How to Enable iPad Orientation Lock Switch in iOS

Mar 9, 2011 - 5 Comments


It might seem mundane, but one of the most anticipated features of iOS 4.3 for iPad users is the ability to re-enable the iPad orientation lock switch, which was temporarily turned into a mute switch in a prior iOS update. But, thanks to the latest iOS update, iPad users can now choose to have the side switch function as a rotation lock again, this secures the iPad display in either portrait or landscape mode with the flick of a switch. Here’s how to get this functionality back:

Enable iPad Orientation Lock Switch in iOS

First off, you’ll need to have a new version of iOS, you can update through iTunes or directly from Apple. Once you have iOS 4.3 or later installed on your iPad, here’s what to do:

  • Tap on “Settings”
  • Scroll to and tap on “General”
  • Scroll down and look for “Use Side Switch to:” and tap on “Lock Rotation”
  • Exit Settings by tapping on the Home button

You can see in this screenshot that the rotation lock is now the default behavior for the iPad within iOS 4.3, thought it changed again in iOS 5, signified by the checkmark next to it:


Orientation Lock Switch Enabled? Double-tap Home Button to Access Mute
Remember that if the orientation switch is enabled, you will now have to double-tap on the home button in order to mute audio on the iPad. If you’re accustomed to locking the rotation from 4.2, you’ll be familiar with this:


As you can see in the screenshot, the mute button is on the far left, just tap to enable or disable mute. If you keep the side-switch as a mute button, this is where the rotation lock button will appear instead.

The Great iPad Orientation Lock Controversy has been Resolved with iOS 4.3
If you’re curious why anyone cares about this, here’s some backstory: Apple changed the orientation lock in iOS 4.2.1 to become a software feature, this in turn caused the switch on the side of the iPad to become a mute button. This caused quite a bit of an uproar for those iPad users who were accustomed to just flipping the switch to lock the screen rotation. Now Apple has added the ability to adjust the side switch behavior to either be a mute button like the iPhone and iPod touch, or to be an orientation lock, like the original iPad OS 4.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. […] You can now enable the iPad orientation lock switch in iOS 4.3, this is allows you to adjust the side button to be either a rotation lock or mute button. Highly […]

  2. Maximus says:

    This is exactly why I am most excited about iOS 4.3, I’m going to install it when I get home from work.

    Long live the rotation switch!

  3. […] on Settings > General > Use Side Switch to: Lock Orientation. The side switch defaults to mute, but with volume buttons right underneath it this makes no sense, and […]

  4. […] allowing you to use the iPad as a screen in either horizontal or vertical mode. You may want to use orientation lock to prevent the screen from rearranging itself and flickering as you move it around during initial […]

  5. […] properly before shooting video. This applies to iPad and iPod touch as well, take advantage of the orientation lock if you must and start recording the right […]

Leave a Reply


Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates