iPad screen lock mutes sound in iOS 4.2


Pressing screen lock button on side of iPad is not locking screen and instead it mutes sound on iPad. You are likely to face this issue, if you have updated the iPad software to iOS 4.2 (or above). This software updates changes screen orientation lock button into mute volume button. For changing screen orientation, you need to search for screen lock button inside your iPad (instead of physical button on the side of iPad).

Find screen lock button in iOS 4.2 & above

1. Press Home button twice or click the menu button.

2. Then slide dock displaying running apps to right side.

3. Now you should music controls. Check for iPad screen lock icon button (as seen in above image). Icon with lock implies locked screen, otherwise you can tap icon to lock screen orientation rotation of your iPad device.

Moving on, future iOS updates will have lock icon as explained above. The phyiscal lock icon will be used to mute sound on iPad device.



  1. Cindy Lord says

    Thanks heaps. I was going crazy every time I tried to read in bed.

  2. i knew something was up when i updated my ipad, because it was working fine before that, and then everybody was saying that the button was really for the sound, had i known that was the case it would save me tons of grief…………thanks guys ;-))))))

  3. Good grief this has been bothering the hell out of me!! This fixed it. I’d never have figured this out on my own.

    • Professor says

      I am so grateful for this information. Was really frustrated trying to figure it all out. I agree – there was no need to change the button to a “mute” or sound control. Finally, I got the screen to rotate after reading this post.

  4. it’s really helpfull, thanks very much…

  5. THANKS SO MUCH! After the tech troubles I’ve had all week, it was nice to know I could fix this. Thank you.

  6. My rotation lock switch does neither since the upgrade: no rotation lock nor mute sounds. Let’s hope it’s true what they say the rotation lock will be back in the next release!

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I thought my daughter did something in settings that couldn’t be undone! Thankfully help is always just a few clicks away.

  8. angelarch says

    apple needs to give the option to make the switch lock the screen the way it SHOULD be used. after the update it drove me crazy, the ipad was ALMOST UNUSABLE with the screen flipping all over the place while i was writing or reading.

    dammit apple, did you lose your mind!?! i’d NEVER use that switch to mute, i often used it to lock the screen, fix it as an option or change it back!

    thnx for the info though- saved me from breaking my ipad in half out of rage.

    • In the upcomming iOS 4.3 release (will be released on 11th of march) you can configure the switch to either Mute or Rotate blocker

  9. Oh thank heavens. I have been wanting to throw my ipad at the wall (just an expression people) for weeks! Thank you thank you. I hope apple informs us next time.

  10. I am really surprised by this product design decision. Apple is clearly one of the very best firms in the world in designing elegant user experiences / user interfaces. Having said that, this decision, and the “secret” way it was implemented, that must have left millions of users confused and frustrated, is hard to fathom. What in the world were they thinking?

    1) I prefer the old system much better.
    2) I don’t ever remember being told about the change when I updated my software – they should absolutely have had a notice to users with the “sound muted” icon that appears explaining… “hey, we’ve changed how that switch works… Surprise! Here’s what it does now.”
    3) they should give users an option to switch it back to the old, better way (via the preferences options.

    I still love Apple and the iPad… But someone’s brain took a vacation here. Crikey!

  11. Rwburmeister says

    Great help took me a while but got it. Thanks for the great tip.

  12. Thanks for the tip.

    This still totally sucks. It’s really easy to turn the volume down and the mute button is a waste. It’s now harder to turn on the lock. There should be an option to change it.

    • Totally agree with you! Bad design decisions, they did not do user test first before implementing such changes ??

      • Mark Cawein says

        I agree, this is horrible! Why not make it so the user can choose which feature the physical switch controls? This would be easy and could be set in the settings menu.

        As for using it to control mute, that is the last thing anybody would use it for. Pressing the volume down for 1 second already mutes it regardless of the current volume setting, so very dumb decision.

  13. Thanks for the tip. Great help

  14. Phew! What a relief to be able to lock the screen again!

    Thank you!

  15. Ohhhhh!!! This was such a help! I really appreciate the info!

  16. yaoi_mazter says

    thanks for the terrific tip…was about to throw my ipad down the stairs hehehe!

  17. Thank you so very much! I had thought something was wrong with my ipad and was starting to go bananas.
    Thanks again.

  18. Sheldon Dance says

    I have followed your instructions on unlocking the screen but no menu button appears to allow me to unlock the screen orientation. Can you help.

  19. I purchase my iPad a year ago. My rotation slide worked just fine. I update and made deletions through my pc once. My pc crash and I never reinstalled iTunes nor connected my iPad for recharging. My slide key worked until a few weeks back. Are there other ways to update the OS. I seem to have the lates update. Thanks for the help.

