How to Change the Orientation of an iPhone Keyboard

by Avery Martin

The iPhone has a responsive keyboard that shows a small keyboard when you hold the phone as you usually do to make a call or take a picture. Turning the phone sideways displays a keyboard with slightly larger buttons. Depending on the type of keyboard you want to use and the orientation of your iPhone, you can change the size of the keyboard quickly. The larger keyboard makes it easier to type in certain applications. However, depending on the app you are currently using, the software developer may have locked the layout so that you can only use one version of the keyboard.

Step 1

Launch an app that supports different keyboard layouts by tapping on the app.

Step 2

Hold your iPhone directly in front of you as if looking at a portrait. This enables the smaller version of the keyboard in supported apps. The home button is at the bottom of the iPhone in this position.

Rotate your iPhone 90 degrees to the right or left to display the widescreen or landscape version of the keyboard. The Home button should now be on the side of your iPhone.


  • Apple-supplied apps that let you use a larger keyboard when holding your iPhone in landscape view include Mail, Safari, Messages, Notes and Contacts.
  • If you are unsure if an app supports different keyboard layouts, open the app and rotate the phone to see if the screen layout changes or stays fixed.
  • Check to see if your iPhone rotation has been locked by double-tapping the Home button and then swiping left on the application menu. You'll see a bar with playback buttons and a circular arrow. If the circular arrow has a lock inside it, tap that button to remove the rotation lock.

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