Managing Your iPad’s Mute/Rotate Lock Switch

| TMO Quick Tip

The iPad, just like the iPhone offers a way to lock the screen orientation so it doesn't rotate as you move your tablet from a horizontal to vertical position. That's handled through an on-screen button that's only slightly hidden. But what if you'd rather use the physical Mute switch to do that instead? No problem. Read on to learn how.

The standard way to lock your screen orientation works the same on the iPhone and iPad: Double tap the Home button to show the app bar. Swipe from left to right on the app bar until you see the iTunes controls. Tap the Rotate button to lock your screen orientation. The screen locks in its current position, so if you're holding your iPad so the screen is wide it'll lock in landscape mode. Holding it so the screen is tall locks it in portrait mode.

Your iPad's side switch can do more than just mute alerts.Your iPad's side switch can do more than just mute alerts.

If you'd rather use the Mute switch, which is along the top right edge of your iPad's bezel when you're holding it in portrait mode, do this:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap General
  • Scroll down to the Use Side Switch to settings and tap Lock Rotation

Your iPad's side switch can serve as a mute or rotation lock. You get to choose.Your iPad's side switch can serve as a mute or rotation lock. You get to choose.

Now when you double-tap the home button and swipe to show the iTunes controls the Rotate button will be gone and in its place you'll see a Mute button. To lock your screen orientation, just slide your iPad's side switch. The switch works like a toggle, so sliding it again unlocks your orientation and lets your screen auto-switch between portrait and landscape views.

When your iPad's physical switch is set to lock screen orientation the onscreen button mutes alertsWhen your iPad's physical switch is set to lock screen orientation the onscreen button mutes alerts

I like using the Mute switch on my iPhone to keep alert sounds from interrupting meetings and podcasts, but that's not such a big deal on my iPad. I use the physical switch on my iPad as a rotation lock because I'm more likely to need to keep my screen from spinning as I move my tablet around. It's like getting the best of both worlds.

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