“Why does Google Earth keep tilting the view when I zoom in?”

We’ve had a number of emails from users lately that are complaining that Google Earth tilts their view as they zoom in, and it’s difficult to get the view “fixed”.  In this article we’ll show you how to prevent that from happening, and how to fix it if it does.

First, you need to understand why Google Earth does this.  As they add more 3D buildings to Google Earth (particularly all of the new 3D Imagery), Google wants to make sure people understand that they can tilt to view the 3D buildings instead of just viewing it from above.

In the early days of Google Earth, the problem was the opposite — many people assumed it was a flat view like Google Maps and didn’t realize you could tilt your view at all!

Regardless, the “auto-tilt while zooming in” can be a bit annoying at times.  Fortunately, it’s easy enough to fix.  Go into your [Tools] –> [Options] menu, then click the “Navigation” tab at the top.  In there, click the button next to “Do not automatically tilt while zooming” and you should be good to go.


If by chance you find yourself tilted and want to get back to a vertical position, it’s very easy to do.  Just press the “U” key on your keyboard (short for Up) and your view will automatically go back to being completely vertical.  You can also press the “R” key (short for Reset) which will make your view vertical and also face you toward the north.

To learn more, check out this post for a full list of Google Earth navigation tips.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. We’ve had a number of emails from users… unable to check an option into a configuration dialog… 🙂

  2. In GE for Mac the fix is via >Google Earth >Preferences > Navigation (tab).

  3. hello, i have another problem. In new google earth, it zoom in and out where you point the mouse. It didnt do it in older google earth. How do i change it back?

  4. Mike Chilton says

    Dosnt work. Google Earth keeps tilting after I chaeck the box. I push “U” and it tilts back to plan view but reverts back to a shallow (almost side on) tilt. Any other suggestions. What are the curved arrows to the side and grey spot in the middle?

    • disgruntled ge user says

      Tilt OFF in Navigation tab: Still does not work on version (7.1) I downloaded last night.

  5. C W Root 9-30-13 says

    Have opened in two different configs. All I get is earth spinning at high rate of speed thru the stars. Red covered arrows on the right and left side of image.

  6. This “feature” makes Google Earth absolutely unusable. Atrocious!

  7. Garry Russell says

    Me too…I can’t use it

    Clicking the do not tilt box does nothing and U only partially restores and the the tilt puts the Earth off the bottom again..

    The earth completely disappears off the bottom of the screen

    Please GE..do away with this, put it back as it was.

  8. Same thing is happening to me. Unusable. Checking the “Do not Tilt” option does nothing.

  9. Garry Russell says

    I’ve tried downloading older versions but all the links that are to ‘older versions’ as stated are actually to the latest version.

    So I can’t even go back to something that actually worked

    Please listen to folks, this does not work.

  10. What a useless feature that one can not even fix, as the other have said the “do not tilt” button does nothing at all. This has mad Google Earth worthless, can not use it like this, I will be uninstalling it.

    • I tried the first and most obvious “fix” as mentioned above before I even read this. Checking the “do not tilt” box does not work. Please address this issue. GE is now complete garbage and not useable. A simple hint, like “hey dummy you can tilt the view!” would have sufficed!

  11. I noticed something unusual regarding this. I use “Snapshot view” of folders and then select the empty folder then hit “ENTER” for a manual tour (using a screen capture). In this scenario, I have 4 empty folders: #1 “start” point (about 20 miles up), #2 (730 ft) ,#3 (same as #1 but different label) and #4 (about 1,250 ft). *****Here’s the thing, #2 and #4 is almost the same view, different altitude and slightly panned. Going from #1 to #2 has a huge tilt, (target leaves the screen) and going from #1 to #4 is perfect, same target stays centered. “Do not automatically tilt when zooming” is checked. I have a screen capture as proof. After the recording, I did a new Snapshot View of #2 to equal #4. #2 now zooms just like #4 (no tilt to the same place). I then panned #2 slightly and zoomed in to approximate the old #2 and made one more Snapshot view. #1 to #2 now does NOT tilt. Never made any changes to settings, recorded that too. Can anyone explain this?

  12. I agree with the other posters. This “feature” renders Google Earth completely useless to me. It’s annoying as hell, and checking the “Do not tilt”-box does not remedy it.

    Either get rid of this feature completely, or at least make the check-box actually do what it says.

  13. Guys, before you click on turn off tilt, click restore defaults, then click turn off tilt then apply

  14. Garry yRussell says

    I’ve only ever used it on default

    However, I did the above and it made no difference

    Please, please, please…just do away with it

  15. Colin Fisher says

    Tried the Restore Defaults and then clicking Turn Off Tilt followed by Apply and it worked perfectly for me

    Thanks Ken

    • Easy Fix,

      Options, Navigation, Uncheck Mouse Enable Controller. Problem Solved

      • This the FIX! “Options, Navigation, Uncheck Mouse Enable Controller. Problem Solved”. Thank you!!

        • Alas, not for me (Google Earth Pro, working on Windows 7 Enterprise Service pack 1). I am really perplexed at the high variability within these “fixes.” Why would things work on one platform and not on others?

  16. I would much prefer to click “T” once a year when I wanted to see a tilted view, than have to click “R” to reset every time I exit street view!

    • right because it would be NEVER…why can’t they figure out it’s even more useless when you are exiting

  17. Curious that this broken function (not really a “missing feature”) remains in Google Earth (the application) when it has apparently been fixed in the “Earth” version of Google Maps.

  18. None of the fixes detailed here work.
    I don’t even have a Mouse Enabler Controller button in my version (
    Are there any FRESH ideas on how to fix this annoying “feature”?

  19. WTH!

    Fix doesn’t work at all. Every time I double click on my saved places I get the annoying Tilt regardless of what I have changed on the control panel! VERY annoying! Clicking “R” every freaking time is a pain in the behind.

    • Timothy Whitehead says

      A saved place typically has a view location saved with it. Try first clicking “R”, then right click on the place and click “Snapshot View”.

  20. It was helpful. Thanks.

  21. Yeah this shit default feature is really annoying , thanks for help .

  22. I’m sorry but the target is still there when I zoom in and out using the + and – keys. Is there a way to turn it off completely? Many thanks!

  23. “U” and “R” commands do nothing. View is locked on ground plane. Ridiculously embarrassing during a client presentation when all I can show them is the dirt at their feet. Tried every setting that seems related, can’t get back to an aerial view. If I save the location to “My Places” I can double click on that link to “reset” the view… but otherwise once I get on the ground view plane I can’t get off of it.

    • Timothy Whitehead says

      There should be an ‘Exit ground level view’ button at the top right. When in ‘ground level view’ the ‘R’ key just resets the North and ‘U’ resets tilt to horizontal.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.