My Android phone’s auto-rotate isn’t working: Six possible solutions

The accelerometer built into your Android phone can detect your phone’s orientation and react accordingly by rotating the screen to landscape or portrait mode. But sometimes auto-rotate in Android may not work properly. This can be because you have disabled the option, but it can also be due to more serious issues such as your phone’s firmware, a faulty sensor, or glitches in certain applications. If your Android phone’s screen isn’t spinning the way it should, here are some possible causes and how to fix it.

Are you sure you have auto-rotate on?

While it’s normal for Android phones to have auto-rotate enabled by default, you may have disabled it at some point, either accidentally or on purpose.

Reactivation is as quick as going to the quick settings panel (on my phone, swiping down from the top of the main screen) and adding a bookmark. The icon can be a lock or two arrows.

Try restarting your phone

The second most common and effective solution to restore auto rotation on your Android phone is to restart it as a quick restart can help fix temporary glitches that are preventing some features of the system from working properly.

To restart your phone, press and hold the power button and select Restart when the menu appears before turning it off. Be careful because although the auto-rotate may work as soon as you turn the phone back on, the problem may persist shortly after.

Do not touch the screen while it is rotating

Android allows you to temporarily disable automatic screen rotation with a long press. For example, if you need to change the orientation of the phone without going into quick settings, which is quite common when using the browser. In this case, all you have to do is hold the screen and rotate the phone.

So if you thought your Android device’s auto-rotate wasn’t working, you may have stopped the auto-rotate simply by touching the screen. Be sure to avoid it.

Beware of third-party applications and conflicts

Sometimes autorotation can cause problems due to a specific application. The YouTube app for Android, for example, does not always work quickly and well when it comes to adapting the content to the orientation of the phone.

If it’s a general bug, it will most likely be fixed in future updates (you can check for pending updates in the Google Play Store by tapping your profile picture and accessing “Manage apps and device”).

If you found that the error started appearing right after installing some applications, there may be a conflict between this phone setting and the apps. Try uninstalling and rebooting to see if it still happens.

Install a third-party rotation app

Screen rotation control interface

If your screen isn’t working well (e.g. if there’s a part that doesn’t capture touches well and it’s the top area where the quick settings appear), you can always fix this by wiping the screen with an application turn .

One of the most popular options is the screen rotation control (available for free with in-app purchases on the Google Play Store). With this app you can change the screen orientation automatically based on the orientation sensor or manually. It also has a feature to integrate with the notification panel.

Using a standalone rotation control app is easy (albeit in English): after enabling the appropriate permissions, tap “Start Service” and then type “choose screen orientation” to switch to the orientation sensor, then tap “Add a button to the service termination notification”.

Drastic measures: Factory restore

If you are not satisfied with the third-party app troubleshooting, the last option can fix the problem but factory reset your Android phone.

A factory reset will return your Android device to the state it was in when you took it out of the box. Go to “System” under “Settings” (also under “Backup”, under “Account”, under “Security” depending on the make and model). Normally it doesn’t appear on the first screen, if not you have to type “Advanced” and there access “Recovery Options” where there is another type of reset besides factory reset. Here you will find “Erase All Data (Factory Reset)”.

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