Android has a nifty feature to disable auto-rotation... Is there some sort of gesture or key combination to rotate your screen? (Say I am in a browser and want to rotate). The idea is to be on auto-rotate = off (mostly desired) and manually change the orientation when needed without exiting the application (preferably).

9 Answers 9


I use Quick Settings and there's an option to toggle auto-rotate. I have it so the shortcut to Quick Settings lives in my Notification bar so to toggle it requires a swipe, two taps and the back button to toggle it and get back to the app I was in.

If you wanted to reduce this down to tap home, toggle, tap return if you use QuickDesk which lets you put widgets on it's popup launcher.

I'm sure you could probably set it up as a sortcut in Gesture Launcher but I never had any luck with that app. All it does is force close for me.

Edit: Sorry, misread you question. I don't know of any app that does that and I looked around but came up empty. Personally, that would actually be the ideal behavior of the screen orientation and while I'd have no idea how to make it, it can't be that hard. I'd recommend asking around at the XDA forum. Hopefully someone there may know or maybe one of the devs there will make an app to do it.

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    Yea toggling manual/auto is fine. I just want to change the orientation. In other words if I am in manual mode and in portrait and I need to go to landscape (and stick there). Commented Oct 27, 2010 at 19:35
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    Ohhh, now I understand. That would actually be very cool. I'm not aware of anything and I couldn't find anything. I'm no dev but it seems to me it couldn't be that hard to write app to do this. You may want to start asking around in the xda forums and maybe someone will make it.
    – Matt
    Commented Oct 27, 2010 at 21:26
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    @DmitriyLikhten If it can be of some help, I can sort of do this with my phone. If I disable auto-rotation and slide the physical keyboard out, it's set to landscape, and when I slide it back in, it's set to portrait. It even forces the lock screen to have a landscape display, which it normally doesn't, stretching the wallpaper. I have a Samsung Galaxy Q (SGH-T589W), running 2.3.6 Gingerbread.
    – Ariane
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 0:30

You can use Tap'n'Turn. It shows a small arrow on the screen when it senses that the orientation changes. Pressing it will rotate the screen even when auto-rotation is off.

Instead of rotating the screen right away, it displays an icon which allows you explicitly adjust the orientation

It can also be found on F-Droid (where it is written with spaces: Tap 'n' Turn).

  • Looks like it's been removed from Play store. Downloaded from F-Droid and it's working nicely so far.
    – Jacob
    Commented Jan 12 at 13:49

UPDATE: As of Jan 2022, the developer of GMD GestureControl tool removed the app from Play store. Thanks @AndrewT. for the tip. I don't use Android anymore, so answer below stays the same for history purposes.

* * * * *

I don't know any way to do it by system tools. However, I know couple of apps, which will let you complete this task. You need root access. Here is what I have: Ultimate Rotation Control and GMD GestureControl Lite. GestureControl lets you tight almost anything to any gesture. And URC has an ability to share switches of orientations of screen as "Actions". So you're going to GMD and make new gesture and tie it to "Action" — any desired orientation from URC.

P.S. You need root to use GMD because, AFAIK Android has no another way to set system-wide gestures.

  • Looks like GMD GestureControl Lite is not on Play Store anymore.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 19:42
  • @AndrewT., you're right. My search reveals that the developer decided to remove it alongside with all other applications, because they moved on. More info on XDA: forum.xda-developers.com/t/…
    – doz10us
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 16:58

Since you've said toggling auto is fine, you can just use the quick settings pull-down in Jelly Bean and later. Hold the phone in the orientation you want, then pull down the settings tray, and turn auto-rotate back on. When it's rotated, turn it off again right away.

You can even use it on phones that don't have the stock settings tray, if they have a replacement. Samsung phones are an example of this: instead of two trays, they have one notification panel with "quick access settings" at the top. You can configure which settings are shown, and auto rotate is one of the options.


Rotation Quick Setting works well and is GPL with source code on GitLab.

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    works even of the gyro sensor is dead Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 12:28
  • This answer is really underrated! Commented Mar 22 at 18:53

You can do this with Tasker. Here's a small tutorial

In your profiles screen, click the + button and select application. In the following screen that shows with the list of your installed apps, choose the app that you would wish to turn the Orientation lock to off when opened.

Go back and you will be asked to create a new task. Create one and add the action Display Rotation and set it to on.

Now go back and long press on the task you created and click 'Add exit task' do the same thing as you did before but instead of setting it as on, set it to off.

So now, whenever you open the app that you've chosen (Browser), you can switch to landscape mode and at other times stay locked with whichever orientation you leave the app with.


Actually, in my Vivo Iqoo 7, near the home button, there used to be a small rotation arrow pop-up when I rotate my phone after disabling auto-rotation. After the update, it disappeared.


I don't think so. If your auto-rotation is off, only the application which you are running can force the screen to rotate programmatically. You can do this with code but only for your application not for others.

One good example is YouTube, if you start YouTube in portrait mode and even if your auto-rotate option is disabled, you can click on a button to watch the video on landscape mode.


I think in Android 11 you can do that. When you rotate your phone, a small icon will show up. You can click it to rotate your screen.


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    No, this is not a standard feature of Android 11. Possibly customization by the manufacturer. Would help if the manufacturer/device model is mentioned...
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 19:39

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