How do I flip my screen?

Flipping your computer screen can be useful for a variety of reasons. Whether you want to view content in portrait orientation, connect your screen to another device, or troubleshoot display issues, knowing how to flip your screen both horizontally and vertically can come in handy.

Why Would I Want to Flip My Screen?

Here are some common reasons for flipping your computer screen:

  • To view content in portrait orientation – This is especially useful for reading documents, web pages, and ebooks.
  • To connect a secondary display – If you want to connect your computer to a projector or second monitor, flipping the screen can ensure the displays match orientations.
  • To troubleshoot display issues – Flipping the screen is sometimes needed when troubleshooting display or graphics driver issues.
  • To play games designed for portrait orientation – Some games and apps work best in portrait mode.
  • To compare landscape and portrait viewing – Flipping between orientations can help you decide which works best for your needs.

How to Flip the Screen in Windows

The steps to flip your screen will vary slightly depending on which version of Windows you’re using.

Windows 10 and 11

Here is how to flip your screen horizontally or vertically in Windows 10 and 11:

  1. Right-click anywhere on your desktop and select “Display settings” from the context menu.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Orientation”.
  3. Select “Portrait” to flip the screen vertically or “Landscape (Flipped)” to flip horizontally.
  4. The screen will flip and a message will confirm the new orientation.

You can easily switch back to the default landscape orientation by going back into Display Settings and choosing “Landscape”.

Windows 8 and 8.1

For Windows 8 and 8.1 the steps are:

  1. Go to the Desktop.
  2. Right click and choose “Screen resolution”.
  3. Click on “Orientation” and select “Landscape (flipped)” or “Portrait” as desired.
  4. The screen will rotate and confirm the new display orientation.

Windows 7

Flipping the screen in Windows 7 requires an extra step:

  1. Go to the Windows 7 Desktop.
  2. Right click and choose “Screen resolution.”
  3. Click “Advanced settings.”
  4. In the Graphics Properties window click on “Rotation” and choose 90 or 270 degrees.
  5. Click Apply to flip the screen.

Using Display Hotkeys to Flip the Screen

Many laptops and external displays also allow you to flip the screen using display hotkeys or buttons.

For example, many Lenovo, Dell and HP laptops feature rotation hotkeys to quickly flip between landscape and portrait orientation. Check your laptop’s function key row for buttons like Rotate Display, Switch Display, or Rotation that can be used when the display is active.

External monitors with built-in Pivot features also allow rotating the display 90 degrees using just the monitor buttons. This lets you flip an external display without changing your system’s screen orientation.

How to Flip Touchscreen Displays

On Windows devices with touchscreens, you can also rotate the screen manually using touch gestures:

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the touchscreen and tap the Rotation icon.
  • The screen will rotate 90 degrees each time you tap the icon.
  • Use the icon to rotate the screen to landscape or portrait orientation.

This gesture works on Windows laptops, tablets, and computers with touch displays. The Rotation icon will appear next to the date and time whenever you swipe in from the right.

Additional Tips for Flipping Screens

Keep these additional tips in mind when flipping between landscape and portrait orientations:

  • Changes take effect immediately – Be careful when rotating an external display that’s physically set in landscape, as onscreen controls will rotate too.
  • Some apps don’t support rotation – If an app appears sideways try closing and reopening it after flipping.
  • It affects pointer direction – Mouse movements will match the new orientation.
  • Primary vs. secondary – Settings apply to the main display if you have multiple screens.
  • Check your graphics drivers – Updating drivers can resolve issues with display rotation.
  • Portrait mode uses more vertical space – Rotate for tasks like reading and web browsing.

Fixing Screen Rotation Problems

If your computer display isn’t rotating correctly, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Check graphics card settings – Ensure they support rotation and no overrides are set.
  • Toggle rotation lock – Use the Rotation Lock button if available to free up the screen.
  • Update drivers – Get the latest graphics drivers from the manufacturer.
  • Restart your device – Completely powering down can reset screen orientation.
  • Check cables – For external displays make sure cables are properly connected.
  • Test with other displays – Swap in different monitors to rule out a hardware issue.
  • Reset screen resolution – Return settings to defaults if incorrectly configured.
  • Confirm hardware compatibility – Look up your graphics card and display models for compatibility issues.

If nothing works, your last resort may be to rollback to older drivers or do a factory reset of the device to return to a stable configuration. For faulty hardware, you’ll want to look into a repair or replacement.

How to Programmatically Rotate a Screen

Developers can also control screen rotation programmatically by tapping into the native APIs provided in operating systems and web browsers:

With the right API calls, developers can override and control screen orientation across platforms and languages to create the best viewing experience.

Third Party Tools to Flip Display Orientation

In addition to the built-in options, third party tools are also available to provide more control over flipping and rotating your display:

Rotation Control Tools

  • DisplayFusion – Powerful paid software for multi-display control on Windows.
  • Mosaic – Mac app for advanced display management.
  • rotationcontrol – Open source rotation tool for Linux.

Hotkey and Macro Tools

  • AutoHotkey – Automate rotation hotkeys for Windows.
  • Karabiner Elements – Remap keys for custom rotation on Mac.
  • xdotool – Script screen rotation on Linux.

These tools provide added functionality like hotkeys, preset orientations, automatic rotation triggers, and more granular control over how your displays rotate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does flipping the screen decrease performance?

Flipping between landscape and portrait orientation has minimal impact on system performance. The screen rotation process itself uses negligible CPU and GPU resources. The only potential slowdown may be if an application needs to rescale or reformat itself for the new orientation.

Can I rotate an external monitor separately from the laptop screen?

Yes, on Windows 10 and 11 you can set a different orientation for each display from the Display Settings. Just choose the individual monitor before changing the orientation. MacOS also allows per-display rotation control.

Why won’t my screen rotate beyond 90 or 180 degrees?

Most desktop operating systems limit rotation to 90 degree turns to match the physical movement of pivoting a display. But some tablets and mobile OSs allow full 360 degree rotation for added flexibility. The 90 degree limitation avoids upside down orientations.

Can I set a hotkey to automatically rotate my display?

Yes! Third party tools like AutoHotkey (Windows) and Karabiner Elements (Mac) allow you to create custom hotkeys to trigger screen rotation events. This allows rotating the screen instantly with a keypress.

How can I tell if my graphics card or monitor supports rotation?

To check for rotation support, look up your graphics card or display model specifications online. Or try rotating the screen manually – if the OS provides options to flip the orientation under Display Settings, then your hardware supports it.


Rotating your computer display can provide a more optimal viewing experience for many use cases. Thankfully, flipping your screen horizontally or vertically is simple on most modern versions of Windows, MacOS and Linux with just a few clicks or taps. And for those needing more customization, third party tools open up even more possibilities. So feel free to experiment with switching orientations – you may just find a whole new perspective!