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

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you were playing with your computer’s keyboard, or perhaps your child or pet gained access to it and started experimenting, you might have experienced an unexpected change in your computer’s screen orientation from horizontal to vertical. This scenario can present quite a challenge for users of the Windows Operating System, especially for those whose computers are not designed to support a portrait landscape.

The ability to change your computer’s screen orientation is a feature provided by the interaction between your operating system and graphics drivers. While your GPU manufacturer allows for screen rotation through their software, it’s a standard feature also supported by the operating system for any display that is configurable to rotate, whether it is touch-enabled or not. This functionality enables both traditional monitors and touch-enabled devices to switch between landscape and portrait orientations.

For someone unaware of this GPU feature, encountering a suddenly vertical computer screen and not being able to use the computer without tilting their head 90 degrees can be not only perplexing but also significantly hinder their computer usage.

In reality, a shift from a horizontal to a vertical screen typically occurs when you accidentally press a hotkey combination, such as Ctrl + Alt + any one of the four arrow keys on your keyboard, or you can substitute Shift for Ctrl. The specific arrow key to press varies depending on your computer’s GPU. These shortcuts enable you to toggle your screen orientation on nearly every GPU that supports hotkeys.

If you’ve had the misfortune of your computer’s screen rotating from horizontal to vertical, do not worry—it can be corrected quite easily. Simply press Ctrl + Alt + a specific arrow key, or use Shift + Alt instead of Ctrl. If you’re unsure of which arrow key you initially pressed, keep trying each combination with the four arrow keys until your screen orientation successfully switches back to horizontal.

If the hotkey combinations fail to revert your screen orientation for any reason, there’s no need to panic, as alternative methods can resolve the issue. Below are the most effective solutions, other than the hotkey shortcuts, to return your computer screen’s orientation from vertical to horizontal:

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

You can adjust your screen orientation through the Control Panel on any version of the Windows Operating System, although this approach is slightly more cumbersome than the simple hotkey method.

  1. Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.
  2. Select Screen resolution (for users of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1) or Display settings (for Windows 10/11 users).
  3. If you have multiple monitors, click the specific monitor you wish to adjust.
  4. Open the dropdown menu in front of Orientation.
  5. Click on Landscape to select it, then click on the Apply button. If prompted, click on Keep changes. Finally, click on OK to finish.
  6. Exit and enjoy your restored horizontal computer screen orientation.

Solution 2: Rotate your screen using your Graphics driver

For users with Intel GPUs:

If your computer or laptop is equipped with an Intel graphics chip, rotating the screen via the Graphics driver is straightforward:

  1. Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.
  2. Select “Graphics Options” to open the Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel.
  3. Find the Rotation setting and access the dropdown menu.
  4. Choose the degree of rotation needed to return your screen to a horizontal orientation.
  5. Click on Apply. If prompted, click on Keep changes, then OK.
  6. Exit the Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel.

For NVIDIA GPU users:

To correct a vertical screen using an NVIDIA GPU, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.
  2. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  3. Within the NVIDIA Control Panel, select rotate display to access the rotation settings.
  4. Under Choose the orientation, select Landscape.
  5. Click on Apply and/or OK to confirm the changes.
  6. Exit the NVIDIA Control Panel.

For AMD GPU users:

To change the screen orientation from vertical to horizontal on an AMD GPU-equipped system, follow these instructions:

  1. Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.
  2. Select Catalyst Control Center.
  3. In the left pane of Catalyst Control Center, search for the Rotate Desktop option and click it. This option is located under different categories depending on the version of the Control Center, so you may need to look for it. In newer versions, it is typically under Common Display Tasks.
  4. From the dropdown menu at the top of the right pane, choose the monitor whose orientation you wish to adjust.
  5. Under Select the rotation that you want, select Landscape.
  6. Click on Apply to save the configuration.
  7. Exit the Catalyst Control Center.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.