Step-by-step Guide: How to Rotate Screen on Mac for a Better Viewing Experience


Navigating your way around a can often seem like an arduous task, particularly when it comes to customizing your viewing options. One such option is learning how to rotate the screen on your Mac. This seemingly simple skill holds a plethora of benefits, ranging from delivering an improved viewing experience for graphic design tasks, to simply changing the orientation of a PDF to view it more comfortably. In this article, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to rotate the screen on your Mac, troubleshoot any potential problems, and answer your most frequently asked questions.

Understanding Screen Rotation on Mac

Screen rotation is simply the ability to change the orientation of your computer's display. The default display is known as landscape mode, whereas the rotated display is called portrait mode. The landscape mode is ideal for larger frames of content, whereas the portrait mode provides a better view for longer pages, particularly when reading or writing.

There are several instances where you may find the need to rotate your screen. Tasks that require a more vertical view such as writing code, reading long documents, or graphic design tasks may all call for a rotation of the screen. However, while this feature is extremely useful, it may also give way to a few challenges such as unstable display resolution or slightly distorted visuals which we will cover later in this guide.

Rotating the Screen on your Mac: Step by Step Guide

Direct Method through System Preferences

Rotating your Mac's screen is a straightforward process. The traditional method to do this is via System Preferences. Here's how:

1. Open the Apple menu, then choose System Preferences.
2. Click on Displays, followed by Display.
3. Press the ‘Option' key. This will reveal an additional ‘Rotation' dropdown menu.
4. Choose the preferred angle of rotation (90, 180, or 270 degrees).
5. Confirm your selection.

Indirect method through Displays Menu

The indirect method involves creating a shortcut for the display menu on your toolbar. Here's a step-by-step process how:

1. Open System Preferences, select Displays.
2. Check the box marked, ‘Show displays in menu bar'.
3. From the display icon in your toolbar, select Display Preferences.
4. Hold the ‘Option' key to reveal the Rotation dropdown menu.
5. As per the previous method, choose your desired degree of rotation and confirm.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

For those who prefer a more swift approach, keyboard shortcuts to rotate your screen can be just the trick. Navigate to System Preferences > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts, and add a new shortcut for each degree of rotation you want access to.

Trouble Shooting

There are common problems that may occur when rotating the screen. If the rotate screen function isn't appearing in your display settings, you likely need to update your system or display driver . If you find that your screen rotation is stuck, a system reboot generally fixes this problem. Further tips and tricks to resolve these issues are best found on Mac support platforms.


Knowing how to rotate your screen orientation on a Mac enhances your overall usage experience. It allows flexibility around tasks that require varied viewing orientations, from writing code to reading PDFs. We hope this comprehensive guide not only helps you rotate your screen with ease but also equip you viably, should any associated challenges arise.

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Why isn't the rotate screen option showing up in my display preferences?

This may be due to outdated systems or display drivers. Ensure you have the latest system updates installed in your Mac to solve this problem.

What should I do if my screen rotation is stuck?

A simple system reboot generally fixes this issue. If not, reach out to Apple support for more personalized assistance.

Can I use screen rotation on an external monitor with my Mac?

Yes, external can also be rotated using the same methods as mentioned above. Ensure the external monitor settings allow rotation.

Are there any risks associated with rotating the screen on mac?

No significant risks are associated with screen rotation. However, it can alter the display resolution or visual appearance.

Which models of Mac support screen rotation?

Most models running MacOS X Lion (10.7) or later versions support screen rotation.

Can I set different rotation settings for different monitors if I have a multi-monitor setup?

Yes, you can individually manage screen rotation for each monitor in a multi-monitor setup. The process would be the same as indicated above, performed for each monitor separately.

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