Windows can rotate your screen without any additional software. This is especially useful if you have a desktop monitor that rotates. Many PCs have hotkeys that can also rotate the screen, and are easy to accidentally press.
Update, 7/18/22: We checked this article for accuracy and can confirm that it still works on the latest versions of Windows 10. You can also rotate the screen in Windows 11 in the same way.
How to rotate the screen in Windows 10 or 7
To rotate your screen in Windows 10, right-click on your desktop and then select the “Display Settings” command. In Windows 7, right-click the “Screen Resolution” command.
RELATED: How to rotate your PC screen in Windows 11
In Windows 10, you will get to the Settings > System > Display window. In Windows 7, you’ll end up in Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display > Display Settings.
Locate the Orientation option under Resolution, click the drop-down menu below it, and then choose your preferred screen orientation: Landscape, Portrait, Landscape (Flipped), or Portrait (Flipped).
This window looks different in Windows 7, but has the same Orientation options.
If you don’t see a screen orientation option in the Settings app in Windows 10 or Control Panel in Windows 7, try updating your computer’s graphics drivers. This option may be missing if you are using generic video drivers that are not appropriate for your computer’s graphics hardware.
How to rotate your screen with hotkeys
Some PCs have hotkeys that quickly rotate the screen when pressed. These are provided by the Intel graphics drivers and are only enabled on some PCs. If your PC screen suddenly rotated while you were pressing something on the keyboard, you probably activated the hotkey accidentally.
To rotate your screen with hotkeys, press Ctrl + Alt + Arrow. For example, Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow returns the screen to its normal vertical rotation, Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow rotates the screen 90 degrees, Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow flips it upside down (180 degrees), and Ctrl + Alt + Left arrow rotates it 270 degrees.
You can change these hotkeys, or disable them, if you wish, by using the Hotkey Manager tool in the Intel Graphics Control Panel or Intel Command Center on your PC. To access it, click the little blue icon on the taskbar, launch it from the Start menu, or press Ctrl + Alt + F1 to open the Intel Command Center. Click on Options and then go to Support (Four small squares) > Hotkey Manager.
If you don’t see the Intel Graphics Configuration Tool on your PC, you are probably not using Intel graphics. If you don’t see the screen rotation shortcuts on the Hotkey Manager screen, they are not available on your PC.
How to disable automatic screen rotation in Windows 10
Convertible PCs and tablets running Windows 10 automatically rotate their screens as the orientation of the device changes. This works just like modern iPhones and Android smartphones. To prevent the screen from rotating automatically, you can enable Rotation Lock.
To do so, open Action Center by clicking the notification icon on the right side of the taskbar or by pressing Windows + A.
Click or tap the “Rotate Lock” quick action tile to lock the screen in its current orientation. Click or tap the tile again to disable Rotation Lock.
The Rotation Lock option is also available in Settings > System > Display.
If you don’t see the option in either place, your device doesn’t support automatic screen rotation because it doesn’t have built-in accelerometer hardware.
If the Rotation Lock tile is grayed out, you need to put your Convertible PC into tablet mode, for example, by rotating the screen or separating the screen from the keyboard. Rotation lock is not available in standard laptop mode, as the screen will never auto-rotate in standard laptop mode.
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How to rotate the screen with the graphics driver control panel
Options to rotate your PC screen may also be available on your Intel or NVIDIA, depending on the graphics hardware your PC has. However, the built-in Windows option should work on all PCs. If Windows can’t change the screen rotation for some reason, you may be able to do so using the graphics driver’s control panel.
Note: On PCs with AMD graphics, this option is no longer available in the latest versions of Catalyst Control Center. You were previously under “Common Display Tasks” in this app, but now you need to change your screen rotation from the standard Windows Settings app or Control Panel.
On PCs with Intel graphics, launch the Intel Command Center from the Start menu or by clicking the small blue icon on the taskbar. Select the Display tab, which is the small monitor icon, and choose a screen orientation. This option wasn’t available on one of our Intel graphics PCs, so we had to use the standard Windows Settings app instead. It will only be present here on some PCs.
Note: Older computers with Intel graphics will need to use the Intel Control Panel instead of the Command Center. It can be launched by right-clicking on an empty space on the desktop and clicking “Intel Graphics Settings” or something similar.
On PCs with NVIDIA graphics, right click on the desktop and select “NVIDIA Control Panel”. Select “Rotate screen” under Display and choose the orientation of your screen.
The NVIDIA Control Panel forces you to confirm your choice, so you don’t accidentally invert your screen in a way that makes it difficult to use.
Rotating the screen is one of those “If you give a mouse a cookie” scenario: once someone learns to orient a screen in a different way, they will have one of two ideas. The first is usually “It would be fun to flip my friend’s screen so he can’t use his computer properly.” The second is “Now I need a monitor to put it in portrait mode!”
If you are going to put a monitor in portrait mode, make sure you get one that has a stand that allows it to rotate.