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.

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
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.

  • 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.

Contact Us

Answer Desk
Answer Techs are available to help.
Talk to a live agent