7 solutions for when automatic screen rotation doesn't work

Have you tried viewing a horizontal image or document on your phone, but the screen doesn't rotate? While showing your vacation photos to your family, you try to change the orientation of the phone, but the screen doesn't rotate. If you've ever found yourself in a situation like this, you're not alone. This problem has been reported by many Android users from time to time.

While the sheer frustration when something like this happens is understandable, the reason behind this could range from incorrect settings to faulty sensors on the phone. Thankfully, there are a few solutions you can try to quickly fix the problem when the display isn't spinning.

7 solutions for when automatic screen rotation doesn't work

In this guide, we will walk you through proven ways to fix screen rotation problem on Android. Let's start.

1. Check the auto rotation settings

Before delving into other solutions, you should double-check the auto-rotate setting on your phone. You can find them in the Quick Settings panel. Make sure automatic rotation is enabled.

Alternatively, you can also navigate to Settings> Display> Advanced and check if the “Automatically rotate screen” option is enabled.

Aside from that, if you are using Android 9 or later, holding the phone to its side will present you with an auto-rotate icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Tapping it will rotate the screen without enabling the auto rotate setting.

2. Restart the app

If auto-rotate is enabled and it doesn't work, the problem may be app related. You can try restarting the app first to see if the screen rotation is working properly.

Some video players or launchers on Android have an option to override the default auto-rotate settings on your phone. In such cases, these apps bring their own setting to rotate the screen. Be sure to check the in-app settings of the app in question.

3. Restart your phone

If restarting the app doesn't help, it's time to restart the phone itself. Restarting the phone closes all apps and processes running on the phone, giving it a fresh start. Surprisingly, this solution works well when troubleshooting system UI or basic troubleshooting on Android.

4. Allow home screen rotation

In Android, screen rotation doesn't work for specific screens like the Home screen, lock screen, and call screen by default. So if one of these screens doesn't rotate, don't worry. It's because you haven't enabled it.

To enable Home screen rotation, touch and hold the blank area on the Home screen and select Home settings. Then, turn on the “Allow Home Screen Rotation” option.

Similarly, you can enable the lock screen and call screen rotation on your phone. While most phones can rotate the home screen, not all phones (including Pixel phones) allow you to rotate the lock screen and call screen.

5. Calibrate the sensors

If the above methods haven't solved the screen rotation issue, it's time to dig a little deep and check the accelerometer and G-sensor on your phone. If the problem is related to one of these sensors, you can try recalibrating them to fix it.

To do this, you can use a dedicated third-party app like Physics Toolbox Sensor Suite to test and calibrate the sensors on your device. So after you have recalibrated the sensors on your phone, try to see if the auto rotation is working properly.

6. Check for bad apps in safe mode

Safe Mode on Android is a great tool for troubleshooting and finding out what's causing your phone to misbehave. Sometimes, recently installed apps can cause your phone to misbehave. To make sure, try starting your phone in safe mode first.

To enter Safe Mode, press and hold the Power button on your phone. Now tap and hold the Power Off option. When prompted, tap OK to confirm.

In safe mode, check and see if the screen rotation is working properly. If so, it is one of the recently installed apps on the phone that is causing the problem. Uninstall them one by one and see if it solves the problem.

7. Update your Android phone

Phone manufacturers are constantly sending out software updates to fix any known problems or bugs in the software. Therefore, we recommend that you keep your Android phone updated to the latest software version available.

To update your phone, open settings and go to Systems. Then, expand the Advanced Settings menu and tap on the System Update option to download and install any available updates.

Did we finally fix the issues with screen rotation?

Features such as screen rotation are an integral part of our daily use. You realize its importance when it stops working. Hopefully, one of the above solutions worked for you. If not, it could be a hardware related problem and it's time to go to an authorized service center to fix the problem.

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