How to Rotate Photos With the iPad Photos App

Sometimes you snap a photo only to realize that you were holding your device upside down. Or you may have been holding it a little crooked, throwing off the picture's composition. Luckily, iPads come with built-in software to easily correct this common mistake.

Rotating 90 Degrees or More

Launch the Photos app on your iPad.

Photos is the default gallery application that comes with iOS. Photos lets you organize and view all of your stored pictures. It also features a number of editing capabilities, including rotate.

Find and select the photo you’d like to rotate.

Scroll through the gallery by swiping your finger across the screen. Pick the photo you want by tapping it. If you don’t see the photo you’re looking for, try searching in a different place by tapping “Albums” on the top left corner.

Tap the “Edit” button on the top right corner.

If you accidentally picked the wrong picture, simply tap “Cancel” to go back to gallery mode. Photos lets you directly rotate and crop pictures on your iPad without downloading extra programs. Newer versions also allow you to alter lighting, contrast, and colors.

Tap the Crop icon.

This icon looks like a white square with Vs on opposite corners. It is located next to “Cancel” towards the bottom of the screen. Once Crop is selected, you should see additional icons on the screen, including a round dial.

Press the Rotate icon.

This icon is a solid white square with an arrow at one corner. It is located above “Cancel.”

  • Tapping the icon once will rotate the picture 90 degrees counterclockwise.
  • Tapping the icon twice will rotate the picture 180 degrees.
  • Tapping the icon three times will rotate the picture 270 degrees counterclockwise.
  • Tapping the icon four times will return the picture to its original position.

Tap “Done” at the bottom right corner when you’re finished.

The photo will be saved at its new orientation. You can also undo all changes by selecting “Reset” under the dial. Or, if you changed your mind and no longer want to change the photo at all, simply tap “Cancel” to exit.

Making Minor Adjustments

Follow steps 1-4 in Method 1.

In addition to correctly orienting your picture, Photos will also rotate the image just a few degrees to straighten its composition. Keep in mind that this process may also crop your photo slightly. A minor tilt in a picture can dramatically affect its quality.

Tap and drag the orientation dial.

Touch the triangle over “Reset.” Drag your finger left or right over the dial, and the picture will tilt in your chosen direction. Lift your finger to stop adjustments.

Tap “Done” at the bottom right corner when you’re satisfied with your photo’s new look.

Your edits will be saved. If you want to start over and straighten it differently, press “Reset” under the dial. If at any point you change your mind about editing the photo, simply tap “Cancel” to exit.


  • The straighten image feature is relatively new. You may not have it on your iPad if your software is out of date.
  • Photos does not have a “Save As” option for image editing. Saving any changes will write over the original file. To work around this, make a copy of your photo to work on before you begin editing.
  • If you have trouble using Photos, there are many other image editing programs available for download in the App Store.

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