12 February 2006

Changing screen orientation on my Dell Inspiron

I was quickly hitting Ctrl+Left-Arrow to go back in my browser history and somehow changed my Dell Inspiron 6000 screen to portrait mode (everything's sideways). The mouse still, of course, responded in the same way--expecting that you had some sort of tilt-and-swivel setup--so up was left and right was down. Sort of. No key combination returned me to landscape, so I did a quick--yet cumbersome--search. Nothing. I eventually discovered the steps that will get it back to normal, here they are:

  1. Select the desktop
  2. Shift-F10
  3. Graphic options
  4. Graphic properties...
  5. Rotation tab
  6. Normal

Tada! I'm an idiot, 'cause I still don't know what I did to swap the orientation.

[ updated 17 May 2008 ]

Updated with minor clarifications.

[ posted by sstrader on 12 February 2006 at 8:27:09 PM in Science & Technology ]

Perhaps, instead of the "CTRL" modifier, on one of your multiple depressions you accidentally hit the blue "Fn" modifier and another key. Those keys normall support proprietary hardware functions (i.e. CD ejection, wi-fi toggle, CRT/LCD output etc.)

Just a thought...

Posted by: Mason at February 13, 2006 1:28 PM

To follow up:

On my Inspiron 8600, the "Fn" modifier + "up" or "down" arrow modifies the brightness of my LCD screen. Perhaps in your line of Inspirons the function to toggle the orientation is dangerously close by.

Posted by: Mason at February 13, 2006 1:31 PM

That was the first thing I tried. Nope.

Posted by: sstrader at February 13, 2006 2:32 PM

Same thing has happened to me. But I did it on the mouse mat somehow and can't undo it. Please let me know if you fix it as I'm stuffed.



Posted by: Lee at February 23, 2006 3:46 PM

Ctrl Alt [up arrow]

Posted by: Carlos at February 23, 2006 11:33 PM

Ctrl-Alt-Direction will orient your screen so that the top is at the direction you pressed. For example, Ctrl-Alt-Right will make the top of the screen on the right side of the monitor.

Posted by: Patrick at January 22, 2007 3:24 PM

Thank goodness you guys posted the answer to the screen orientation. I was cleaning my keyboard on my dell d505 and then the screen went sideways....I spent ages until I found this. Thanks

PS: Now I know the answer, it would be a great thing to do to fool someone too...but of course I would never do that...lol

Posted by: Ray at October 28, 2007 6:20 AM

Thanks so much for posting this. My house pet somehow managed to toggle my screen by sleeping on my keyboard. You are a life saver.

Posted by: RCD at November 18, 2007 5:28 AM

fantastic, my litte boy did this and i couldn't find the answer until this!!

Posted by: richard at March 1, 2008 3:14 AM

Thanks from me as well. I have a kitty with typist ambitions and I could not find out how to remedy this.

Thank you!!

Posted by: laura at April 20, 2008 5:34 PM

Thank YOU!!!!!!!!!!! This worked right away. :)

Posted by: Sarah at June 30, 2008 8:45 PM

Thank you SOOOO Much I got a neck cramp trying to figure out how my 3yr. old did this!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Gia at September 13, 2008 7:11 AM

THANK YOU!!!!! You saved my life, my neck, and my laptop!!! FAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Posted by: nevadagrrl at February 25, 2009 4:15 AM

Still another great thanks. was cleaning keyboard

Posted by: scott at June 7, 2009 7:15 PM

Thank you so much!!! My kittens like to walk all over my laptop and did this, I have been looking sideways for a week now!
Genius :)

Posted by: Louise at December 23, 2009 5:04 AM

Thanks Guys, I started headache looking sideway....at last your advice make this look correct....:) Cheers

Posted by: Rajesh at June 21, 2010 10:31 AM

Thanks. My 18 month old son fell onto the keyboard of the laptop and I spent ages trying to find an answer

Posted by: lee at October 16, 2010 8:49 AM

Thanks Patrick,I didn't have a clue what to try!

Posted by: Tori at December 13, 2010 12:41 PM

Thank you soooo much! My cat decided to walk across my labtop and the screen rotated. No one could figure it out. Weirdly, I am glad it has happened to other people.

Posted by: Arielle at February 8, 2011 2:45 PM

Help. I am not able to get desktop to do anything but show background options. when I hit shift-F10 it says "what's this". What am I doing wrong? BTW - it was Karma the cat that did the computer in!

Posted by: Vic at April 10, 2011 9:37 AM

Someone leaned on my computer and voila - crazy orientation. Thank goodness your post was out there to make it an easy fix.

Posted by: Rob at October 18, 2011 7:33 PM

It truly is amazing that all of our "talented" cats are such good typists!!!
I at my thanks to whoever posted this first.

Posted by: Richard at July 11, 2012 9:09 AM


Posted by: Elvis at July 23, 2013 7:14 PM

Thank you!! My 3 year old daughter accidentally changed the rotation but you saved me.

Posted by: Maggie at August 28, 2013 6:44 PM

Thank you! I gave up after an hour online with Dell support who did not have a clue! You're directions were easy to follow and, best of all, readily fixed the problem. You are a genius!

Posted by: Maddie at September 9, 2013 8:49 PM

thank you Patric.it worked...

Posted by: ahmed at November 10, 2013 2:14 PM

I can't thank you enough for posting this answer - my wife of 40 years somehow turned her screen and insisted she didn't do it. 41 years is still a possibility.

Posted by: David at November 25, 2013 11:10 PM

Does anybody know if it's possible to disable this 'feature' on a Dell laptop?
To me it just seems totally unnecessary to have this kind of short cut.
There can't be more than one person in a million who would find this useful, but apparently there are a lot of people who find it incredibly annoying.

Posted by: Don Stewart at January 16, 2014 1:36 PM

Thanks. I couldn't find how to do this anywhere. I don't even know how it got sideways but I was going nuts trying to figure this out.lol

Posted by: Dave at January 24, 2014 3:34 PM

thank you - was cleaning the keyboard, and somehow did this by rubbing my mouse touchpad 'the wrong way' :D

Posted by: Colleen at April 2, 2014 3:56 PM

I am still looking to get into my history,can someone tell me .

Posted by: Dave at July 13, 2014 4:11 PM

Just press CTRL/ALT/Up-Arrow

Posted by: logan at September 24, 2014 4:06 PM

Yet another:
a) It was the wife
b) She was cleaning the keyboard
Thankyou for the post. You Rock!

Posted by: Stephen at January 10, 2015 10:35 AM

Alt + cntrl + arrow keys apparently do nothing on dell inspiron laptops for all you know it alls. I had to use the original posters stated method(shift+f10). I doubt he monitors this thread anymore since it was created in 2006, but thank you.

Posted by: turd Ferguson at March 29, 2015 12:06 AM

make sure you sign in before you it the alt+ctrl arrows!!!

Posted by: Dan at April 15, 2015 8:33 AM

control alt and up does work@@@@

Posted by: paula at June 1, 2015 9:15 PM

Kids were playing around and changed the display sideways. Googled - and here the answer is Yea! Ctrl Alt up arrow tada!

Posted by: Deborah at July 16, 2015 5:52 PM

Do you know how to make the screen orientation automatically change when it's in tablet mode?

Posted by: Carter at August 27, 2015 4:23 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?