How to Set Rotation/Orientation Lock and Mute on the Latest iPads

For these latest iPad models:

  • iPad Pro (2015)
  • iPad Mini 4
  • iPad Air 2

there is no orientation lock/mute slider button on the side. Here's how to control those functions in iOS 9 for these latest iPads.

Recap: Early iPads had a slider button on the side that could control orientation lock or mute. (With some variations along the way.) You could control whether the slider switch would Lock the Rotation (of the display) or Mute the sound. See this article by Jeff Gamet for further details on older iPads. " Managing Your iPad’s Mute/Rotate Lock Switch."

Technique: However, the latest iPads—listed above—no longer have that slider switch. Instead, you control the muting and orientation lock via the iOS 9 Control Panel. The reference article is Apple's tech note HT204171, "About the iPad Side Switch." Note that in the Settings > General, under the "Accessibility" line, there is no longer a function "USE SIDE SWITCH TO:" It's not needed anymore.

This setting is gone in the latest iPads.

You access the iOS Control Panel by swiping up along the bottom of the display. In this iPad Pro example, it looks like:

iOS 9 Control Panel (iPad Pro)

When you tap on the Mute or Orientation lock, it glows white and a momentary text note at the top of the Control Panel verifies the mode.

Impact: Apple has simplified the hardware design of the iPad by removing a moving part which could fail. The result is that for these latest iPads, one has to be familiar with the iOS Control Panel to operate these two settings.