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The other day my son (11 months) discovered a new hot key combination on my laptop. As I'm sure many of you are aware (I wasn't until the other day), on machines with Intel Graphics, pressing Ctrl+Alt+{arrow key} rotates the screen. After I recovered from my shock, and did a little sideways Googling to figure out how to fix it, I decided this might actually be useful. I read a lot of online documentation, and it fits better on the screen when it's rotated. Since it's a laptop, I hold the machine like a book and read it. It worked great all afternoon yesterday.

But today at work I tried to show a friend this new trick, using the same laptop, and found that the Ctrl+Alt+Up no longer works. I can rotate it to any orientation but the normal one. I'm guessing something else is intercepting this hot key, but what could be doing this?

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Does your graphics control panel show anything disabled? Ctrl-Alt-F12, I believe. – Fred Mar 22 '10 at 16:08
"sideways googling" makes me laugh! :) – Jeff Atwood Oct 30 '10 at 9:46
@fred nice one on the hotkey - thx! – Richard Le Mesurier Jul 16 '13 at 16:58
I realized it was part of Intel Graphics hotkey. – sunk818 Aug 12 at 15:55
I notice that Intel Graphics in Control Panel has Ctrl+Alt+Up to rotate to 0 degrees. I used have Global Hotkeys on Winamp and that also happens to be volume up. You might run into the hot key being activated with new updates of Intel Graphics (e.g. Windows Update). – sunk818 Aug 12 at 16:11

6 Answers 6

The mouse cursor has to be on the screen you want to change.
After you make a change, the cursor always defaults back to the primary screen.

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if you are stuck and cant get your screen to rotate to normal position by using shortcut keys....u can still go to control panel/appearance and personalization/Display/Screen Resolution. then click on orientation...then click on landscape...

your screen should be restored to normal...

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Also had the problem of non-working default keys once, I think on a notebook with intel GM855 something chipset. I believe it was this tool that solved the problem form me: iRotate

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It can also be disabled via group policy, which is something a lot of IT departments do as a matter of course in an environment where there are no tablet pcs.

Otherwise, you get occasional frantic calls from people who've rotated their screen 180 degrees and are now helpless, and trying to work with their monitor flipped sideways.

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Or from screens rotated by coworkers who think this is nice prank. (The changes persists after logging out and after reboots). – Hennes Jul 1 at 9:42
@hennes: The pro level prank is to take a screenshot, flip it in paint, set it as the background, then flip the desktop so it looks normal. NOTHING WORKS. The mouse is inverted, the start menu and none of the icons work, NOTHING. It's pretty entertaining. – Satanicpuppy Jul 2 at 2:43

Ctrl+Alt+up orients the screen to its normal orientation, it so would do nothing if the screen is already oriented the right way up. To change to any other orientation use the left, right or down arrows.

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I had the same problem and Ctrl alt up simply would do nothing. I got tired of of using the touch pad so I re-installed my mouse. Voila ctrl alt up now worked 1st time.

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protected by bwDraco Oct 3 at 2:17

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