How to fix iPad iMessage screen rotation problem, screen rotation bug in iOS 13

Screen rotation bug is depicted by a symptom in which your device screen does not rotate regardless of which app is in use and how the device is held. It emerges among the post update issues encountered by iOS device owners who have decided to get the first experience of the iOS 13 (beta) platform. If you’re among these troubled users who ended up with iMessage screen rotation problem on your iPad, then this post is for you. Read on and get help.

Not all iOS devices are designed with screen rotation features that work the same even when they’re running on the same operating system. This means that the Home screen on all models can rotate while on others does not. The same thing goes for iOS apps. On some apps, screen rotation works while others don’t. This is the reason why other apps stay in portrait mode even when you hold the device horizontally. In these cases, there’s nothing to worry because that’s how apps were schemed or designed to work. But if the screen is not rotating even when it’s supposed to rotate, then that denotes something is wrong and therefore it needs to be rectified. 

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Before troubleshooting iPad iMessage screen rotation problem in iOS 13

On selected iPad models, a side switch is present. This switch can be toggled to enable the lock screen rotation or mute some sounds. Before ruling software-related factors, try to toggle this switch to unlock the screen rotation if needed.

Alternatively, you can change it through your iPad Settings-> General->Use Side Switch To menu then Change to Mute. If Mute is selected, the side switch of your iPad will mute all system sounds. If Lock Rotation is selected, then the side switch will lock the screen and your iPad doesn’t rotate. Since you wanted your iPad screen to rotate when using iMessage, then Lock Rotation shouldn’t be selected.

Another way to determine whether or not orientation lock on your iPad is turned on is by accessing the Control Center. There you will see if the orientation lock icon is highlighted or not. If it’s highlighted, then that denotes orientation lock is enabled. To disable it, simply tap on the lock icon and you should see that your screen changes position depending on how you hold it. 

Older iPad models however, don’t have this option in the Control center. In that case, just change the side switch setting to Mute so as to make the screen orientation option available in Control Center. 

If that doesn’t help and your iPad iMessage screen is still not rotating, then you may proceed and start eliminating other factors that might have hindered your iPad screen from rotating in iOS 13.

Troubleshooting iPad iMessage screen rotation problem

The following are recommended procedures to rule out software-related factors that caused iMessage screen rotation problem on your iPad in iOS 13.

First solution: Clear all background apps to fix screen rotation bug on your iPad.

It’s possible that your iPad or iMessage gets stuck and so the screen doesn’t rotate regardless of how it’s held. This is usually what happens if you’ve left the iMessage screen/app open or suspended during the iOS 13 update. To fix the problem, restarting the app can help. So the next thing you should do is to clear iMessage and any other background apps from your iPad. To clear background apps on iPad with a physical Home button, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press the Home button twice to show recent apps.
  2. Swipe the app upward to close it. Do the same to clear all other background apps.
  3. Once you’re done closing background apps, tap the Home screen or press the Home button to go back to the Home screen.

On later iPads with no physical Home button, clearing background apps is done through these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen to get started.
  2. From the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and then pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
  3. Swipe right or left to scroll through apps previews.
  4. Swipe up on the app’s preview to close the app. Do the same to close the rest of other background apps.

After closing all background apps, check and see if the iMessage screen rotation problem is already resolved.

Second solution: Soft reset/force restart your iPad.

If closing the app doesn’t fix the problem and your iMessage screen rotation problem continues, then work on eliminating minor software glitches that might have caused the accelerometer system to fail suddenly. And the next solution to try is a soft reset on the iPad. This helps clear out errant caches from the recent system update including minor bugs that caused conflicts to screen rotation functions of your iPad. To soft reset your iPad, simply refer to these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds until the Slide to Power Off screen appears.
  2. Drag the slider right to power off the device.
  3. After 30 seconds or so, press and hold the Power button until the Apple logo appears.

Allow your iPhone to finish its boot-up sequence and then test to see if that fixes the screen rotation bug. If that doesn’t solve the problem and your iPad’s iMessage screen won’t rotate, continue to the next applicable solution.

Third solution: Forced restart your iPad.

