CSS Media queries must not lock display orientation

Rule ID: css-orientation-lock
Ruleset: axe-core 4.5
User Impact: Serious
Guidelines: WCAG 2.1 Experimental

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Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact


Disabilities Affected

  • Attention Deficit
  • Dyslexia
  • Sighted Keyboard Users
  • Low Vision
  • Mobility
  • Cognitive


  • WCAG 2.1 Experimental

WCAG Success Criteria [WCAG 2.1 Experimental]

  • 1.3.4: MUST: Orientation

How to Fix the Problem

Do not use CSS or other techniques to lock device orientation. Test content orientation views to ensure that content continues to be accessible to all users, including assistive technology users, in any orientation.

Why it Matters

Assistive technology users may be unable to access orientation features with their devices or assistive technologies.

Rule Description

The screen orientation (e.g. portrait or landscape) of mobile applications should not be locked in one mode. Users should be able to change the orientation of their device between portrait and landscape with the page adjusting accordingly in order to remain understandable. Also, when opening a page, it should display in the user’s current orientation.

The Algorithm (in simple terms)

Content does not restrict its view and operation to a single display orientation, such as portrait or landscape, unless a specific display orientation is essential.


Refer to the complete list of axe 4.5 rules.

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