How do I disable orientation change on Android? – Dev

The best answers to the question “How do I disable orientation change on Android?” in the category Dev.


I have an application that I just would like to use in portrait mode, so I have defined
android:screenOrientation=”portrait” in the manifest XML. This works OK for the HTC Magic phone (and prevents orientation changes on other phones as well).

But I have a problem with the HTC G1 phone as I open the hardware QWERTY keyboard (not the virtual keyboard). My activity stays in portrait mode, but it seems to get restarted and loses all its states. This does not happen with the HTC Hero version.

My application is quite big, so I don’t want it to restart and lose all its states when the keyboard is opened. How can I prevent that?


You need to modify AndroidManifest.xml as Intrications (previously Ashton) mentioned and make sure the activity handles the onConfigurationChanged event as you want it handled. This is how it should look:

public void onConfigurationChanged(Configuration newConfig) {


Update April 2013: Don’t do this. It wasn’t a good idea in 2009 when I first answered the question and it really isn’t a good idea now. See this answer by hackbod for reasons:

Avoid reloading activity with asynctask on orientation change in android

Add android:configChanges="keyboardHidden|orientation" to your AndroidManifest.xml. This tells the system what configuration changes you are going to handle yourself – in this case by doing nothing.

<activity android:name="MainActivity"

See Developer reference configChanges for more details.

However, your application can be interrupted at any time, e.g. by a phone call, so you really should add code to save the state of your application when it is paused.

Update: As of Android 3.2, you also need to add “screenSize”:


From Developer guide Handling the Configuration Change Yourself

Caution: Beginning with Android 3.2 (API level 13), the “screen size”
also changes when the device switches between portrait and landscape
orientation. Thus, if you want to prevent runtime restarts due to
orientation change when developing for API level 13 or higher (as
declared by the minSdkVersion and targetSdkVersion attributes), you
must include the “screenSize” value in addition to the “orientation”
value. That is, you must declare
android:configChanges="orientation|screenSize". However, if your
application targets API level 12 or lower, then your activity always
handles this configuration change itself (this configuration change
does not restart your activity, even when running on an Android 3.2 or
higher device).


As said, set android:configChanges of your Activity (in manifest file) to keyboardHidden|orientation and then:

1) Override onConfigurationChanged()

public void onConfigurationChanged(Configuration newConfig) {
    //here you can handle orientation change

2) Add this line to your activity’s onCreate()


It’s better than add same line to onConfigurationChanged, because your app will turn to portrait mode and then back to landscape (it will happen only one time, but it’s annoying).

Also you can set android:screenOrientation="nosensor" for your activity (in manifest). But using this way you’re a not able to handle orientation changes at all.


I’ve always found you need both

android:screenOrientation="nosensor" android:configChanges="keyboardHidden|orientation"