How to Hold the iPad Correctly

Are you holding it right?

Young woman and older woman watching a digital tablet together
Kohei Hara / Getty Images

While the iPad's display will rotate with the device, allowing you to use it no matter how you are holding it, there are actually right and wrong ways to hold the iPad. Or, perhaps more accurately, there are better and worse ways to hold it. And learning how to hold the iPad correctly will actually make it easier to use.

How to Hold the iPad in Portrait Mode

Portrait mode, which is holding the iPad with the screen taller than it is wide, is great for browsing the web or checking Facebook. The iPad was cleverly designed around making this alignment perfect for websites. When holding the iPad in Portrait mode, it is important to hold it with the Home Button, which is the only physical button on the "face" of the iPad, at the bottom, which puts it below the screen.

First and foremost, this makes the Home Button easily accessible by the hand holding the iPad. But it also puts the camera at the top of the iPad, which makes placing video calls with FaceTime much easier. It's also the best orientation for taking selfies.

Holding it this way also puts the volume buttons at the top right, and most importantly, the suspend button on the top of the iPad. Holding the iPad upside down may seem to work fine because the iPad will flip the screen, but if the suspend button is at the bottom of the screen, it is easy to accidentally trigger it if you rest the iPad on a table or on your lap.

How to Hold the iPad in Landscape Mode

Landscape mode, which is holding the iPad with the screen wider than it is tall, is perfect for games and watching videos. It can also make the text on the screen easier to read, which helps those of us whose vision is just bad enough for reading to become blurry and not so bad to make us get our eyes checked for glasses.

When using Landscape mode, the Home Button should to the right of the display. This will put the volume buttons on top of the iPad to the far right side and the suspend button on the right side at the top. It also conveniently leaves no buttons on the bottom. When flipped the other way, you may accidentally trigger the volume buttons.  

Obviously, the iPad will still operate fine no matter how you orient it. But these positions will make the buttons more accessible and reduce the likelihood of accidentally pushing a button because the iPad is resting on top of it.

How to Hold the iPad While Taking Photos or Capturing Video

These rules of placing the Home Button either at the bottom of the display in Portrait mode or to the right of the display in Landscape mode also apply to taking photos or video with the iPad. Again, it might seem simple, and the camera will actually flip with your rotation as well as your screen, but having the Home Button at the bottom or to the right of the display aligns the back-facing camera to the top of the iPad. 

If the camera is on the bottom of the iPad, it is much easier to accidentally get your fingers in the way when you are holding the iPad. Most of us will hold the iPad in the middle, and if we are holding the iPad up near our chest or face, those hands are also slanted downwards slightly, which puts them dangerously close to that camera. And remember, you can turn any collection of photos or video into a 'memory' in the Photos app. Memories are an automated photo collage created by the iPad.

Want to use landscape mode or portrait mode but finding your iPad is 'stuck' on one orientation? Read what to do when your iPad won't rotate.