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Apple iPhone 6s Screen Rotation Problems: Screen Won’t Rotate, Stuck on Portrait mode, Stuck on Landscape mode, gyroscope or accelerometer not working [Troubleshooting Guide]

Smartphones are designed to switch between vertical and horizontal views based on how they’re being held — upward or sideways. This is made possible with the screen rotation feature that is activated on the device settings. Just like a document file in computers, smartphone displays also have two screen orientations referred to as portrait and landscape modes.

Apple’s flagship devices including the iPhone 6s also adapts the same display concept. Given that screen rotation is enabled, the iPhone screen should rotate depending on how you hold it. Entrenched into the iPhone’s hardware system are the components responsible for enabling screen orientation functions — the gyroscope and accelerometer. These two are designed to work simultaneously. The accelerometer determines the speed of movement gestures while gyroscope takes care of the obtaining the coordinates (x and y axis). With these two components working together, the actual positioning of the device is being determined. Thus if you hold the iPhone in an upward position, the screen orientation sets to portrait and landscape when you hold it sideways.

However, screen rotation may also not be applicable to certain applications because there are some apps that do not support landscape modes. That being said, it will remain in portrait view even if you hold it sideways. Other apps do the opposite, which means that they remain in landscape view even when you hold the device upwards. In these cases, you’ve got no choice but to get take it as is and  just get acclimatized on the way it works. For as long as the gyroscope and accelerometer are fine, then the rest of the apps should rotate as intended. However, if you are having issues on screen rotation that is not working on all apps or your iPhone 6s screen is stuck on portrait or landscape view, then it denotes that something is wrong and needs to be rectified. And this post might be able to help you deal with this problem.

Read on to find out what causes the iPhone 6s screen orientation to not work as intended and how to fix it. While these are generic solutions, other iPhone users who have dealt with the same problems were able to resolve the underlying cause using any of these suggested methods. Thus, it wouldn’t hurt to give them a try before taking a trip to a service center.

But before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other issues with your iPhone, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page because we’ve already addressed a lot of issues reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need more help, fill up our iPhone problems questionnaire and give us more accurate information about your problem so we can give you the best solution.

Possible causes of screen rotation issues on the iPhone 6s

Display issues in mobile devices are either due to hardware damage or symptoms of software glitches. Physical or liquid damage is most likely to blame especially if there were previous instances of dropping or liquid exposure on the device. For screen rotation problems that are tied to hardware damage, a service is usually necessary. Some of the iPhone components might require a repair or replacement for everything to work fine again. Meanwhile, screen orientation issues that are software-related can still be rectified by some applicable workarounds. To give you some hints on what to work on when dealing with screen rotation problems with the iPhone 6s, here’s a rundown of the most common triggers and how each of them triggers the iPhone 6s screen to get stuck on a single view — either portrait or landscape.

Software bugs and glitches

An app’s behavior are sometimes affected by some bugs and corrupted contents that would trigger it to randomly malfunction or become rogue. This is when you will encounter some trouble using the application as it develops unusual symptoms such as lags or slow performance, random crashes, unexpected restarts and display issues like frozen, and being stuck on certain view. Usually in minor cases, a glitching app can be rectified by a restart or soft reset either on the app or device itself. However, some bugs that have penetrated the iPhone’s system layer are tough enough to withstand a reboot. Bugs can usually be obtained from corrupted files, updates and downloads that contain some malware or certain files designed to ruin a device’s normal operations. There are also other cases where an app refuses to switch between display modes accordingly due to other factors like memory issues and the like.

Incorrect settings configuration

Most, if not all mobile device owners are fond of changing the default settings and configure them according to their own preferences. That shouldn’t be an issue for as long as you know what you’re doing. But then again, mistakes are inevitable when it comes to making changes to default settings. And as a result of these errors, the iPhone or certain apps may not be able to function as intended. Symptoms may vary depending on which settings are modified incorrectly. For example, configuring the iPhone to not do anything when moved in different directions or disabling screen rotation feature on certain apps will result to the iPhone display being stuck on portrait mode.

Software updates

Updates are supposedly intended to bring positive results to a device upon implementation. But for some reasons, other iPhone users who have done so ended up having a bunch of trouble using their respective devices. Among the post update issues that were mostly encountered would include but not limited to rogue apps, error prompts when using certain apps, frozen displays and the like. A screen that is stuck on a single screen orientation or view is also among the possible symptoms. You can consider a software update as the main culprit if the onset of the problem occurs right after installing a new update on your device. This is one of the reasons as to why it is highly recommended to update your iPhone prior to downloading and installing software updates. Doing so will give you a chance to restore to a previous iOS backup should an update fails to deliver positive results.

