How to flip your iPad volume buttons to match orientation

With iOS 15.4, your iPad’s volume controls will finally make sense in portrait and landscape modes.

Man scrolling through Netflix on an iPad.
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The announcement of the new iPad Air 5 and reviews of the iPhone SE 3 might’ve been the biggest news items for Apple this month, but the company also quietly released a feature that iPad users have been waiting for since the first model released back in 2010: volume buttons make sense in landscape mode now. Let us explain...

The volume buttons on the side of every iPad work perfectly in portrait mode — press the higher button and the volume goes up, the lower button and the volume goes down. Simple.

But if you use the iPad in landscape mode, the buttons don’t know any better. This causes the physical buttons to become reversed — pushing the left button increases the volume and pushes the volume slider to the right, while the right button decreases the volume and pushes the slider to the left. It’s been bugging iPad users for a long time.

Obviously, this is a small issue that doesn’t break the iPad experience, but it’s something that should’ve, and could’ve, been fixed a long time ago.

Apple finally figured it out with the release of the iPad Mini 6 this past fall and just recently pushed an option to make the volume buttons adjust based on orientation with iOS and iPadOS 15.4.

If the volume button issues has been bugging you for years, it’s finally time to rejoice. The fix is here and only takes a few moments to enable.

How to flip volume button directions

To gain access to dynamic volume buttons, you’ll need to be running a device with at least iOS 15.4 — you won’t see the option to change anything otherwise.

Make sure “Fixed Position Volume Controls” is turned off in your sound settings.
  • On your iPad, open the Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap on the “Sounds” menu.
  • If you have a compatible iPad and are updated to the most recent iOS, you will see a switch at the bottom of this menu called “Fixed Position Volume Controls.” When enabled, this switch keeps the volume up and down buttons in a fixed position (they’ll still technically be “up” and “down” even when your iPad is on its side). When disabled, the volume buttons will dynamically adjust depending on the orientation of your iPad. Make sure this feature is switched off.

Now, when you’re binging your newest Netflix obsession or watching your favorite Twitch streamer on your iPad, you can quickly adjust the volume without fumbling and forgetting which button does what.