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How to enable Lock screen rotation in Android 4.3 and 4.4

If you own a phone or tablet with Android 4.3 or 4.4, you might be facing the issue that your lock screen does not support rotation. I noticed this when I upgraded my Nook HD+ to the latest CyanogenMod based on Android 4.4. The lock screen was always in portrait mode. While phone users might not consider this behavior problematic because phones are mostly used by holding them vertically, tablet owners might prefer landscape mode most of the time. If you have rooted your device, you can perform a simple trick described below to enable lock screen rotation.
Upd: according to our reader Tapatio, this trick also works on CyanogenMod 12.1 android version 5.1.1.

  1. Open the file manager on your Android device which supports root file system access. I prefer the freeware, Total Commander, for Android, but you can use anything you like, e.g. ES File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the following folder:
    /system
  3. There you will find a file named build.prop. You need to edit it, so open it in your favorite text editor. Again, I will use the built-in editor of the Total Commander app, as it is powerful and supports many useful features.
  4. Add the following line to your build.prop file:
    lockscreen.rot_override=true

    Tip: Before you add the line, check if the same parameter is present in the build.prop file, but with the value set to false. If it is present, then modify the existing line and set it to true.

That's it. Now reboot you device. The lock screen will respect the gravity sensor right after reboot.

If you know another way to enable lock screen rotation, feel free to leave a comment.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

29 thoughts on “How to enable Lock screen rotation in Android 4.3 and 4.4”

  1. su; setprop lockscreen.rot_override true
    type this into Terminal Emulator
    no need to restart (at least in my case)

    1. Works perfectly on my Galaxy Nexus running CM11 4.4. Only problem is while the lockscreen is in landscape, the navigation key’s background is solid black instead of transparent and the keypad goes over it very slightly.

  2. Nice and thanks. :-)

    This post made me think about home screen rotation. I guessed it should be possible to force enable it as well. And it is. :-) Just had to take a quick peek into Trebuchet’s source code.

    You’ve to add this to your build.prop and reboot:
    log.tag.launcher_force_rotate=VERBOSE

    For me settings this property dynamically (via setprop) didn’t work. Editing build.prop was necessary.

    1. Hey, thank you very much for the Trebuchet trick
      I use it in CM installed at one of my devices.

  3. Tried this on my ATT Note3 and it works great for the PIN unlock screen, but for the swipe to unlock screen the right side of screen turns green if I touch or hover over it. Any ideas?

  4. I tried this on my Samsung Note 8 (n5100) and it caused the device to hang on reboot. The Galaxy Note 8.0 screen appears and then, instead of going to the CyanogenMod screen with the rotating arrow, the screen goes blank with the backlight on. I managed to boot it into recovery (PhilZ) but then had to use the physical buttons to navigate as the screen did not respond to touch. I re-installed the latest nightly and now everything is working as before, since the nightly has overwritten build.prop.

    This isn’t a complaint – I appreciate you posting your solution, and I tried it at my own risk. I thought I’d post this in case anyone else has the same issue just to reassure them that they have not bricked their device.

    I’d still like to be able to rotate my lock screen into landscape…

    1. Same for me on OnePlus One. Perfect boot loop.

      I made sure the file had the correct owner and permissions, so that cannot be the cause.

      I also made sure the text editor did not add carriage returns, so that’s not it either.

      Does anybody have any idea why a phone would go into a boot loop because of a fairly harmless line in build.prop? I am stunned.

    2. Probably You’ve changed permissions of build.prop file, so system unable to load it on boot at all. This makes device unusable, until it will be fixed. right permissions for file is RW- R– R– (644), owner must be root and groop also root, some file managers can change permissions without confirmation, so always recheck them before restart !

  5. Tried this on my rooted galaxy tab 3 (sm-t210r) running 4.4.2 with the line set to false in hopes of preventing rotation of the locksceen permanently as it’s slow to respond and annoying. It doesn’t perma-lock it but it does now respect the screen lock toggle option as the rest of the tablet does. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Thanx, this works perfectly, you made my day!

    But wth did they remove this from cyanogenmod code? This was really usefull, and if i’m correct, could be controlable by user.

  7. My mobie makes a problem
    I m using xperia m dual android 4.3
    I change that file name and reboot my mobile , Sony logo only appear then again restart repeatedly .doesn’t work. What will I do. Plz help me. Reply me to my mill I’d.

  8. I did it and it worked, so, thank you very much but…
    What I really want is to lock my lockscreen in landscape mode.
    Can anyone help me with that?

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