  20. Thanks a million. I thought there for awhile I was going crazy. I must say I really like the screen lock as that little switch. Now, if they were really smart there would be a way to designate the switch as either mute or screen lock then we’d all be happy.

    Thanks for your info here. I would have never figured this out. I kept looking around in the settings for some hint on where in the world my screen lock went.

    • i did the same thing! i thought i was losing it too! i asked my kids if they remembered the switch locking the orientation….

      thanks so much!

  21. I mean, apple couldn’t spell out the change in the long list of changes they had you click on prior to the update? I guess they figured their customers would google it and find out. I did…you did. Thanks guys! I preferred the lock on the side. I use it quite often. Oh..change!

  22. I am seriously done with Apple. I have an iPhone and iPad and I am so amazed that simply “updating” software creates so many changes and problems. There are too many complaints to list. I feel like I just bought an $800 paperweight. I truly hope that Apple will start to listen to their consumers and STOP the madness!!!

  23. Hey Guys it really simple. Go to main Home screen. Press Home button twice quickly. what will come up is the multi tasking bar with other icons. At this point slide them all the way to the left beyond the icon buttons and you will find the unlock icon.

  24. For those of you looking for the secret, magical, rotation-lock icon in the task bar that does NOT come up when you double click the home button, the rotation lock button is a switch on the side of the iPad next to the volume.

    • Karen Willis says

      This is only true if you haven’t upgraded to iOS 4.2. After that the button on the side is a sound mute button and the lock for screen rotation is accessed through software.

  25. I agree. Which nimcompoop at Apple decided to give more importance to mute when I have a volume control just below, and removed this very useful feature. I think this is the first time Apple’s done a Microsoft like “feature” update. Jeez!

  26. Got my iPad for Xmas, and was confused why my “lock” button was instead just muting my device… Did a quick google search and found this helpful site.

    I dnt think the new way is that bad at all, just would have been nice if the handbook thingy explained that the lock was no longer in use. But I’m happy to use the new way!!!!!

    • Karen Willis says

      Yes, I agree. Apple is always the bright and shining star but this sort of thing is just like MS….. I don’t think it is bad either but the documentation I got with the iPad said it was a screen lock button and so does lots of stuff on the internet. Once the ioS4.2 upgrade went out it should have been all over the place that this change had been made.

  27. Folks, the locking feature is still there. Press your home button twice. This brings up the app bar that shows all actively running apps (yes, multitasking is here!). Simply slide the bar to the right to display the screen lock button, as well as iPod controls, brightness and volume control. Bam!

  28. Peter Skinner says

    Comment should read CAN’T use the iPod icon.

    • Why don’t Apple just bring back a really useful feature rather than replacing it with a useless and impractical one. I miss the days of holding my iPad and being able to lock the screen and hold it with one hand only. Can’t believe any user asked for this useless change.

  29. Peter Skinner says

    Guys, I have found the solution to my own frustration – on my iPad with updated software as of 22 December 2010 you can use the iPod icon at all. Instead, when at the start up screen, press the indented button in the glass surface on the border of the display screen TWICE rapidly, as in emulating a “double click”. The screen then changes so that all the icons are down the bottom of the screen.

    Then slide the icons across the screen so as to expose the far LEFT of the strip of icons and, VOILA, there is the much missed lock / unlock icon. Click lock and once again you have the screen locked in whatever format you want, landscape or portrait.

  30. Peter Skinner says

    How the he’ll do I get back the screen lock function, I double tap the iTunes icon but no locking icon comes up. So I can read books in bed or anything else. No wonder people say DON’T upgrade.

  31. How do you lock iPad screen the new way?

  32. Can not lock iPad screen? Anyone know how?

  33. And how in the H— are you supposed know about thes changes? This feature drove me nuts for two days until I found this article. I would like to take a bite out of Apple

  34. Justin Fischer says

    This has ruined photos and good reader for large PDF reading. because i can’t lock screen in proper layout. Why do i need a mute button when i have volume control just below. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

    • I totally agree. They took out a useful feature and replaced it with something completely redundant.

      • Apple exec responsible for making this idiotic decision, if you are reading this… I hate you.

        • Totally agree. Just got my iPad yesterday and the pamphlet that came with it still shows it as a screen lock button even though it is a mute button. How sloppy is that? I’m going in tomorrow to try and return this overpriced piece of work.

  35. Diego Procacci says

    I agree 100% with the above comments. About Apple let us know before we update. Thank you for your help.

  36. I agree completely, i use the lock screen orientation button very often and it now a pain to have to go through a bunch of hoops to get it to lock its orientation. And you can mute it using the volume up and down button. What a dumb change. Hope that apple changes it back.

  37. Apple! Make this a option in settings! Plain stupid! There is a volume control button right bellow a mute button. I used the screen lock very often and I want it back.i never mute my device. If I need to do that I just turn the volume all the way down with the volume control buttons.

