How to rotate a screen on laptops or PCs and flip your display sideways

A screenshot of a laptop desktop showing a menu for how to rotate a screen on laptops to a different orientation
(Image credit: ITPro)

Rotating a display is a great way to improve the flexibility of your computer setup and potentially improving your productivity. However, your system will need to be configured in order to make it happen.

The below guide will help explain how to rotate a screen on a laptop, or any PC, switching between portrait and landscape modes.

Why would you rotate a screen? Well, you have more space when using spreadsheets in landscape mode – eyes on columns A to N and beyond – whereas a page of code is easier to view in portrait. It's all relative, of course, and people will have their own preferences, but to get what's best for you and the job, you need to know how to make the switch on any machine and any operating system.

What's more, most IT teams work across two or more monitors largely due to the need to see different tasks in different ways. So again, you're going to need to know how to make the switch, regardless of the machine you're using.

How to rotate a screen on laptops and PCs

There are three common methods you can try that will help you rotate a screen on a laptop, one involving keyboard shortcuts and two using system menus.

By far the easiest way is to use keyboard shortcuts. These are the same across Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

How to rotate a screen using the keyboard

(Image: © Future)

  1. Press Ctrl, Alt, and arrow keys – the screen will then rotate 90 degrees.
  2. Hit the combination again for a further 90 degree rotation.
  3. Keep using the combination until you have the desired orientation.
  4. You can also try using Ctrl, Alt, and the Up arrow key – this will switch the page orientation to landscape. Using the same shortcut with the Left arrow key will revert to the portrait orientation.

How to rotate a screen using the Control Panel

(Image: © ITPro)

For users running Windows 11, you can click on the Windows icon (Start button) in the bottom left-hand corner, and then do the following:

  1. Click on the Settings icon (the small cog symbol)
  2. Under the System tab, click Display
  3. Scroll down to Scale and Layout
  4. Change the setting under Display orientation

For Windows 10, the steps are almost identical, although the menus will look a little different.

Screenshot showing the display settings on Windows

  1. Click on the Start Menu and search for Control Panel
  2. Click Appearance and Personalisation
  3. Click Display and Screen Resolution
  4. Click the screen you want to manipulate
  5. Click the orientation you prefer (Landscape or Portrait), as well as the orientation (Standard or Flipped)

How to rotate a screen using the integrated graphics control panel

(Image: © ITPro)

Laptops also feature a set of menus that control the integrated graphics card, which include options for changing your screen orientation. The look of these menus will differ depending on the vendor that has supplied the graphics card. In most cases the UI can be found by following the below steps:

  1. Look for the Intel or AMD graphics panel icon in your notification area, or right click anywhere on the desktop and select the graphics properties option.
  2. Once the integrated graphics screen is open, look for a tab or option that allows you to change display settings - this section will usually include options to change resolution and color settings.
  3. Locate the option to rotate the display, and select the orientation you want.
Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.