How to rotate a laptop or PC screen and flip your display sideways

Portrait or landscape; how do you get a new perspective on your screen?

A display in portrait mode

The popularity of tablets continues to grow, with recent reports suggesting sales increased to record levels during the pandemic. The versatility of these devices has led to a rise in PCs and laptops that can display in both landscape and portrait modes. 

This may also be the reason we're seeing smartphones with flexible screen technology that can fold out into a tablet. Either way, its a capability now demand by most PC and laptop users. 

You may already own a laptop or monitor that can rotate between the two modes. But if not, it is relatively straightforward to pivot the display and often it can help productivity or even give you a better view for a video call. It is just a case of following some simple steps.

How to rotate a Windows PC or laptop with the keyboard

For Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 devices, the keyboard can be used to switch from a landscape to portrait orientation. You may need to use the orientation lock here as some times the display will change automatically if it senses a change. 

Use the Crtl and Alt keys with any of the arrow keys to spin your display 90, 180 or even 170 degrees. The screen will go dark for a second before it displays your preferred setting. To switch back, simply press Ctrl+Alt+Up. 

If you don't want to use your keyboard, you can opt for the control panel. In Windows 7, navigate to 'Appearance and Personalisation', then 'Display and Screen Resolution'. Here you can change all your screens (if you're using more than one monitor) to either landscape or portrait.

Using the Control Panel to rotate a PC or laptop display

If using the keyboard doesn’t appeal, you can rotate the display in Windows via the control panel. In Windows 7, type Control Panel in the search bar, then Appearance and Personalisation, Display and Screen Resolution. Click on the screen you want to change (if you have multiple monitors) and change Orientation between Landscape and Portrait. To rotate screen, select Landscape (flipped) or Portrait (flipped).

Alternatively, for Windows 10, you can click on the Windows icon (Start button) in the bottom left-hand corner. Then click on the Settings icon (which looks like a small cog), and then Display. In the menu on the right of the Settings window look for the option called "Orientation" you can then set it to either Landscape or Portrait.

Using the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel to rotate a display

The graphic card's control panel can also be used to 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. 

A display in portrait mode

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 different but the principle remains largely the same. Some investigation will unearth the option you need to rotate the laptop or PC display.

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