Faulty hardware

In worst cases, the main cause lies within the hardware or physical components which might have been damaged from a drop or liquid exposure. For display issues or screen rotation problems that have instigated after the iPhone accidentally fell or got wet, a faulty hardware is likely to blame. It could be the gyroscope or accelerometer that is damaged, thus resulting to an iPhone display that is stuck on a single orientation. To find out if this is really is causing your trouble, you can take your device to a service center for hardware assessment and if necessary, have it repaired.

How to deal with the iPhone 6s screen rotation problems?

Again, if you are certain that the problem is not inflicted by hardware damage or  it is software-related, then you can try some workarounds in an attempt to resolve the underlying cause on your end. There are some generic solutions you can use to troubleshoot screen rotation problems on your iPhone 6s. But before you start doing anything, make sure that the app you are having trouble with screen rotation also supports both portrait and landscape modes. Again some apps do not have support for both screen orientations. That being said, there are apps designed only for portrait view while others on landscape thus these apps won’t change views no matter how you hold your device.

Among the apps that support a single screen orientation, particularly portrait view would include but not limited to Settings, Music, and Actvity apps. There are also many other third-party apps that work the same.

Once you have verified the app’s screen orientation support, you may then proceed with the following solutions. Be sure to test your iPhone after completing each of these workarounds to see whether the problem has already been fixed. If not, continue to the next applicable methods.

First solution: Restart the app

Minor glitches on the app including those that are manifested with the symptom of being stuck on a single display mode are usually rectified by a restart on the app. This means closing the app and then running it again. Here’s how it’s actually done on your iPhone 6s:

 

  • Firmly press the left side of the screen on your iPhone 7 Plus. Doing so will open the fast app switcher.
  • Navigate and locate the app screen you want to quit.
  • Swipe up on the app preview you want to quit or close by flicking it up and off the screen.

 

This method will quit the application from running in the background, thus you can give it a fresh restart.

Second solution: Reboot your iPhone 6s (soft reset)

If restarting the app won’t help, then you can try a device restart instead. Rebooting the iPhone helps eliminate minor glitches affecting an app’s normal operation. Problems with the display orientation that are triggered by minor software glitches can usually be rectified after doing so. A reboot or soft reset is deemed the simplest yet most effective solution to deal with software-related issues transpiring in mobile devices. And here’s how it’s supposedly done on your iPhone 6s:

 

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake (Power) button until the red slider appears.
  • Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  • Wait for at least 30 seconds then press and hold the Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

 

When the iPhone reboots completely, try to open an app to see whether the screen orientation or rotation is already working properly.

Third solution: Force restart your iPhone 6s (optional)

There are times when a glitching app results to the iPhone screen being stuck or unresponsive. In this case, the usual reboot might not be applicable. As alternative solution, you can do a force restart on your iPhone 6s instead. A force restart works the same as the usual reboot only that you have to do it using the hard keys given that your iPhone screen is not responding to touches. Here’s how to do a force restart, if necessary:

 

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously for at least 10 seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears. Your iPhone will then reboot.
  • Launch the app once the reboot is complete and see if that has fixed the problem.

 

Fourth solution: Calibrate the iPhone 6s gyroscope

Just like the iPhone’s battery, the gyroscope also needs to be recalibrated from time to time so as to keep it in good state, thus maintain proper functionality. Some iPhone users were able to resolve the same problem with screen rotation after calibrating the gyroscope so you might as well consider giving this a try on your end before moving further. Here’s how it’s done:

 

  • Reboot your iPhone by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake (Power) button until the device powers off completely.
  • After a few seconds, turn your iPhone back on by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.
  • After the reboot is complete, press the Home button to open the Home screen.
  • Locate the Compass app and open it. The app is usually located in the Extras folder or Apps screen. Once you have located the Compass app, tap to open it.
  • You’ll be prompted with the calibrate screen. This is where you can start calibrating the gyroscope on your iPhone 6s. If you don’t see the Calibrate Screen, double-tap on the Home screen and then search Compass. Force-close the Compass app and then restart your iPhone. After the restart, open the Compass again.
  • On the Calibrate Screen, tilt the screen to roll the red ball around the circle. Continue the process until the calibration is complete.

 

The Compass app will then launch once the gyroscope calibration is finished. When it does, try to go back to the app in which you are having problems with the motion sensors or screen orientation. Test the app and see if screen rotation is already working properly on that application.

