Rotate MacBook Display Orientation
Want to use a rotated display on a MacBook? You can do exactly that, and the same way that you rotate screen orientation on a display connected to a Mac can be done with the built-in display of a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air (pictured).
How to Rotate the Built-In Display of a MacBook / MacBook Pro / MacBook Air
Rotating the internal display of a Mac laptop is quite simple in OS X, here’s what you’ll want to do:
- Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu (quit it if it’s already open)
- Hold down the Command+Option keys and click on “Display”
- Look for ‘Rotation’ on the right side of the Display window and take your pick of the display rotation options
- Standard – the default display orientation without any rotation
- 90 – rotate 90 degrees clockwise and turn the display on it’s side
- 180 – flip vertically, the screen will look upside-down if the Mac is right-side up
- 270 – rotate 270 degrees clockwise, turning the display onto its other side
After the display has been rotated, the resolutions adjust from width x height to height x width. For example, 1440×900 would turn into 900×1440, scaled or unscaled, depending on if the Mac has a retina screen or not.
Here’s a screenshot taken with the display on a MacBook Air set at 90° rotation, for example:
If System Preferences is already open then holding down Command+Option doesn’t seem to make the Rotatation menu appear. If you run into that, just quit out of System Prefs and relaunch it.
The rotation of the internal display will stay in effect each time you reboot the MacBook, but if you run into any issues you can boot into Safe Mode (or reset SMC) to dump the preferences associated with display settings and get back to normal again. Rotating the built-in display of a MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air works in all versions of OS X.
Note: Just in case you couldn’t imagine why a user would want to do this, it’s actually fairly handy for some workstation scenarios. And indeed, some users use their MacBook this way, as this does have some practical use, as you can see in a recent Mac setup post showing a MacBook Pro sideways next to a Cinema Display.