People use their phones in different ways and, what’s an unnecessary feature or even an issue for some, it’s a necessity for others. The example we’ll talk about today concerns Google Maps on Android and the orientation that’s not frequently used but dearly needed by some. Some users who keep their phones charging in their car, prefer the phone’s charging port to be at the top. Which requires Google Maps to be upside down, in the reverse Portrait orientation. Sadly, this is not available on some phones due to updates (allegedly, people complained about this functionality and it was removed) and now you need to find alternative ways to get to that orientation. We explained everything below.
Table of contents:
Why is my Google Maps upside down?
If you can’t make Google Maps enter into reverse Portrait mode (upside down), we suggest trying one of these steps:
- Before anything, enable Auto-rotation.
- Reset Google Maps to fix possible bugs preventing rotation.
- Use a third-party app to control rotation manually from the Notification shade.
1. Enable Auto-rotation
The first thing to do is to ensure that Auto-rotation is enabled. Most OEMs added a manual rotation toggle to the navigation bar with Android 12 but, to be sure, try with the Auto rotation. This will allow you to rotate your screen 360 degrees on some apps, while others will stick to a regular Portrait mode and two Landscape options. So, in some apps, you won’t be able to rotate 180 degrees and use the upside-down Portrait mode with the charging port at the top and the selfie camera at the bottom.
To enable Auto-rotation, swipe down the Quick Access menu and look for the padlock icon (this may vary) that says Portrait by default and Auto-rotation when the option is enabled. Tap on it to allow auto-rotation. If you tap and hold on to the Auto-rotate quick setting tile, you should see additional options. I personally prefer using the Manual mode on my Samsung (running OneUI 4.1) so the icon pops up when the phone changes orientation. In my tests, the option to flip to upside down reverse Portrait orientation is not available in Google Maps. This might be related to the Android version, phone model, or app version.
Some say that the functionality was removed due to user complaints so now, instead of 4, you can use only 3 orientations in Google Maps when using the navigation or just exploring Google Maps.
2. Clear data from Maps
Now, if this functionality stopped working for you recently and without a system/app update, it can be a bug that prevents 180 degrees rotation. The best way to sort these out is to reset Google Maps and, to do that, you need to reinstall the app or just clear all local data stored over time. We suggest the latter first, but you can also go for the reinstall if the problem persists.
Here’s how to clear data from Google Maps:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Apps.
- Select Maps from the list of available apps.
- Tap Storage.
- Clear data, open Maps and navigate to the random point to see if the screen rotates 180 degrees or not.
What you should probably do is ask for the upside-down Portrait orientation to come back to Google Maps in Maps > Account > Help & feedback. Explain your reasons why they should bring back this functionality and hope someone takes this into account in the future. Also, you can do the same to your OEM in their support forum.
3. Use a third-party app to manage screen rotation
Finally, if the built-in tools can’t do something, the versatile nature of Android comes into play. Or rather, in Play Store (pun intended). There are third-party apps that you can download and use to control screen orientation in most apps, including Google Maps.
The one we can suggest is Rotation Control which is, based on our tests, a quite reliable choice. It offers presets for apps, although you need to have in mind that it might not work on all phones. What we suggest when you get the app is to navigate to Settings > Apps > Rotation Control > Battery and disable optimization for this app. That way, the system won’t ‘kill it’ and it will work in the background while you use Google Maps navigation on those long trips. On the other hand, if you use it for only Google Maps, you can turn it off to save some battery when not in use.
You can get Screen Orientation Control on Play Store. We are by no means affiliated with the app developer and that’s just a suggestion. If you search for screen rotation in Play Store, you can find a few different options and we encourage you to give them a try until you find a fitting app that works the best for you.
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to tell us how you managed to make Google Maps upside down, especially while using navigation. Were the instructions we provided here helpful? Tell us in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in July 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.
Unlike the subject of the above article, some users might prefer Google Maps navigation in the standard Portrait mode or one of the two Landscape modes. If that's the case with you, just disable Auto-rotation in the Quick Settings menu and you should be good to go. On some devices, you can use Manual rotation to change the orientation instead of the Auto one.
The story is not the same on iOS where you can't rotate Google Maps at all on your iPhone. You can try it with Apple Maps but this feature is not available in the Google Maps app on iOS.