It’s happened to me three or four times now. The first was the most surprising — I was working away on my computer, my display went dark for a moment, and then turned everything sideways. Cricking my neck to turn my head, I had to figure out how to maneuver my mouse in this new directional orientation, open a browser, and search online for the fix. Relieved, I continued on with my work and promptly forgot what the shortcut was (simple though it is) until the next time it happened.
Ctrl-Alt- right arrow is a keyboard shortcut command to rotate the entire display on your monitor 90 degrees. (Other arrows rotate the display 180 or 270 degrees.) To return your display to normal, simply experiment with Ctrl-Alt-arrow to rotate it back the needed amount. If you’ve accidentally found your display sideways, chances are that it’s because of this shortcut.
Not all Windows machines have this option available, as it depends upon the monitor and graphics card. My desktop monitor, for instance, doesn’t rotate, but the display on my laptop does — and the laptop is where my quick, but sometimes sloppy, typing is more likely to accidentally cause the display to switch. So I now keep a note about the rotation shortcut on my phone, where I can quickly look it up the next time it happens.
I’ve never been in a situation where I would purposefully want to rotate my display, but I understand that some users do. If you want to rotate your display 90, 180, or 270 degrees, and the shortcut doesn’t work, go to: Control Panel, Hardware, Display Settings, and change the orientation.
When, if ever, do you find it useful to rotate your computer’s display? let us know in the comments!
[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user Bharath Kishore]