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How to troubleshoot Windows 10 auto-rotation problem

If your tablet or Windows 10 machine has mysteriously stopped changing screen rotation automatically, or if you are unable to even manually change screen rotation, it’s possible that you’re faced with auto-rotation problem. This issue is known to affect a lot of Windows 10 gadgets though fortunately, there are easy ways to fix it. If you’re wondering how to fix auto-rotation problem on your Windows 10 gadget, below are the solutions that you must do.

Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.

How to troubleshoot Windows 10 auto-rotation problem

There are several steps that you can do to fix auto-rotation problem on your Windows 10 device. Be sure to charge your device first before doing the steps to avoid losing power in the middle of a task.

Solution #1: Do a quick restart

Whether you’re having trouble with a tablet or laptop, the first thing that you need to do is to restart it. If the bug was caused by a minor app or operating system glitch, refreshing the system with a restart should help.

Solution #2: Install updates

Windows updates can sometimes fix known or reported bugs. Make sure that your device runs the latest Windows 10 version available.

Solution #3: Unplug accessories or peripherals

Some Surface Pro users reported auto-rotation problems though disconnecting their keyboard, mouse, or dock did help. If you’re using this device, or any other Windows 10 gadget with detachable accessories, make sure to unplug them to see if that will work.

Solution #4: Verify screen rotation lock setting is unlocked

Screen rotation can be toggled on and off so there’s a chance that you may have accidentally locked it. To check, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Action Center by pressing Windows Key + A.
  2. Click the Expand button.
  3. Click the Rotation lock to turn it off.
  4. Check if your device’s orientation has changed.

Keep in mind that some Windows 10 gadgets like the Surface Pro will automatically lock screen rotation and turn off Rotation lock when there’s a detachable keyboard attached, or if it’s in typing position. To see if this is the case in your device, try folding the keyboard or unplugging it.

Solution #5: Use built-in sensor troubleshooter

Microsoft can provide its own tool to address an issue like this. To see if the automated troubleshooter can figure a solution, follow the steps below:

  1. Open a web browser and get the troubleshooter from Microsoft site.
  2. Download the tool.
  3. Launch/open the downloaded installer to run it.
  4. Click the Next button.
  5. Let the tool do a scan and hopefully fix the issue.
  6. Click the Close button.

Once the tool has finished its troubleshooting, check if orientation is back to normal.

Solution #6: Fix a grayed out auto-rotation key

In some rare cases, the auto-rotation button appears on or off but looks disabled (grayed out). If your device shows this grayed out auto-rotation button, you can edit the registry to get it back to its normal state.

Before you edit the Registry, be sure to create a backup in case something bad happens. Here’s how:

  1. From the Start menu, in the search box, type regedit.exe, and then press Enter. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. In Registry Editor, locate and click the registry key or subkey that you want to back up.
  3. Click File > Export.
  4. In the Export Registry File dialog box, select the location where you want to save the backup copy to, and then type a name for the backup file in the File name field.
  5. Click Save.

Once you’ve backed the registry up, you can then proceed to edit it to fix the grayed out auto-rotation button.

  1. From the Start menu, in the search box, type regedit.exe, and then press Enter. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. In Registry Editor, open the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AutoRotation
  3. Double-click the Enable DWORD and make sure the value is set to 1. If Enable DWORD is missing, right-click the AutoRotation key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value. Then, enter the name of the key that is missing and press Enter. Double-click the newly DWORD key and make sure its value is set to 1.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Double-click the LastOrientation DWORD and make sure the value is set to 0. If LastOrientation DWORD is missing, right-click the AutoRotation key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value. Then, enter the name of the key that is missing and press Enter. Double-click the newly DWORD key and make sure its value is set to 0.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Double-click the SensorPresent DWORD and make sure the value is set to 1. If SensorPresent DWORD is missing, right-click the AutoRotation key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value. Then, enter the name of the key that is missing and press Enter. Double-click the newly DWORD key and make sure its value is set to 1.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Double-click the SlateEnable DWORD and make sure the value is set to 1. If SlateEnable DWORD is missing, right-click the AutoRotation key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value. Then, enter the name of the key that is missing and press Enter. Double-click the newly DWORD key and make sure its value is set to 1.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Restart your device and see if auto-rotation button is now active.

Solution #7: Install updates for motion sensor driver

Some auto-rotation problems may be caused by a bad motion sensor firmware or driver so be sure to try installing an update for this sensor.

This option is obviously applicable only for desktops or laptops so if you have a tablet, simply ignore it. The best way to install drivers is by going under Device Manager. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Search for Device Manager
  3. Click the top result to open Device Manager.
  4. Expand the category with the hardware you want to update. In your situation, it should be under “Sensor I/O devices” or “Sensors.”
  5. Right-click the device, and select Update Driver.
  6. Click the Search automatically for updated driver software option.
  7. If your machine detects that there’s a newer driver version for the motion sensor, it will automatically download and install it. Depending on your internet connection speed, it may take several seconds or minutes.

We are here to help

If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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