I am running OS X 10.10.3 and I tried to rotate the internal display of my Macbook Pro using this rotation trick. After I selected the 180 degree rotation, the screen rotated properly but all the rotation options were grayed out so I closed the System Preferences to try the process again.

When I go to my OS X Display preferences I get the error "Display preferences pane could not be loaded".

How do I reorient my Macbook display back to the standard orientation without erasing everything on the hard drive and reinstalling OS X?

  • Did you try to repair the Permissions in Disk Utility (located in your utility folder) ? – Ruskes Apr 20 '15 at 16:08

This is so old, and I guess they've fixed it in El Capitan. One of the worst bugs I've ever ran into, because once it's triggered you'd struggle to fix it while your screen is upside down, especially if you don't have any peripherals handy. So, here are the steps just in case some unfortunate souls run into this.

* Assuming you're doing this on MacBook, or otherwise you know you're dealing with your main display. If you know better, run fb-rotate without parameters for help message.


  1. Go to https://github.com/CdLbB/fb-rotate
  2. Instead of following the instructions at the top to download the source and compile, you might want to scroll down, download the binary and run it directly. There's certainly risk, but your screen is now upside down so.
  3. Follow the links, download fb-rotateNEW2.zip and extract it.
  4. Open your favorite terminal such as Terminal.app
  5. Go to where you've extracted it e.g. cd ~/Downloads/fb-rotateNEW2/
  6. Run: ./fb-rotate -d0 -r0

Easy way

Copy the following single line and paste it into Terminal.app (Note the link and names might change, so if it fails fall back to the manual steps above. If you don't see 'done' at the end of the output it failed):

cd ~/Downloads && curl -LO http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6347985/Modbookish/Downloads/MacFlip/fb-rotateNEW2.zip && unzip fb-rotateNEW2.zip && fb-rotateNEW2/fb-rotate -d0 -r0 && echo done

If you're still getting the display preference pane error:

Open system preferences -> hold option/alt key and click on its dock icon -> force quit -> re-open it

That should fix it.

I managed to find the answer and fixed this like a real engineer, flipping my mbpr one way to type, another way to read, so proud of myself after this. God bless.

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  • Thank you, this saved me! PS: I ran into this issue although I'am using 10.11.4. – Tukan3 Mar 30 '16 at 17:00
  • This is most definitely the answer! – Austin Hanson Jul 19 '16 at 20:53
  • Bless you, sir. Almost wrecked myself on this lol – Jack Lynch May 24 '17 at 14:14

I encountered this problem and could resolve it this way:

  • boot the Macbook in safe mode (press "shift" key while the Macbook boots with the "Apple" logo)

  • go in the Preferences pane -> Display : it should work

  • reboot the Macbook

Hope it helps

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According to this page, this is a known bug in OS X. The Apple Forums suggest reinstalling OS X; I tried reinstalling but I still couldn't access the Display Preferences to rotate my display.

I did find a solution that worked within OS X 10.10.3. What I did was connect the Macbook via HDMI to my TV. I found that I could access the Display Preferences and select the proper rotation for the internal display.

One thing that I noticed after I fixed the rotation is that you can access the display preferences from another place apart from the System Preferences:

In the Apple Menu -> About This Mac -> Displays -> Displays Preferences

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I have the same issue. I'm waiting for my Time Capsule before I will backup + reinstall. Until then I used the following tools to get around:

Of course this is not a long term solution (because my settings menu still doesn't work), but if someone doesn't have time to do a reinstall right away, this might help.

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Open terminal, then type this code in. It should work.

cd ~/Downloads && curl -LO http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6347985/Modbookish/Downloads/MacFlip/fb-rotateNEW2.zip && unzip fb-rotateNEW2.zip && fb-rotateNEW2/fb-rotate -d0 -r0 && echo done

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  • Please could you explain where the fb-rotate download comes from and provide a link to the developer. Without this information, the file should be viewed with caution. – Graham Miln Oct 20 '16 at 14:32
  • The utility appears to originate from github.com/CdLbB/fb-rotate – Graham Miln Oct 20 '16 at 14:35

Plug your computer into a TV with an HDMI cord and it will allow you to open display preferences. This solution worked for myself and is easy and quick.

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