With my Mid-2012 MBA running Mountain Lion, I have no issues at all in rotating my display after hitting display in preferences while holding cmd + option keys. However, I've run into a snag with my Late-2013 27" iMac running OS X Version 10.10.2. I would like to rotate my display 270 degrees. What's a workaround I can use to do this?

Edit 1: To be clear, I'm trying to rotate my actual iMac display in the same way I can with my MBA.

  • Are you attempting to rotate the actual iMac display, or a display which is connected externally?
    – smoooosher
    May 13, 2015 at 16:39
  • The actual iMac display.
    – Quesop
    May 13, 2015 at 18:06

3 Answers 3


This isn't the most elegant solution but there is a C based utility available at https://github.com/CdLbB/fb-rotate. To use the utility, click the download zip in Github. Extract the zip to your downloads folder and then run these commands in the terminal (copy and paste one line at a time, pressing enter after each line) to compile the program (only needs to be done once):

cd ~/Downloads/fb-rotate-master
gcc -w -o fb-rotate fb-rotate.c -framework IOKit -framework ApplicationServices

After that is done, you can run the program like this:

~/Downloads/fb-rotate-master/fb-rotate -d 0 -r 270

The 270 at the end is the rotation you would like. Applicable values are 0, 90, 180, 270. If you feel comfortable enough, you could move this out of your downloads folder, but you would need to edit those terminal commands. You could also turn it into an apple script to make the process easier. (Let me know if you need help with this)

  • This can easily screw up your Mac's main display, unless you run the -l command to know which monitor to apply it to... Jul 12, 2016 at 13:18

Make sure that you quit the System Preferences first.

Re-open "System Preferences" and then cmd+option click on "Displays". You should now have access to the Rotation setting.

The quitting of the System Preferences is needed. At least, this is how it works on my Mac Book with OS X 10.10.

  • That's how it works on my MBA with Mountain Lion, but not on my iMac. Also I would find it hard to believe that my iMac isn't able to do something as simple as rotating its internal display.
    – Quesop
    May 13, 2015 at 18:12
  • In your Question, you didn't include the step of Quitting the System Preferences prior to trying to access Displays while holding down cmd+option. This is how it works. I certainly provided additionally information that could have solved your problem and would be useful to others. My answer did not deserve a down vote.
    – Lee Joramo
    May 13, 2015 at 18:44
  • In any case I didn't down vote your post. Might I ask what version of Yosemite you're using? Thanks in advance.
    – Quesop
    May 13, 2015 at 19:56
  • 2
    Do NOT rotate your screen using alt-click on the Display preference pane. apple.stackexchange.com/a/104832/55028 Jun 19, 2015 at 12:51

My solution was the following. Yosemite 10.10.3 7/15

Goto System Preferences / Displays Menu up to select "Window" - select the display you wish to rotate. On my Dell Monitor - (model 1908FP) there was an option to "Rotate" toward the bottom.

  • My goal is to rotate the actual iMac display not an external monitor display. Do you have a solution for the original inquiry?
    – Quesop
    Jul 22, 2015 at 14:43

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