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How to fix it when an Android tablet or phone is stuck on portrait or landscape orientation [with images]

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teen girl with phone

Is your tablet or phone stuck in one orientation? Besides the rotation setting, there's another setting you'll need to change, which we show below.

Recap of the rotation setting for those who haven't yet tried it

If you've already tried the rotation setting, skip this section and move to the next one below. I'm recapping the orientation setting here for anyone who hasn't tried it yet.

So first of all, drag your finger down from the top of the tablet or phone. You should get something that looks like the image below, and you want to look for the one labeled "Rotation". If you only see a few options and none of them is labeled "Rotation", you haven't dragged down far enough, so drag it down further.

Screenshot of phone with settings pulled down

If the "Rotation" setting is grayed out like the one in the image above, tap on that icon to activate it, and it will turn black, and you're done. But if it won't turn black on tapping, or it's already black, or remains stuck saying "Portrait" or "Landscape" and no amount of tapping will change it, then relax: the next step should solve your issue so just keep reading.

Go to the icon settings

Assuming the step above didn't work, then your stuck device needs to change one more setting. You might be wondering what the icon settings have to do with it. Basically, if the icons are too large, then your phone or tablet can't keep them all on the same screen when you rotate the tablet. They just won't all fit properly when the orientation is changed. So what you need to do is make your icons smaller. Here's how.

First, go to the main settings menu for your phone (that would be the app with cog or gear icon). Once you're in your settings menu, go to "Display". At this point, what you'll see will be a little different for each model of tablet or phone, but regardless, there'll be an option to change the size of the icons. In the image below, you can see it's called "Display settings" under "Advanced settings". You may need to look around for this setting; if you don't see it in the Display menu of your device's settings, look under the Accessibility menu of the settings. Remember, your aim is to change the icon size.

Screenshot of phone in the display settings

When you tap on that setting, it'll come up with a slider, like the one in the final image below.

Screenshot of phone with icon size setting

To fix your problem, simply slide the slider all the way left to the smallest setting. Go to your normal home screen to try. You should now be able to rotate your phone and tablet between portrait and landscape and it should all work properly.

This page was last updated on 15 Aug 2020.

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