Nothing says that a widescreen PC monitor needs to be oriented like a movie screen. Some people like portrait, or tall, orientation, especially when dealing with spreadsheets or other listy items.

The first step to changing the monitor’s orientation is to physically rotate the monitor. Some monitor stands allow for free rotation. For other monitors, you may need a special stand or wall mount.

After setting the monitor in an up-down orientation, you must direct Windows to reset the display’s presentation.

In Windows 10, follow these steps to reorient the PC’s monitor:

  1. Right-click the mouse on the desktop and choose Display Settings.

  2. If multiple monitors are present, click the one you want to reorient.

  3. From the Orientation menu, choose Portrait.

    Other options include Landscape, which is the normal monitor orientation, but also two Flipped settings. The Flipped settings work for monitors reflected on a mirrored surface, which is weird, but it’s an option.

  4. Click the Apply button to check out the arrangement.

    You may also need to adjust the monitor’s positions, especially if one monitor is in portrait orientation and the other is in landscape.

In Windows 7, follow these steps to change the orientation of one or two monitors:

  1. Right-click the mouse on the desktop.

  2. Choose the Screen Resolution command from the pop-up menu.

  3. Click to select the display you want to set in portrait orientation.

  4. From the Orientation button menu, choose Portrait.

  5. Click the Apply button to preview.

  6. Click OK.

If you’re setting two monitors to portrait orientation, you must apply that setting to each monitor, one after the other.

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Dan Gookin is a gizmo geek who's been writing about technology for over 25 years. In 1991, his DOS For Dummies became the world's fastest-selling computer book and launched the For Dummies series. Dan's 130+ books have been translated into more than 30 languages. Visit his website at

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