • Stephane

    How can we lock it in landscape orientation ?
    Landscape orientation makes it easier to read.

  • Stephane

    It would be nice to be able to lock in landscape orientation.

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  • tallpoppy

    Oh my goodness… THANK YOU for sharing this!!!!

  • Dew

    Thanks for this helpful info.

  • Sidh

    Just wow ! Was looking for it for months ….. Thanks !!

  • http://sgdoc.com sgdoc

    Thank you for posting this. I went several weeks not knowing how to rotate my phone until I decided to look around online to see if anyone else was having this problem. I few searches in google and I came across your blog. Thanks for posting this. I like to be able to type with my phone rotated sideways.

  • karien

    Can you ask Apple to make a lock available for Landscape please? I prefer the landscape view in bed! :)
    ta
    Karien

  • Nick & Avraam

    Was looking for it with my friend. Its awesome! Thanks!

  • Laurelle glass

    Just downloaded update and it won’t fix. Tried everything here. Any ideas. I can lock it and it shows on the top of my screen but I unlock and it won’t do it

  • Lesserevil313

    Great! I have a 3gs but upgraded it to ios5. The rotation lock thing works! :)

  • Yot Thailand

    Dude. You save my life.

  • Lid

    Thank you!

  • Mama L

    Thanks SO much – my kids had locked it in portrait and it was driving me nuts that I couldn’t unlock it. Problem solved.

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