How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that’s stuck on portrait view

This post highlights potential solutions to a display issue on the Apple iPhone XS Max following the recent iOS 12.2 update implementation. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone XS Max won’t rotate or gets stuck on portrait view after updating to iOS 12.2.

The Apple’s latest flagship iPhone XS Max is ideal for many smartphone users who are into watching videos and play games online mainly because of its large display. This iPhone is crafted with a 6.5-inch super retina display, good enough size for mobile gaming and video streaming functions. By default, the iPhone XS Max Home screen is set and locked to portrait mode.

That said, it will not rotate to landscape even if the device is positioned horizontally. But many of its pre-installed apps including Mail, Safari, Messages, Maps, Photos, Camera, Calendar and others still can be viewed in portrait and landscape mode. The App Store and Music apps, on the other hand, are just two of the native apps that don’t support the landscape mode. Most third-party apps for iOS however are designed to operate on both portrait and landscape modes depending on the phone’s position. In case your iPhone XS Max doesn’t work this way or seems to be stuck on portrait view and won’t rotate, you can try the outlined solutions below.

If you have other problems however, visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help, fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

What causes your iPhone XS Max to get stuck on portrait view or fail to rotate?

While some smartphone users wouldn’t mind how displays are rendered, it’s unbearable to be stuck on portrait mode especially when watching videos or playing some video games on your phone.  There are various reasons as to why the screen will get stuck on specific mode, like portrait view. Often times, the problem is isolated to an application and therefore it occurs among other symptoms of app glitches. In iOS, iPhones that get stuck on portrait or landscape view can also be due to a faulty gyroscope. Update bugs are also among the underlying causes. For as long as your device is free from any sort of physical or liquid damage, the problem can be fixed at home by some workarounds.

Troubleshooting an iPhone XS Max that’s stuck on portrait view

Before performing the basic troubleshooting procedures, verify and ensure that the portrait orientation lock is turned off on your device. Some updates automatically override settings on your iPhone. That said, it’s possible that portrait orientation lock is enabled after the update even if it’s turned off or disabled before.

  • To check on this setting, access the Control Center of your iPhone XS Max. Then from the Control Center, tap the Portrait Orientation or Lock icon to turn it OFF.

You will know if your phone is locked on Portrait view if the lock icon appears gray or disabled. Apps that are designed to work on both portrait and landscape modes should work as intended depending on how your phone is positioned.

Installing all pending app updates on your iPhone XS Max can also help if the problem is attributed to an outdated application. You can check for, download and install pending app updates by heading to the App Store-> Updates section. When prompted with the screen containing the list of apps with pending updates, simply tap on the Update button next to the name of the app to update individual apps. Or tap the Update All button on the top-right of the screen to update multiple apps at once. This option is only visible if multiple app updates are available.

If the screen of your iPhone XS Max still does not rotate even if all your apps are up-to-date and the screen rotation display mode is enabled, then you can continue to troubleshoot and rule out other software-related factors that caused your iPhone display to stop rotating.

Solution #1: Restart your iPhone (Forced restart).

If the iPhone XS Max screen suddenly won’t rotate after updating, chances are that the update had caused minor issues to the phone’s display settings. Usually minor software glitches are rectified by a device restart. If you haven’t already, then you should consider restarting or soft reset as the first possible solution to try. This won’t affect your phone’s internal data so you don’t need to create backups.

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of your iPhone and then release when the device restarts.

After the phone reboots, try to launch apps that work on both portrait and landscape modes and see if the problem is fixed.

ALSO READ: Fix Apple iPhone XS Max that won’t respond to “Hey Siri” command

Solution #2: Disable the Display Zoom and set it to Standard.

The Display Zoom on your iPhone XS Max will show larger control for the content while Standard shows more contents on the screen.  It is recommended to set it to standard when you opt to view your screen horizontally.

  1. From the Home screen of your iPhone, select the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Display & Brightness option.
  3. Tap on View.
  4. Select Standard.
  5. Tap Set to apply the changes.

The changes will be applied to your iPhone and the landscape mode should be working fine on the selected apps that support this display.

Solution #3: Calibrate the Gyroscope on your iPhone XS Max.

