Troubleshoot Surface screen rotation

Applies to

Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface RT.

Applies to

Surface 2, Surface RT.

Applies to

Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro.

Operating system:

Your Surface is designed to rotate the display automatically as you turn it so that what you see on the screen is always right side up. If the display doesn’t rotate automatically, try the following solutions in order.


Solution 1: Disconnect your Surface Cover and any external displays

Surface is designed to display the screen in landscape orientation whenever you're typing on a Surface Typing Cover or your Surface is connected to an external display.

Step 1:

Disconnect your Surface Typing Cover and any external displays to see if they are preventing your screen from auto-rotating.

Step 2: Check to see if your Surface display auto-rotates when you turn your Surface.

If the screen still does not auto-rotate, try Solution 2.

Solution 2: Check the auto-rotation setting

If the screen does not auto-rotate, the auto-rotation setting may be locked in one position. Here’s how to unlock it:

Step 1: With the Cover detached, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, or select Action center Notification icon in taskbar in the taskbar.
Step 2: If Rotation lock is undimmed, auto-rotation is locked. Select Rotation lock to unlock auto-rotation.
Tap Rotation lock in the Action Center
Note
Rotation lock is undimmed when auto-rotation is locked. When auto-rotation is locked, the screen won’t rotate when you change the orientation of your Surface.
Tap Rotation lock in the Action Center
Step 3:

Reattach your Surface Typing Cover, fold it back, and check to see if the display rotates automatically when you turn your Surface.

Notes
  • Screen rotation on Surface locks automatically when an attached Surface Typing Cover is in typing position.
  • Folding back your Surface Typing Cover allows the screen to auto-rotate, unless auto-rotation on your Surface is locked.
  • If your Surface screen is in portrait orientation when you attach your Surface Typing Cover or connect an external display, the screen will automatically rotate to landscape orientation, even when auto-rotation is locked.

If auto-rotation still isn't working after you unlock auto-rotation, try Solution 3.

Solution 3: Turn your Surface off and back on

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Shut down.
Step 2: Press the power button on your Surface to turn it back on.
Step 3: Sign in to Windows and check to see if the display rotates automatically when you turn your Surface.

If turning your Surface off and back on doesn't help, try Solution 4.

Solution 4: Install the latest updates

Installing the latest updates for your Microsoft Surface, including updates to Windows and the accelerometer or other sensors, may help fix a rotation issue. See Install Surface and Windows updates.

If auto-rotation still isn't working after installing updates, go to Solution 5.

Solution 5: Run a troubleshooter

Open the Sensors Troubleshooter. In the File Download dialog box, select Open, and follow the prompts.

If running the troubleshooter doesn’t help, go to Solution 6.

Solution 6: Restore Surface

If you're still having problems with auto-rotation, try restoring your Surface. Restoring your Surface is a way to undo recent system changes that may be causing problems. Restoring Surface doesn’t change your personal files, but it might remove recently installed apps and drivers.

For detailed how-to info, see Restore or reset Surface Pro, Surface 3, or Surface Book.

Still having a problem with screen rotation after doing a restore? For more help, contact us.


Surface is designed to rotate the display automatically as you turn it so that what you see on the screen is always right side up. If the display doesn’t rotate automatically, try the following solutions in order.


Solution 1: Disconnect your Surface Cover and any external displays

Surface is designed to display the screen in landscape orientation whenever you're typing on a Surface Typing Cover or your Surface is connected to an external display.

Step 1:  Disconnect your Surface Typing Cover and any external displays to see if they are preventing your screen from auto-rotating.
Step 2:  Check to see if your Surface display auto-rotates when you turn your Surface.

If the screen still does not auto-rotate, try Solution 2.

Solution 2: Check the auto-rotation setting

If the screen does not auto-rotate, the auto-rotation setting may be locked in one position. Here’s how to unlock it:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and select Settings.)
Step 2:  Select Screen, and select the screen icon above the brightness slider to unlock auto-rotation.

