How To'sWindows

How to Turn Your Computer’s Vertical Screen Back to Horizontal

If you’ve ever been in a spot where you were fiddling around with your computer’s keyboard or your child or pet gained access to your computer’s keyboard and started playing around with it, the unnecessary and random fiddling with the keyboard may have resulted in your computer’s horizontal screen changing its orientation and becoming vertical. This can be quite a problem for most users of the Windows Operating System, especially if they have a computer that is not, by design, capable of entertaining a portrait landscape.

The ability to change your computer’s screen orientation is actually a feature brought to you by your GPU. Many GPUs allow users to change their screen orientation – this is a feature designed specifically for computers that are capable of supporting the screen’s vertical orientation – such as those that support touch input. To any person who does not know about this feature of their computer’s GPU, their computer’s screen suddenly becoming vertical and them not being able to use their computer without tilting their head 90° might not only be extremely confusing but can also prove to be highly detrimental to their computer use.

In actuality, what happens when your computer’s screen goes from horizontal to vertical is that you accidentally press a hotkey combination – such as Ctrl + Alt + any one of the four arrow keys on your keyboard or the same with Shift instead of Ctrl (the arrow key you pressed depends on the GPU that your computer has). These two keyboard shortcuts are what toggle the change in screen orientation on almost every single GPU that supports the hotkey feature.

If you have ran into the misfortune of having your computer’s screen turn from horizontal to vertical, fear not as this can be fixed pretty easily. All you need to do is press Ctrl + Alt + a specific arrow key or Shift + Alt + a specific arrow key (the arrow key you need to press depends on the GPU that your computer has). Since you probably don’t know what arrow key you pressed the first time, keep trying either combination with each of the four arrow keys until you are successful in switching your computer’s screen orientation from vertical back to horizontal.

However, in the event that both hotkey combinations are unsuccessful at turning your computer’s screen back from horizontal to vertical for whatever reason, there is no need to panic as there are other methods that can be used to resolve this issue. The following are the most effective solutions other than the two hotkey combinations described above that you can use to turn your computer screen’s orientation back from vertical to horizontal:

Solution 1: Change your screen’s orientation from the Control Panel

A computer’s screen orientation can also be changed from the Control Panel regardless of what version of the Windows Operating System it is running on, although this solution is a bit more tedious, especially compared to rotating the screen with an extremely simple hotkey combination.

Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.

In the contextual menu, click on Screen resolution (if you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1) or Display settings (if you are using Windows 10).

You should see a graphic displaying all of your computer’s monitors at the top of the window that pops up. If you do have more than one monitor connected to your computer, click on the monitor you want to change the orientation of in the graphic to select it.

Open the dropdown menu located directly in front of Orientation.

Click on Landscape to select it. Click on Apply. If asked whether or not you want to keep the changes, click on Keep changes. Click on OKExit and enjoy your now-landscape computer screen.

switch screen

Solution 2: Rotate your screen using your Graphics driver

For users of Intel GPUs:

If your computer or laptop has an Intel graphics chip, you can rotate the screen using your Graphics driver if you simply:

Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.

Locate and click on a “Graphics Options” entry. This will launch the Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel.

Locate the setting for Rotation and open the dropdown menu directly in front of it.

rotate screen

Select how many degrees your screen needs to be rotated in order to go back to being horizontal.

Click on Apply. If prompted to do so, click on Keep changes. Click on OK.

Exit the Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel.

For users of NVIDIA GPUs:

If you use an NVIDIA GPU, you can turn your computer’s vertical screen back to horizontal from the NVIDIA Control Panel. To do so, you need to:

Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.

Click on NVIDIA Control Panel to launch it.

In the left pane of the NVIDIA Control Panel, click on rotate display to navigate to the display rotation settings.

If a message stating you can’t rotate your screen while Stereoscopic 3D is enabled, click on the link in blue and locate and uncheck the Enable Stereoscopic 3D Once you do so, click on rotate display in the left pane and you will be taken to the screen rotation settings.

If you have more than one monitor connected to your computer, choose which one you would like to change the orientation of.

Under Choose the orientation, click on and select Landscape.

Click on Apply and/or OK to apply and confirm the changes.

Exit the NVIDIA Control Panel.

For users of AMD GPUs:

To change your screen’s orientation from vertical to horizontal if you are using an AMD GPU, you need to:

Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.

Click on Catalyst Control Center to launch it.

In the left pane of the Catalyst Control Center scour all of the categories until you find the Rotate Desktop option, and then click on it to display the desktop rotation settings in the right pane. The category under which the Rotate Desktop option can be found depends on how old or new your Catalyst Control Center is, so you are just going to have to search for it in the left pane. However, on the newest versions of the Catalyst Control Center, the Rotate Desktop option can be found under Common Display Tasks.

If you have more than one monitor connected to your computer, choose the one you want to change the orientation of in the dropdown menu located at the top of the right pane.

Under Select the rotation that you want, click on Landscape to select it.

Click on Apply to save the change.

Exit the Catalyst Control Center.

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Expert Tip

How to Turn Your Computer’s Vertical Screen Back to Horizontal

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