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Quick fixes: how to make your Chromebook’s screen rotate

Quick fixes: how to make your Chromebook’s screen rotate


If the screen doesn’t switch in tablet mode, there are a couple of ways to fix the problem.

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Chromebook against a background of small illustrations.
Image: Samar Haddad / The Verge


The Chromebook screen doesn’t rotate in tablet mode.

Quick fix

Hit Ctrl > Shift > Refresh, or fix it in Settings.

The full story

One of the nice things about many Chromebooks is that you can fold the keyboard back (or detach it) and use it as a tablet. However, something may occasionally go wrong so that when you try to use it as a tablet and physically rotate it, the screen on your Chromebook won’t make the 90-degree rotation that you need. This can be really irritating — but there are a couple of very easy ways to adjust it.

How to fix it

Your Chromebook’s screen should rotate 90 degrees every time you put it in tablet mode — in other words, when you fold the keyboard back or remove it and hold the device like a tablet. If it’s not doing that automatically, then you can fix it in settings.

Using your Chromebook’s settings

The Chromebook Settings page, with a menu of selections on the right, the Displays page in the center, including “Built-in display” settings and “Night Light” settings.
In tablet mode, make sure your Chromebook’s orientation is set to “Auto-rotate.”
  • Fold your Chromebook back into tablet mode or remove the keyboard.
  • Select the clock on the right side of your taskbar (which is usually at the bottom of your screen) and select the Settings (cog) icon.
  • Select Device > Displays.
  • Look for the Orientation section under Built-in display. There will be a drop-down menu next to it; if the menu reads 0° (Default) when you have your Chromebook in Tablet mode, then that is why it’s not rotating. Tap on the drop-down menu and select Auto-rotate.

Note: you cannot do this when your keyboard is in ordinary notebook position because the Auto-rotate selection will not be available. However, using the drop-down menu, you can have your screen rotate to 90, 180, or 270 degrees if you want.

Using a keyboard combination

If you want to temporarily rotate your Chromebook’s screen 90 degrees while you’re in notebook mode, it’s easy.

  • Hold down the Shift - Ctrl - Refresh keys. (The Refresh key is in the top row of your keyboard and looks like a partial circle with an arrow at one end.)
  • You’ll be asked if you want to rotate the screen. Select Continue.

Now, each time you press Shift - Ctrl - Refresh, the screen will rotate another 90 degrees.