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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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40 Responses to iPhone Tip: How To Lock Screen Orientation in iOS 4

  1. Carter Dotson June 29, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    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.

  2. Techno Crazy June 29, 2010 at 9:54 am #

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

  3. please July 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    does not work with iphone 3g

    • Simon Ng July 4, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

      @please,

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

      • Geoff January 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

        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 June 2, 2012 at 2:51 am #

        does this apply to the 3GS

  4. Glenn R July 20, 2010 at 4:26 am #

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

  5. steve jobs is a retard August 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    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?

  6. Dannie September 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    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!

  7. Panda October 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    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!

  8. Me November 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

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

  9. chuchi December 8, 2010 at 12:41 am #

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

  10. Jess December 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    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.

  11. Anthony January 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

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

  12. Goddess February 5, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Thx for concise instructions!

  13. chaz February 11, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    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:)

  14. Ugh March 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    @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.

  15. Ryan April 6, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Thanks! Loving this!

  16. sanju May 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Tnx dude its really an awesome feture

  17. Charley July 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    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.

  18. Marama August 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    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

  19. Dustin Long August 23, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    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

  20. Stephane October 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

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

  21. Stephane October 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

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

  22. tallpoppy October 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

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

  23. Dew November 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Thanks for this helpful info.

  24. Sidh January 9, 2012 at 2:08 am #

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

  25. sgdoc January 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    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.

  26. karien February 10, 2012 at 5:40 am #

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

  27. Nick & Avraam February 21, 2012 at 1:09 am #

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

  28. Laurelle glass March 16, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    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

  29. Lesserevil313 June 9, 2012 at 10:14 am #

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

  30. Yot Thailand June 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Dude. You save my life.

  31. Lid July 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Thank you!

  32. Mama L September 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

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

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] For iPad, the orientation switch is now changed to a mute/unmute switch. To control the orientation, you can bring up the multitasking bar to lock/unlock the orientation. That’s the same as you do on iPhone. […]

  2. iPhone: Tips and Tricks | Scott Sherwood - October 16, 2011

    […] How To Lock Screen Orientation in iOS 4 […]

  3. The General Motorbikers Discussion Thread - Page 390 - April 12, 2013

    […] display may switch back and forth between portrait and landscape. On iPhones with iOS 4 or newer, you can lock the screen orientation so that doesn't happen. ____________________________ Reply With […]

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