    I want to rewind versions now & go back to 3.2!

    Any one now how to change it back?

  38. This change is pointless and idiotic. The function of that switch should be configurable in the Utilities app, but give me my damn rotate lock physical switch back!!

  39. The screen rotation lock button was a great feature. Why take it away? At least give us a choice in system settings. Right now the switch is untouched because it is easier to use the volume rocker switch. When Apple decides to change the functionality of that too, that will be the day I jailbreak or sell!

  40. This is a waste of engineering!! Keep it simple!!! Don’t try and confuse the simplicity that everyone looks for!!!! We will be looking for the fix in the next upgrade.

  41. I hope for the best they will change this back.
    It is yes too much effort to stop rotating te screen
    Mute was already there (and still works the way it worked!!)

    The reason I comment this item is I hope the more people complain the more change we have Mr apple changes this change back

  42. Dumb, dumb change. So now you have two ways to easily mute and have to go through all this to lock screen, which I use much more often.

    They have to change it back. Ridiculous.

  43. This is just stupid. Too many steps to lock the screen in place which is more useful than the mute .. since you can already mute without much effort anyways.

  44. I hate this change, and I agree with Pat, you could have told us that this was going to happen.

  45. Hate this change! You could mute with the volume button, why do we need that switch right there to do the same thing? Bad move, Apple!

  46. Thanks so much! It helped me a lot. I didnt know what was going on. Very Helpful.

  47. What a shortsighted move. Let people know next time!

  48. Great its works

  49. Fully agree with all the comments above. Thanks for helping! Apple should be embarrassed by this one. Just plain stupid….

  50. Thanks! I spent good 15 minutes trying to figure out why sound does not work. I even reset all settings in iPad and still it was on mute.

    The WTF part is that even when on mute sound plays on videos, so I did not suspect that I had enabled mute.

  51. Thanks so much. I thought I had broken my ipad but now I know it’s not my fault. Thanks a lot for the information.

  52. This is STUPID! If I wanted to mute my device, I would use the VOLUME CONTROL! I want to be able to flip a switch and stop my iPad from rotating or flip it again and have it freely rotate. Stupid sh*t for a “user friendly” device. FIX IT NOW!

  53. Thank you, I was preparing for a roar with me husband as I suspected he tampered with it as he upgraded it hence he was prime suspect. Thank you from saving me from sounding rude and ungrateful. This is a very annoying move by apple.I hope they read feedbacks and take action. I don’t use my iPad for music hence really prefer the old function of screen lock. Perhaps they could make it multipurpose.

  54. I gave apple so much more credit. How do we pressure them to change this button back? Yuk

  55. Thanks. Got it working. Very confusing.

  56. I do not use my iPad for music, so this is just a pain. I agree if they really thought it was s good move giving the user the option in the settings would have been a much better idea, I want to go back to the previous OS. The added functionality that I like does not make up for this blunder!

  57. I agree. I like the lock button on the side better. This is the pits!!! Apple will become no better than Microsoft at this rate…

  58. Why not just change the functionality of the switch in the settings. If you want it to lock the rotation, leave it as is, but if you want the switch to mute, then set it to that. I agree with the above comment ….stupid move!

  59. thank you, thank you, thank you.
    I thought my ipad was broken.

    I restored all the settings!
    BUT, I think the button is better suited for a screen lock!

    Thanks again

  60. Marquita D. says

    I agree with the above. There was no reason to switch the screen lock like that. I was so Md when I finally figured at out. The menu dock is awesome, but I’m hoping that the first thing that the change in the next update is the screen lock back to its switch on the Side of the screen. :(

  61. Nice, finally I can lock my iPad screen.. Thx for this information..

  62. Whoever pressed the “ok” button this design change must be an idiot.
    I have my doubts that Steve ok’d this one. Just does not many ANY sense at all.

  63. This is really a dumb ass move. I agree with above that to mute is so easy and you NEED to be able to freeze the rotation much more often.
    Un freekin believable.


  64. Thanks so much, I was getting mad since that button changed its function. THANKS

  65. I agree with all the indignation … the screen lock was way more useful than quick mute.

  66. Thanks for the info on this, I never needed this new mute feature and was at a loss when the lock rotation was gone since I use that ALL the time!

    • Yeah I agree that it’s annoying since you can’t really use the iPad as a phone unless you use “line 2” app. Even still it doesn’t make sense to get rid of that lock from the top of the volume button.

  67. David Waugh says

    I want my old lock rotation back – please Apple, let us choose in a future update. I frigid hate the ‘soft button’.

  68. I hate the loss of the quick screen lock. I need the screen lock about 1000 times more often than I need a quick mute. By the way you iPad engineers, you can go from full volume to mute in less than 1 second using the volume adjust button. But to now lock the screen it takes 4 screen clicks to get it done. Why in the world did you make two buttons do the same thing that are only located 1/4 inch apart? Wake up and put it back!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I second everything you said. This is beyond stupidity. Really really really spectacularly ridiculous. What were they thinking?!

