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iPad: Understanding the side switch

Learn about the two functions of iPad's side switch: Rotation Lock and Mute.

You can use the side switch on iPad to either lock the screen orientation or to mute some iPad sounds and alerts:

Rotation Lock

Rotation Lock prevents the iPad display from switching between portrait and landscape mode. While Screen Rotation Lock is enabled, the following occurs:

  • The display remains in landscape or portrait mode, regardless of how iPad is held.
  • The Rotation Lock icon appears in the status bar.

Mute

When you mute your iPad, only certain sounds are muted.

  • Sounds such as alerts, notifications, sound effects, and game audio are muted.
  • Media playback (such as music, podcasts, movies, videos, and TV shows) are not muted.

Changing the function of iPad's side switch

  1. Tap Settings > General.
  2. Under Use Side Switch To, select Lock Rotation or Mute.

Additional Information

Enabling Rotation Lock if Use Side Switch is set to Mute

  1. Rotate iPad so the display is in the desired orientation.
  2. Swipe up along the bottom of the screen to display Control Center (you can do this from any screen, including the Lock screen).
  3. Tap the Screen Rotation Lock button.
  4. The Screen Rotation Lock button will appear highlighted.

A small Screen Rotation Lock icon appears in the status bar until you disable Screen Rotation Lock: Small rotation-lock icon

Enabling Mute if Use Side Switch is set to Lock Rotation

  1. Swipe up along the bottom of the screen to display Control Center (you can do this from any screen, including the Lock screen).
  2. Tap the Mute button.
  3. The Mute button will appear highlighted.

Troubleshooting Rotation Lock

If your iPad display does not rotate as expected, verify that Rotation Lock is off:

  1. Check the status bar for the Rotation Lock icon.
  2. Toggle the Side Switch to verify that the device is not locked.
    Note: Some apps do not rotate to match the current or locked orientation. Use the Home screen to determine Rotation Lock status.
  3. If Rotation Lock is off and you are still unable to rotate the iPad display, restart your iPad.
Last Modified: Sep 19, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Sep 19, 2013
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