Tap the Screen icon in Settings

Note
The screen icon includes a padlock when auto-rotation is locked. When auto-rotation is locked, the screen won’t rotate when you change the orientation of your Surface.
Screen icon when autorotation is locked
Step 3:  Reattach your Surface Typing Cover, fold it back, and check to see if the display rotates automatically when you turn your Surface.
Notes
  • Screen rotation on Surface locks automatically when an attached Surface Typing Cover is in typing position.
  • Folding back your Surface Typing Cover allows the screen to auto-rotate, unless the screen orientation setting on your Surface is locked.
  • If your Surface screen is in portrait orientation when you attach your Surface Typing Cover or connect an external display, the screen will automatically rotate to landscape orientation, even when auto-rotation is locked.

If auto-rotation still isn't working after you unlock auto-rotation, try Solution 3.

Solution 3: Turn your Surface off and back on

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and select Settings.)
Step 2:  Select Power > Shut down.
Step 3:  Press the power button on your Surface to turn it back on and sign in to Windows.

If turning your Surface off and back on doesn't help, try Solution 4.

Solution 4: Install the latest updates

Installing the latest updates for your Microsoft Surface, including updates to Windows and the accelerometer or other sensors, may help fix a rotation issue. See Install Surface and Windows updates.

If auto-rotation still isn't working after installing updates, go to Solution 5.

Solution 5: Run a troubleshooter

Open the Sensors Troubleshooter. In the File Download dialogue box, select Open, and follow the prompts.

If running the troubleshooter doesn’t help, go to Solution 6.

Solution 6: Refresh Surface

If you're still having problems with auto-rotation, try refreshing your Surface. Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, and apps that came installed on your Surface and those you installed from the Windows Store. Desktop apps you installed will be deleted, but you can reinstall them after refreshing your Surface.

Note
If you updated Surface from Windows RT 8.1 to Windows 8.1 RT Update 3, a refresh will reinstall Windows RT 8.1. You’ll need to reinstall Windows 8.1 RT Update 3 after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2

Still having a problem with screen rotation after doing a restore or a refresh? For more help, contact us.


Surface is designed to rotate the display automatically as you turn it so that what you see on the screen is always right side up. If the display doesn’t automatically rotate, try the following solutions in order.


Solution 1: Disconnect your Surface Cover and any external displays

Surface is designed to display the screen in landscape orientation whenever you're typing on a Surface Typing Cover or your Surface is connected to an external display.

Step 1:  Disconnect your Surface Typing Cover and any external displays to see if they are preventing your screen from auto-rotating.
Step 2:  Check to see if your Surface display auto-rotates when you turn Surface.

If the screen still does not auto-rotate, try Solution 2.

Solution 2: Check the auto-rotation setting

If the screen does not auto-rotate, the auto-rotation setting may be locked in one position. Here’s how to unlock it:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Screen, and tap or click the screen icon above the brightness slider to unlock auto-rotation.

Tap the Screen icon in Settings

Note
The screen icon includes a padlock when auto-rotation is locked. When auto-rotation is locked, the screen won’t rotate when you change the orientation of Surface.
Screen icon when autorotation is locked
Step 3:  Reattach your Surface Typing Cover, fold it back, and check to see if the display on your Surface rotates automatically when you turn Surface.
Notes
  • Screen rotation on Surface locks automatically when an attached Surface Typing Cover is in typing position.
  • Unless the screen rotation setting on Surface is locked, folding back your Surface Typing Cover allows the screen to auto-rotate, unless the screen orientation setting on Surface is locked.
  • If your Surface screen is in portrait orientation when you attach your Surface Typing Cover or connect an external display, the screen will automatically rotate to landscape orientation, even when auto-rotation is locked.

If auto-rotation still isn't working after you unlock auto-rotation, try Solution 3.

Solution 3: Turn your Surface off and back on

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Settings.
Step 2:  Tap or click Power and tap or click Shut down.
Step 3:  Press the power button on your Surface to turn it back on and sign in to Windows.

If turning Surface off and back on doesn't help, try Solution 4.

Solution 4: Install the latest updates

Installing the latest updates for your Microsoft Surface, including updates to Windows and the accelerometer or other sensors, may help fix a rotation issue. See Install Surface and Windows updates.

If auto-rotation still isn't working after installing updates, go to Solution 5.

Solution 5: Run a troubleshooter

Open the Sensors Troubleshooter. In the File Download dialogue box, tap or click Open and follow the prompts.

