DEEMABLE TECH

Black Cat on the Windows

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Q: My cat walked on my computer one day, and now my Dell laptop boots upside down. That is, the screen is upside down. To get it right I have to press the Windows key and the "p" button to duplicate the screen. Then, when I press it again the screen reverts back to normal. How can I get it to boot up correctly?

A: I know cats can be pranksters, but yours has taken it to new extremes. Fortunately, as easy as it was for your cat to screw up your computer, it is just as easy to fix.

For some reason, some genius at Microsoft thought it was a good idea to have a hot-key combination that changes the orientation of your screen. I can see why very occasionally you might want to flip your screen 90 degrees, but I can’t imagine doing it often enough that you would need a short sequence of keystrokes to do it. Basically, Microsoft created the ultimate hotkey shortcut for pranksters or cats.

You can change the orientation of the monitor on most Windows laptops by pressing Ctrl-Alt and an arrow key at the same time. To change the orientation of your screen, once you’ve logged in upside-down, hold down Ctrl+Alt+Up, and that ought to return your screen to normal. Ctrl-Alt-Down will flip it upside down, and Ctrl-Alt-Left and Ctrl-Alt-Right will flip the screen sideways facing left or right respectively. 

Do us a favor though: once you change your screen back, don’t use this knowledge for evil. Nothing will make your IT department hate you more than dozens of calls from frantic coworkers because their screens have flipped sideways and upside down. 

If you try the hotkey trick and it doesn’t work for some reason, there is another way that will definitely fix it for you.

  • Click the Start menu and open "Control Panel."
  • Click "Adjust Screen Resolution"
  • Click to open the "Orientation" menu.
  • Choose from : "Landscape," "Portrait," "Landscape (Flipped)" and "Portrait (Flipped)" Click your desired orientation option to have Windows display a thumbnail preview of what it will look like.
  • Click "Apply," then click "Keep Changes" or "Revert" to revert to the original orientation.
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