Debugging the compass or motion sensors on the iPhone XS Max will also help to prolong the phone’s functionality. Doing so will also correct the rotating mechanism of your iPhone. Here is how you do it:

  1. Restart your iPhone or perform a soft reset.
  2. Once the iPhone is completely back on, launch the Compass app which is located either in the Extras folder or the Apps screen.
  3. You will be prompted with the instruction to calibrate the screen. If happens that Calibrate Screen isn’t visible, force close the Compass app, restart your iPhone, and launch the compass again.
  4. While you are calibrating the screen, rotate the red ball by tilting the screen.
  5. Continue tilting until the screen calibration is completed.

The Compass app will launch after the calibration process is done. Check the app that you were having problem with screen rotation, and see if the problem has been corrected.

Solution #4: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS Max.

Invalid or misconfigured settings on the phone may also affect the display system and eventually resulted to a malfunctioned landscape mode. Updates can trigger such issues especially if it’s designed to override settings on the receiving device. To rule this out, resetting all settings on your iPhone XS Max will likely solve the problem. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode then follow the onscreen instructions to confirm all settings reset.

Performing this reset will erase all customized settings on the phone and then restores the original options and values. Any erratic setting from update overrides will also be cleared out in the process. Just don’t forget to enable options and features that you want to use on your device afterwards, especially those that are disabled by default.

Solution #5: Restore your iPhone XS Max to its factory settings.

If you have performed all the aforementioned troubleshooting steps to no avail, then restoring the phone to its factory settings is your last resort. Note that this action will erase all the contents on your phone, restoring it to factory defaults. Note as well that after doing the process, you would need to set up the phone again.

You have the option to reset the phone using iTunes or the iPhone settings. If you opt to do it from your phone’s settings, then follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Enter the passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to complete the factory reset.

Your phone will automatically reboot after the reset. Settings are then restored to its default settings. Once the phone finished rebooting, follow the onscreen guide to set up your iPhone as new.

If the factory reset still failed to fix the screen rotation problem and your iPhone XS Max is still stuck on portrait mode, then you may have to consider resorting to system restores.

Solution #6. Restore your iPhone XS Max in recovery mode.

Performing a recovery mode restore offers a higher chance of fixing major system issues. This will put your iPhone is a recovery state and allows iTunes to repair any broken system data. To get started, connect your iPhone to the computer using the Lightning cable or USB cable that comes with your device. Once connected, proceed with these steps to put your phone in a recovery state:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Next, press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Side/Power button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen. This means that your iPhone has entered recovery mode.
  4. When you see the option to Update or Restore, choose Update if you want to restore without deleting files. Doing so will prompt iTunes to start downloading the latest software for your device. If you opt to restore from a previous iOS backup, then select the option to Restore.

Wait for iTunes to finish downloading the software for your iPhone and restore the system back to its normal state.

Solution #7: Restore your iPhone XS Max in DFU mode.

The deepest type of system restore you can do on your iPhone is a DFU mode restore. DFU stands for Device Firmware Update mode, a state in which your device is still able to communicate with iTunes on a computer even if the operating system is totally corrupted. Like a recovery mode, performing a DFU mode restore requires the use of a Windows or Mac computer with the latest version of iTunes app. Once you’ve got the equipment set, connect your iPhone XS Max to the computer using the USB cable or Lightning cable. Once connected, proceed with these steps to put your iPhone in a DFU mode:

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then quickly press and release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen turns completely black.
  2. As soon as the screen turns goes black, press and hold the Volume Down button while you keep holding the Side/Power button.
  3. After 5 seconds, release the Side/Power button but continue to hold the Volume Down button until your iPhone shows up in iTunes on your computer.
  4. When your iPhone XS Max appears in iTunes, you can release the Volume button because your iPhone is already in a DFU state and all set for an ultimate system repair.

Follow the rest of the instructions or command prompts in iTunes to complete repairing and restoring your iPhone XS Max to its normal state.

Note that entering DFU mode on your iPhone XS Max requires a bit of timing. Hence, if you failed to get there in the first attempt, don’t forget to try again. The main indication that you’ve successfully entered DFU mode is when your iPhone screen stays black after performing a forced restart. If you see any element like the Apple logo or texts on the display, then that means you haven’t entered DFU mode and so you have to try again from the very beginning.

Is your iPhone XS Max still stuck on portrait view?

If you didn’t find success in doing the workarounds provided above, then you should now consider calling Apple Support to escalate the issue and seek further assistance. The problem you’re dealing with might be due to a complex iOS bug that can only be rectified by a patch code. Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment with your local Apple Store so an iPhone technician can run some tests on both the software and hardware.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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