Quickly Fix Stuck Orientation on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

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Occasionally, an iOS device or app freezes in the wrong direction, does not respond to device rotation, and stays in portrait or horizontal mode despite any attempt to rotate the device in any direction. While this seems to happen more often on the iPad than on the iPhone or iPod touch, it can still occur on any iOS device and with almost any app.

Fortunately, resolving this inconvenience is usually a very simple process.

1: Turn Orientation Lock on and off

While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s not terribly uncommon to forget that the orientation lock is on (or off), and it’s easy to double-check. Also, sometimes turning the switch off / on is enough to detach a device stuck in horizontal landscape or vertical portrait mode. For the iPad: just turn the side switch ON and OFF. Or you can do it via software as follows:

In iOS 7 and newer:

  • Wipe up from the bottom of the screen to invoke Control Center
  • Tap Orientation Lock button in the top right corner so that ON and OFF

Orientation Lock in iOS Control Center

In iOS 6 and earlier:

  • Double tap it Home button to summon the multitasking bar and scroll left until you see Orientation Lock button
  • Orientation lock in iOS multitasking bar

  • Press button to turn it ON and OFF again, then go back to the app that was stuck and try turning to the desired direction again

This is especially effective on the iPad models with hardware buttons for this purpose and for those who have set the side switch to function as an orientation lock rather than a mute button.

2: Kill the app and restart

Sometimes the app is just stuck, and in this case just quit and restart, usually enough to dispel the weird orientation.

In iOS 7:

  • Double tap it Home buttons, then swipe to the app that is stuck
  • Wipe up in the app window to exit and restart the app

Quitting an app with a swipe in iOS 7

In iOS 6 and earlier:

  • Double tap it Home button bring up the multitasking bar
  • Tap and hold the app icon until it starts shaking, then tap the red (-) button to exit the app
  • Close an app in iOS

  • Restart the same app to find the orientation that functions normally

If the app is unresponsive and actually crashed, you should use force quit instead.

Exiting and restarting most apps will completely fix the problem, and it is quite rare that you have to restart the device unless the home screen itself is stuck in an orientation.

3: Everything failed? Restart iOS

While iOS is remarkably stable, sometimes it is enough to reboot the iPhone, iPod, or iPad for the orientation to work again (not to mention other persistent bugs or quirks). This is especially true if the Home Screen and springboard are stuck in portrait or landscape mode and the above tricks did nothing. The easiest way to reboot the device is to basically just turn it on and off:

  • Hold the power button until the message “Slide to Unlock” appears, then slide
  • Now hold the power button again until you see the Apple  logo during startup

Once the iPad, iPod, or iPhone has rebooted, the orientation should respond again, but don’t forget to check the settings again to be sure.

This is the same approach when a device crashes up or crashes relentlessly, and it often works to fix the more peculiar unexplained problems of all kinds.

Orientation Stuck in iOS?

Another problem that is seemingly unique to newer iOS versions is that the orientation gets stuck and none of the above solutions worked. In this situation, the Compass app can demonstrate a solution as described in our comments by David B. Simply open the ‘Compass’ app and go to the level, then turn the compass calibration and then repeatedly turn the iPhone sideways until he registers. This seems to fix orientation freezing issues in iOS 7 and above.

Let us know in the comments what works for you to fix orientation stuck on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

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The time to complete the How to Quickly Fix Stuck Orientation on the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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