How do I correct the "screen lock" on my iPad?

I used to be able to turn the unit a quarter turn and the screen would adjust to my movement. Now it is somehow "Locked".

How can this be fixed?

  • IMHO extraordinarily simple questions like this should be closed and redirected to google and/or apple support documents. Sep 25, 2011 at 19:04
  • ...or the manual Sep 25, 2011 at 19:59

3 Answers 3


Understanding The Screen Rotation Lock

Apple has a support document that explains this called "iPad: Understanding the side switch".

Here's a quick explanation:

If your iPad has version 4.2.1 or later of iOS installed (Settings > General > About > Version) there are two possible ways your screen can be locked.

The default is the software lock. To adjust this rapidly click the home button twice. This will reveal a bar below your dock. Swipe the icons that are revealed once to the left to reveal some additional controls. Your screen should look like this:

enter image description here

You can also enable a hardware lock. This will cause the small switch on the side of your iPad to lock and unlock screen rotation. The setting for this is found in the settings apps here:

enter image description here

If this setting is set to "Lock Rotation" instead of "Mute" the software lock will be replaced with a mute button like this:

enter image description here


Your screen orientation might be locked from the device settings. Try double tapping the home button and scroll the the left. Depending on the OS your iPad uses it with have an orientation lock button.

Edit: Also a restart of the device might fix any buggy stuff going on if you need to hard reset hold both the power and home buttons till the screen goes dark


I have had this happen. You have two possible options:

  1. If the lock switch on the side is in the locked position, unlock it. Most people use this as a mute switch, but it can also be used to lock the rotation (and sometimes that setting gets messed up). Check in Settings either way to be sure this isn't part of the problem.

  2. Do a reset. Hold the power button until the iPad asks if you want to power it off, and then power it off. Wait until it fully shuts down, then hold the power button until it starts up again.

This should fix it 99% of the time.

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