15 October 2013

Change Laptop Screen Rotation Without Painful Movements

Kate Kalmstrom image Have you ever tried to use a laptop with the screen in the same position as in a tablet or smartphone with portrait orientation? Please don't!

You have to turn the computer on the side to see properly, but with a laptop the keyboard does not follow suit as it does in a phone. Not to mention how difficult it gets to manage the mouse!

However, an accidental key combination can make the screen rotate, so here is the solution – both the difficult one and the easy one.
Screen in portrait orientation
Sudden rotation
 The other day I was typing away very fast on my keyboard when the screen on my laptop suddenly rotated 90 degrees. I was in the middle of an important chat conversation and did not know what do to.

This had never happened to me before, and I realized I must have hit some keys that together had the effect of turing my screen. But what combination had I typed, and how could I get the screen back to normal?

There was nobody around who could help me. It was painful to continue chatting with my head turned as much as possible to the right, so that I could read the text. Slightly panic-stricken I opened the Control panel to find a solution.

Move the mouse the other way around
Now came the next problem: the mouse pointer did not move as usual. Instead I had to move the mouse in the opposite direction to get the pointer where I wanted it. I tried to keep the chat conversation going the best I could, while I searched for a solution in the Appearance and Personalization category.

It was not easy, so when I found the setting I was looking for and managed to set the orientation back from Portrait to Landscape I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Now the screen turned normal again, and I could finish my chat.
Screen orientation setting
The easy solution
After this experience I asked the technicians two questions. "Can you understand what I did that made my screen rotate?" and "Is there an easier way to set it right than opening the Control panel and navigate the mouse reversed?"

I got answers to both my questions.  What I had done was hitting Ctrl +Alt + Right Arrow at the same time. And the solution was so easy I had to laugh: Press Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow.

All combinations
Thus, the Ctrl and Alt keys in combination with the four arrow keys can play havoc with your screen, but they can also help you get it correct again. Here are all combinations:
  • Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow = the screen rotates upwards
  • Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow = the screen rotates to the right
  • Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow = the screen rotates downwards
  • Ctrl + Alt + Left Arrow  = the screen rotates to the left
After the nervous experience I had, I will never forget the easy solution! I use Windows 8, but these combinations should work on earlier versions too. Any comments about these shortcuts are welcome!

Kate Kalmstrom
Sales Manager Business Solutions