If running the troubleshooter didn't help, go to Solution 6.

Solution 6: Restore or refresh Surface

If you're still having problems with auto-rotation, try in this order: restore or refresh your Surface.

  • Restore Surface

    Restoring your Surface is a way to undo recent system changes that may be causing problems. Restoring Surface doesn’t change your personal files, but it might remove recently installed apps and drivers.

Note
Restore is not available for Surface RT or Surface 2.

If restoring Surface doesn't resolve the problem, refresh Surface.

  • Refresh Surface

    Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface and those you've installed from the Windows Store. Desktop apps you installed on Surface Pro will be deleted, but you can reinstall them after refreshing Surface.

Note
If you updated Surface Pro from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, refresh will reinstall Windows 8 (not Windows 8.1) and apps that came installed on Surface Pro. Other apps and your settings will be gone. You can reinstall them after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see:

Still having a problem with screen rotation after doing a restore or a refresh? For more help, contact us.


Surface is designed to rotate the display automatically as you turn it so that what you see on the screen is always right side up. If the display doesn’t automatically rotate, try the following solutions in order.


Solution 1: Disconnect your Surface Cover and any external displays

Surface is designed to display the screen in landscape orientation whenever you're typing on a Surface Typing Cover or your Surface is connected to an external display.

Step 1:  Disconnect your Surface Typing Cover and any external displays to see if they are preventing your screen from auto-rotating.
Step 2:  Check to see if your Surface display auto-rotates when you turn Surface.

If the screen still does not auto-rotate, try Solution 2.

Solution 2: Check the auto-rotation setting

If the screen does not auto-rotate, the auto-rotation setting may be locked in one position. Here’s how to unlock it:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Screen, and tap or click the screen icon above the brightness slider to unlock auto-rotation.

Tap the Screen icon in Settings

Note
The screen icon includes a padlock when auto-rotation is locked. When auto-rotation is locked, the screen won’t rotate when you change the orientation of Surface.
Screen icon when autorotation is locked
Step 3:  Reattach your Surface Typing Cover, fold it back, and check to see if the display on your Surface rotates automatically when you turn Surface.
Notes
  • Screen rotation on Surface locks automatically when an attached Surface Typing Cover is in typing position.
  • Unless the screen rotation setting on Surface is locked, folding back your Surface Typing Cover allows the screen to auto-rotate, unless the screen orientation setting on Surface is locked.
  • If your Surface screen is in portrait orientation when you attach your Surface Typing Cover or connect an external display, the screen will automatically rotate to landscape orientation, even when auto-rotation is locked.

If auto-rotation still isn't working after you unlock auto-rotation, try Solution 3.

Solution 3: Turn your Surface off and back on

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Settings.
Step 2:  Tap or click Power and tap or click Shut down.
Step 3:  Press the power button on your Surface to turn it back on and sign in to Windows.

If turning Surface off and back on doesn't help, try Solution 4.

Solution 4: Install the latest updates

Installing the latest updates for your Microsoft Surface, including updates to Windows and the accelerometer or other sensors, may help fix a rotation issue. See Install Surface and Windows updates.

If auto-rotation still isn't working after installing updates, go to Solution 5.

Solution 5: Run a troubleshooter

Open the Sensors Troubleshooter. In the File Download dialogue box, tap or click Open and follow the prompts.

If running the troubleshooter didn't help, go to Solution 6.

Solution 6: Restore or refresh Surface

If you're still having problems with auto-rotation, try in this order: restore or refresh your Surface.

  • Restore Surface

    Restoring your Surface is a way to undo recent system changes that may be causing problems. Restoring Surface doesn’t change your personal files, but it might remove recently installed apps and drivers.

Note
Restore is not available for Surface RT or Surface 2.

If restoring Surface doesn't resolve the problem, refresh Surface.

  • Refresh Surface

    Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface and those you've installed from the Windows Store. Desktop apps you installed on Surface Pro will be deleted, but you can reinstall them after refreshing Surface.

Note
If you updated Surface Pro from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, refresh will reinstall Windows 8 (not Windows 8.1) and apps that came installed on Surface Pro. Other apps and your settings will be gone. You can reinstall them after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see:

Still having a problem with screen rotation after doing a restore or a refresh? For more help, contact us.


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