  69. Thanks for showing where to screen rotate lock switch was moved to!

    I would like to see an entry in the Settings app that would let you select what the switch does. It would allow the owner of the iPad to choose what they want the switch to do. There maybe other uses for this switch such as instant total switch off.

  70. It seems a rather strange change since it doesn’t even mute the sound!

  71. Can a petition fbe started or the old physical rotation button to be restored. The guy who made this change mystery be from Microsoft. It’s really mucking up things…. Better get this guy out of the team before the next iOS upgrade…. We do not want Microsoft features in iPad.

  72. Dumb ass Apple Engineers, go get a job driving trains, you are obviously too stupid to leave a common sense button alone, and make it uselessly redundant!

  73. Give me back my physical lock button!!!!!!! It made sense, it was quick to find and use. This is more of a Microsoft idea, lets real screw something that works up for no good reason…well except I can’t think of anything Microsoft that worked…..but you get my drift

  74. Sherry morrill says

    I “ditto” all the previous comments…I am not that techo-savvy and am stll trying to figure out how to access this “new” rotation switch. All the while carefully holding my iPad so it won’t keep swinging from landscape to portrait. Boo! on this new download. It first dumped all my previous apps and I am still searching to find all I had already paid for plus now I get to tango with my swinging screen! And iOS is so wonderful…..why?

  75. You don’t have to exit the app you are using. A quick double tap of the home button now brings up the icons at the bottom of the screen. You have to swipe sideways to find the audio controls. Still think it’s a rubbish and stupid change though, the screen lock switch was easy and useful, especially when on the bog, lol.

  76. Thank you for the tip. I don’t understand why this has been changed but at least there is a solution. It doesn’t even mute the sound though.

  77. Mrcaseman101 says

    That’s garbage. I really valued being able to easily, physically determine whether it rotated or not (took half a second to switch orientations, just hold it in the desired, flip the lock, and put it right back :/). You already had the option to hold the volume down key and make it mute… this is just ridiculous.

    • I just updated my IPad to the current version and now have the problem of the constant rotating screen. I tried following your directions above but I can’t seem to come to the same screen that you are coming up with to lock my screen. Help please.

  78. Found the lock rotation feature…thanks.

    But what about these other questions? Can you revert back to a physical lock rotation button? Why doesn’t the new mute function actually mute volume?

  79. Thanks for the info I thought that I ruined my ipad…

    I hate the new lock feature. Akthough I may be wrong it seems like you have get out of an app to lock unlock that is very inconvenient. I really hope they add the option to return the physical lock

  80. Thank you so much! Like others, I thought my device had a bug. I have to agree, this change is not an optimal one. I will miss the hard button option for screen lock. Maybe if enough of us prefer it, they will change it back in the next OS??

  81. Abigail Adams says

    Yes, thx; it worked perfectly, just as you said. Question: Is there a way to move that button from down in the dock to up onto the screen with the other icons??

  82. This was not a good change. You already had mute by holding the top of the sound button down for maybe 1 sec, actually less I believe. it was almost instantly and all sound was reduced to zero. Now you have two ways to mute from a hard button and no ways to lock rotation from a hard button. No matter who used them or did not there is not reason to duplicate one command and provide no button for the other command. I have never been an Apple fan and this really makes me even further question if i was wise to compromise even on this one product. I have nothing else by Apple and am sure I will not again.

  83. You’ve probably saved me from killing something. Thanks!

  84. It sure would be nice if Apple could post a list of differences when they upgrade the OS. Instead, they seem to thing users like to discover all new features and differences as needed. Why hide what users need, want, and eventually will find out after wasting millions of man hours surfing the net?

  85. I meant, I preferred it the other way!

  86. Frustrated! Preceded it the other way. Is there anyway to revert back?

  87. Thanks,it’s very helpful

  88. Thanks it’s very helpful,it works

  89. Johan Verhulst says

    Thank you, this was driving me mad!

  90. Thanks, thought I had a bug on the I pad…..

  91. it worked perfectly but my screen lock button does show mute sign when pushed downwards but it does not actually mute the sound, it does not do what it says..!!

  92. Thanks. Perfect

  93. I do not like the Mute…we have volume controls right beside it..why do we need a mute button?
    They should have left the switch for a convenient screen rotation button – I think most people will use a screen rotation button rather than as a mute button…

  94. Thanks! Worked perfectly!!

    • Todd norrgard says

      I use my iPad as a reader, so I used the button to lock screen orientation fequently. I could mute the device by simply by turning down the volume. Apple just took away functionality for me. They need to create a setting so we can assign a function to that button based on our needs.

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