How to Rotate Screen on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Rotating the screen on a Mac is a straightforward process. Whether you’re looking to switch from landscape to portrait orientation for reading or coding, or you simply want to adjust your display settings, it can be done in just a few clicks. Let’s dive into how you can rotate your Mac screen efficiently.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Rotate Screen on Mac

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, understand that these steps will help you achieve a different perspective on your display. It’s a handy skill to have, especially if you’re looking to maximize screen real estate or reduce scrolling.

Step 1: Open System Preferences

Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and select "System Preferences."

In this step, you’re accessing the control center for all your Mac’s settings. Think of it as the brains of the operation where you can tweak and tune your Mac to your liking.

Step 2: Click on Displays

In the System Preferences window, find and click on the "Displays" icon.

Your Mac’s display settings are where you can adjust resolution, brightness, and, crucially for us, orientation.

Step 3: Hold Down the Command Key

With the Display settings open, hold down the Command (⌘) key on your keyboard.

This step is like the secret handshake that unlocks additional options in the Display settings – without it, you won’t be able to rotate the screen.

Step 4: Click on the Rotate or Orientation Menu

While still holding down the Command key, click on the "Rotate" or "Orientation" drop-down menu.

This menu is where the magic happens. It’s where you’ll be able to select the degree of rotation for your screen.

Step 5: Select Your Desired Screen Orientation

Choose the orientation you want your screen to rotate to (e.g., 90, 180, 270 degrees) and release the Command key.

After you select your desired orientation, your screen will immediately rotate. It might look a bit strange at first, but you’ll get used to it in no time!

After completing these steps, your screen will rotate to the orientation you selected. Everything on your screen will adjust to fit the new layout, including your desktop icons and open windows.

Tips for Rotating Screen on Mac

  • If you’re using multiple displays, you’ll need to select the display you want to rotate from the "Arrangement" tab in the Display settings.
  • Remember that not all apps support screen rotation. Some might look odd or not work correctly in a rotated orientation.
  • If you’re having trouble finding the "Rotate" or "Orientation" menu, make sure you’re holding down the Command key.
  • Be mindful that rotating your screen can affect how your mouse or trackpad movements correspond to cursor movements on the screen.
  • If you want to switch back to the original orientation, simply follow the steps again and choose the standard "Standard" or "0 degrees" option.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I rotate the screen on an external monitor connected to my Mac?

The process is the same as rotating the built-in display. Just make sure you’ve selected the external monitor in the Display settings before attempting to rotate.

My Mac doesn’t show the rotate option, what can I do?

Make sure you’re holding down the Command key as you click on the "Rotate" or "Orientation" menu. If it still doesn’t appear, your Mac model might not support screen rotation, or you may need to update your operating system.

Can I set up a shortcut to rotate my Mac screen?

Unfortunately, macOS doesn’t offer a native shortcut for rotating the screen. However, you can look into third-party apps that might offer this functionality.

Will rotating my screen affect performance?

No, rotating your screen is simply changing the display orientation. It should not impact the performance of your Mac.

Can I rotate the screen on a Macbook?

Yes, the steps to rotate the screen on a MacBook are the same as on a desktop Mac. Just be aware of the physical limitations of your MacBook’s screen hinge.


  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Displays.
  3. Hold down the Command key.
  4. Click on the Rotate or Orientation menu.
  5. Select your desired screen orientation.


Rotating the screen on your Mac might seem like an advanced move, but once you know how, it’s as easy as pie. Whether you’re an artist needing a portrait view for your digital canvas, a coder looking for a more vertical perspective, or you’re just trying to make better use of your screen real estate, rotating the screen can significantly boost your productivity and comfort.

Remember, the steps are simple – open System Preferences, click on Displays, hold down the Command key, select your desired orientation, and voilà! Your Mac’s perspective is transformed. Keep in mind the helpful tips we’ve covered, such as checking app compatibility and being aware of how your input devices will respond after the rotation. And if you ever get stuck, just revisit the frequently asked questions for a quick refresher.

Rotating your Mac screen might not be something you need to do every day, but it’s a fantastic trick to have up your sleeve when the situation calls for it. So, give it a try, play around with different orientations, and see how it can change the way you work and play on your Mac.