Fifth solution: Check and ensure that all relevant display settings are properly configured

Screen settings must be set accordingly in order for iPhone display to work as it should. Among the most important settings to check when dealing with screen rotation issues are the lock screen or portrait orientation lock, and display zoom. The lock screen or portrait orientation lock is used to keep your iPhone in a single display mode that is portrait. You can enable this feature if you don’t want to be bothered by screen view swings each time you change the device’s position on your hand. With this feature enabled, the screen will stay in portrait view even if you hold the iPhone sideways.

To check and configure the lock screen or portrait orientation lock option on your iPhone 6s, follow these steps:

 

  • From the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Doing so will open the Control Center.
  • Once you’re in the Control Center, locate the Lock Screen or Portrait Orientation Lock icon. This icon looks like a tiny lock inside a circular arrow that is located next to the battery icon.
  • Tap that icon to disable lock screen and at the same time, enable screen rotation function on your device.

 

Another display option or settings you need to check for the same matter is the display zoom. If your iPhone screen is stuck on a single view when using all apps, it’s possible that display zoom is enabled. As the word implies, enabling this feature results to a screen that is zoomed thus everything on the display appears a bit bigger than normal. Selecting this option also turns off portrait and landscape modes automatically.

 

  • To access display zoom settings, go to Settings-> Display & Brightness-> Display Zoom-> then change the option to Standard.

 

    • Selecting Standard will enable both portrait and landscape modes to work while on the Home screen. If you don’t prefer it that way, then you can select Zoomed from the given options instead. Selecting this option will turn off landscape mode and everything on your display appears a bit bigger than normal.

 

  • To save your recent changes made on the display settings, tap Set on the upper-right side. The new settings will then be implemented.

 

If you happened to make changes to other options pertaining to your iPhone’s display, try to revert those changes or put them back to the way it was before the symptoms manifest. Also ensure that screen rotation is enabled on your iPhone 6s.

After making changes to your iPhone’s display settings, reboot your device again and then try to see if that has fixed the problem afterwards.

Sixth solution: Update iOS (if applicable)

Software updates also contain bug fixes so if by any chance the screen problem you are dealing with is triggered by certain bug, then installing an update might help. Apple has been rolling out periodic updates to iOS to address various device issues so as to keep each iOS devices system optimized.

 

  • To check for available software update on your iPhone 6s, go to Settings-> General-> About-> then open the Software Updates menu on your iPhone.

 

An update notification will show up if an update is available for your device. You may consider backing up your device beforehand so as to ensure that all your recent files or contents are secured.

 

  • To proceed with iOS update implementation, tap the option to Download and Install.

 

Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the iOS update installation. Typically, your iPhone reboots when the iOS is completely installed.

Seventh solution: Erase your iPhone 6s (factory reset)

This should only be considered as your last resort should all else failed to fix the problem and that you’ve ran out of options. As the term implies, the process will erase everything on your iPhone and restores it to factory defaults. That being said, all your personal contents, customized settings, and all will be deleted. And so any bug residing in the iPhone system will likewise be eradicated in the process. As a result, you’ll get your iPhone as good as new.

If you would opt to go for a factory reset, back up your iPhone 6s and then follow these steps to wipe your iPhone through the Settings menu:

 

  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Select Reset.
  • If prompted, enter your Apple ID and password to continue.
  • Tap Reset Device.
  • Select Delete All.
  • Tap Delete All again to confirm action.

 

Wait until the reset is finished and then proceed to initial setup.

Alternatively, you can use iTunes to restore your iPhone 6s and then set it up as new. To do so, you will need to secure a computer (Windows or Mac) that runs the latest version of iTunes. Once you have everything ready connect your iPhone to the computer using the supplied USB cable or connector, wait for iTunes to recognize your iPhone and then proceed with iTunes restore. Just select the option to restore your iPhone 6s as new.

Escalate the problem

If none of the aforementioned solutions is able to fix the problem and that you are still having trouble with your iPhone 6s screen rotation that is not working, then you should now consider escalating the problem to Apple Support or your iPhone carrier, seek further assistance and recommendations.

Or you can just take your iPhone right away to a service center for hardware assessment. It’s possible that a certain component like the gyroscope or accelerometer gets damaged and therefore results to this screen problem. A physical or liquid damage might have triggered the iPhone to develop the symptoms and so none of the given solutions worked.

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If you have other problems with your iOS device including iPhone 6s, you may visit our Troubleshooting Page or complete and submit this form to get further assistance from our support team. Just be sure to provide us with all necessary information, such as your iOS device model, as well as more details about the issue you have with your device. For example, when did the problem start to occur or what you did before the problem shows. This way, it would be easier for us to determine the main cause(s) and help you towards finding the best possible solution available.

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