How to Hold the iPad Correctly

Holding it right makes it easier to use

What to Know

  • Portrait: Hold the iPad with the shorter sides on top and bottom. This means the camera is on top.
  • Landscape: Hold the iPad with the longer side on top and bottom. The volume buttons should be at the top.
  • Photo or video: Have Home button at bottom or right of display to align back-facing camera to top of iPad.

This article explains the different ways to correctly hold your iPad and the different benefits of each method. These instructions apply to all iPad models.

How to Hold the iPad in Portrait Mode

Portrait mode, which means holding the iPad with a shorter side on top, works well for browsing the web or checking Facebook. Apple designed the iPad to make websites display better in portrait mode, which is how you typically hold your phone when browsing the web. When you hold it this way, keep the Home Button at the bottom, which puts it below the screen.

A person holding an iPad in Portrait Mode
Jess Foami / Pixabay

This orientation makes it easier to reach the Home button. It also puts the camera at the top, which makes placing video calls with FaceTime easier. It's also the best orientation for taking selfies.

If the Home button is at the bottom, that puts the volume buttons at the upper-right and the suspend button on the top of the iPad. Holding the iPad upside-down may seem to work fine because the iPad flips 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 your lap.

How to Hold the iPad in Landscape Mode

Landscape mode, which means holding the iPad with a longer side on top, is usually for games and watching videos. It can also make the text on the screen more prominent and comfortable to read without having to turn on Accessibility options.

Couple Playing With iPad
vadimguzhva / Getty Images

When using Landscape mode, the Home button is to the right of the display. The volume buttons are on top of the iPad, and the lock button is in the upper-left corner. It also conveniently leaves nothing on the bottom. Just like when you hold the device in portrait mode, keeping buttons off of that side of the iPad stops you from accidentally triggering them.

The iPad operates no matter how you orient it. But these positions make the buttons more accessible and let you rest the tablet on a surface without accidentally changing the volume or locking the device.

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 screen in Landscape mode also apply when taking photos or videos with the iPad. 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 at the bottom of the iPad, it is easier to accidentally get your fingers in the way when you hold the tablet. If you grip the iPad in the middle and hold it near your chest or face, your hands and wrists might interfere with the rear-facing camera.

Want to use Landscape mode or Portrait mode, but find your iPad is stuck in one orientation? Find out what to do when your iPad doesn't rotate.

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