Performing a forced restart can also be deemed a potential solution if the problem is attributed to a stuck display or frozen application. It forcibly ends and shuts down apps and operating system then triggers automatic boot-up on your device. Similar to a soft reset, a forced restart does not affect any saved data on the internal memory. Hence, you can proceed right away even without backing up critical data on your iPad. Just refer to these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. Press and hold down the Power button and the Home button simultaneously for a few seconds until the iPad turns off and back on.
  2. Release the buttons when the Apple logo appears on the screen.

In earlier iPad models and other iPads without a physical Home button, performing a forced restart is done through these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then, press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Power button until the Apple logo appears. Your iPad then restarts.

After the system restart, check and see if the iMessage screen rotation bug is already gone. If your iMessage screen won’t rotate following a forced restart, troubleshoot further.

Fourth solution: Install all pending updates.

Some of your apps, particularly the outdated ones have gone rogue after the update and eventually caused conflict to other iOS apps like iMessage. This is when installing pending app updates is recommended. If your iPad is still able to respond and can carry out other tasks, try checking for pending updates through the App Store with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap App Store to open the Apple Store application.
  2. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the screen then tap Updates. A list of apps with pending updates will then show up on the next screen.
  3. Tap the Update button next to the name of an app to install individual app updates.
  4. Tap the Update All button on the upper-right side of the screen to update multiple apps at once. This option is only visible if multiple app updates are available.

Wait for all your apps to finish updating and then restart/soft reset your iPad to clear and refresh its memory, apps and system functions. 

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPad to fix iMessage screen rotation problem.

Resorting to settings reset can be the next option if none of the previous methods is able to fix the problem. The screen rotation bug in iOS 13 could be due to some automatic settings overrides that contained some errors. To clear this out, follow these steps to erase all customized settings including iOS 13 settings overrides that contained some errors:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Choose Reset all settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Finally, tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

Your iPad should restart automatically when the reset is finished and then loads up the original values and options. This means that you need to re-enable necessary features, particularly those that are disabled by default so that you can use them again.

Last resort: Factory reset or restore your iPad from a previous backup.

What you’re dealing with could be due to a complex iOS error that couldn’t be rectified by the initial procedures. When dealing with major system issues like this, performing a factory reset/master reset is usually necessary. This could be the only way to get rid of stubborn bugs that caused the iMessage screen rotation problem on your iPad. If you wish to proceed, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes so you can still recover them later. Then follow these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Reset.
  4. Choose the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter the passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Confirm that you want to erase your device and restore its factory defaults.

Alternatively, you can also resort to restoring your iPad from a previous iOS backup through iTunes. This is often needed if the problem is inflicted by an iOS screen rotation bug that’s tough enough to withstand all prior procedures. So if you’ve backed up your iPad in iTunes before you installed the iOS 13 (beta) update, you can perform a recovery mode restore to restore from that backup through iTunes. Just follow these steps:

  1. On your computer, launch or open iTunes. Be sure to use the latest version of iTunes app on your device to avoid facing system conflicts.
  2. Then connect your iOS device to the computer using the original USB cable while pressing and holding down the Home button.
  3. Release the Home button when the Connect to iTunes screen appears.
  4. At this point, iTunes will prompt you with a message saying that it has detected your iOS device in recovery mode and that you can restore your device. If you see this message, just click the Restore [Device name] button to instigate recovery mode restore through iTunes.

If you’re using an iPhone without a physical Home button, entering recovery mode is carried out through these steps:

  1. Connect your iPad to the computer using the USB/Lightning cable.
  2. When your device is connected, open iTunes on your computer.
  3. Then on your iPad, quick-press and release the Volume Up button.
  4. Now, quick-press and release the Volume Up button. 
  5. Finally, press and hold the Power button until the Recovery Mode screen (Connect to iTunes screen) appears.

Follow the rest of the onscreen commands to restore your device in iTunes. Don’t disconnect your iPad unless the entire restore process is complete. Otherwise, you could end up corrupting the firmware.

Does your iPad iMessage screen rotation problem persist?

If your iPad iMessage screen is not rotating after performing all the above procedures, then there could be a problem with the hardware. It’s possible that the iPad’s accelerometer is broken and therefore won’t be able to trace the movement and unable to determine when to rotate the screen. You can set up an appointment at the nearest Apple-authorized service center if you suspect that a hardware damage is present on your device. That way you can ask a technician to examine your iPad components.

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