Forcing Orientation in WinRT

June 21, 2013
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I am working with a client on an enterprise Win8 app that is for order taking. They have a specific page that they require to be only in Portrait mode while the rest of the app can support any orientation. Since I’ve done so much Windows Phone 7/8 work I thought this would be simple. Just specify the value on the Page. But this didn’t work…

Digging through the docs I found a probable solution: **DisplayProperties.AutoRotationPreferences **(in the **Windows.Graphics.Display namespace). **The docs specify that this property can be set with the **DisplayOrientations **enumeration to specify which of the four orientations to support. The enumeration is a flag so you can combine them too:

// All orientations
DisplayProperties.AutoRotationPreferences = DisplayOrientations.None;

// Portrait only
DisplayProperties.AutoRotationPreferences = DisplayOrientations.Portrait;

// Landscape only
DisplayProperties.AutoRotationPreferences = DisplayOrientations.Landscape;

// Landscape and upside down landscape only
DisplayProperties.AutoRotationPreferences = DisplayOrientations.Landscape | 

Using these options should work, right? I tested it in a bunch of different places in my code and it didn’t seem to have any effect. I was baffled.

Later I found an MSDN forum posting where they mentioned these work but only if the device has an accelerometer. This means on my laptop and even in the simulator these have no effect! When I did remote debugging to my Surface…it worked exactly the way I wanted it to work. Whew…the client never knew that I had to look it up.  Unless he reads my blog that is ;)