How to rotate an image uploaded to iCloud Photo Library

Sometimes pictures get rotated out of whack.

apple photos stock

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In a past article, I wrote about solving photo orientation problems that sometimes result when importing images. But that offered advice about fixing the rotation or other orientation issues before you imported into Photos.

How do you fix the orientation of a photo after you've imported it into Photos? The fix can be done in Photos for iOS and macOS, and if you’re using iCloud Photo Library, the change will percolate through all your connected devices. ( has no option to rotate photos.)

How to rotate a photo in Photos for Mac

In Photos for macOS to rotate by 90-degree increments:

  1. Select the image.
  2. Click the rotate button in the upper-right corner, which looks like a square with an arrow path on top of it. By default, it rotates counterclockwise; hold down Option to reverse that. You can click it as many times as you need.

If you need to rotate by a different angle amount to make it square:

  1. Double-click the image so it fills the screen.
  2. Click the Edit button in the upper-right corner.
  3. Click the Crop button at top.
  4. Drag the wheel of angles at the right of the image until you have the correct orientation.
  5. Click Done.

How to rotate a photo in Photos for iOS

In Photos for iOS, you use a similar method as with the Mac:

  1. Select an image and it fills the screen.
  2. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner.
  3. Tap the rotate button at the bottom, which looks like a cropping square with arrows circling around it at top and bottom.
  4. Tap the rotate-counterclockwise icon at the lower right. To rotate 90° left, tap it once; 180°, tap twice; 90° right, tap three times. (There’s no way to switch it to rotate 90° clockwise).
  5. Tap Done.

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