Question from Mariana: I just got my first smartphone and I love how I can use it as a camera!
I love taking pictures with my phone but when I go to look at them I sometimes need to rotate it to see a particular picture right-side up.
The problem is when I rotate my phone the pictures rotate too so I’m always looking at them from the same (wrong) angle. The orientation of the picture doesn’t change and I can never look at it the right way without getting a crick in my neck.
How can I prevent a picture from rotating when I rotate my phone?
Rick’s answer: This is one of those frustrating little things that we all experience when we first start using a smart phone, Mariana.
The feature that’s causing your photos to rotate and remain oriented the same way at all times is called Auto-Rotate, and it’s actually a very good feature because it ensures that you’ll be able to read whatever text is on the screen regardless of how you choose to hold your phone.
But as you have discovered, it also makes it hard to view some photos without getting that awful “crick” in your neck as you described above.
Luckily, it’s easy to temporarily disable auto-rotate while you’re reviewing the photos you’ve taken.
You didn’t mention the type of smartphone you have so I’ll give you instructions for both Android phones and iPhones.
Note: The steps for disabling Auto-Rotate can vary slightly from the steps below, depending on your phone’s model and the version of the operating system your phone is using.
If the steps for your phone are slightly different from the ones below they should be close enough for you to figure it out.
Follow the steps below to disable Auto-Rotate on an Android phone:
1 – Tap the Settings icon (it looks like a “gear” or “cog“).
2 – Tap Display.
3 – Tap Advanced.
4 – Tap Auto-rotate screen to “uncheck” the box beside of it.
That’s all there is to it. Your photos (and anything else on the screen) should now stay oriented the same way on your phone’s screen when you rotate your phone.
Note: I recommend that you turn Auto-Rotate back on after you’ve finished reviewing your photos. To do that, simply follow the steps above once more and re-check the box you unchecked in step 3.
Follow the steps below to disable Auto-Rotate on an iPhone:
1 – First, open the control center…
If your phone is equipped with a physical ‘Home’ button, swipe up from the bottom of edge the screen.
If your phone doesn’t have a ‘Home’ button, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen.
2 – Tap the Screen Location Lock icon (it looks like a lock with a round arrow around it).
3 – Swipe the Control Center down to hide it.
That’s all there is to it. Your photos (or anything else on the screen) should now stay oriented the same way on your phone’s screen when you rotate your phone.
Note: I recommend that you turn Auto-Rotate back on after you’ve finished reviewing your photos. To do that, simply follow the steps above once more and and reverse the setting.
Bonus tip: This post explains how to use your smartphone as a document scanner.