The functionality of the topmost switch on your iPad’s right edge has evolved over time. Originally, it was a rotation lock that prevented the screen display from reorienting whenever you moved the device, especially while reading a book in a reclined position. Later, it mimicked the side switch of an iPhone, which is singularly used to mute the device in a hurry. Today, you have both options. You can quickly set your preference or switch between the options as needed in the Settings app.
Tap the “Settings” app on your home screen to display the Settings screen.
Tap “General” on the Settings pane. Controls for the general settings appear on the main pane to the right.
Note the “Use Side Switch for:” section. If the Mute option is checked, then the side switch is set to silence your iPad when the switch is pushed down and to restore sound when it is pushed up.
Tap “Lock Rotation” to activate this option instead. Then you can push the side switch down to lock your desired rotation in place or push the switch up to turn off rotation control.
Tips & Warnings
- Whichever functionality you remove from the side switch automatically transfers to the multitasking bar. Double-press the “Home” button to summon the bar and then swipe over it to the right. The icon on the extreme left becomes either a Mute or Rotation Lock button that you can tap on and off.
- To remind you when Rotation Lock is enabled, a tiny circle-arrow icon appears beside your battery indicator on the iPad’s status bar.
- Information in this article applies to iPads running iOS 6.1.2. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
- Photo Credit Chris Graythen/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images