Mounting your computer monitor helps to clear desk space, provide a slicker look for your workstation, and better fit your office into a small space. With swivel or tilting mounts, you can also adjust viewing angles and create a more customized experience that can potentially reduce any neck and eye strain from staring at your monitor all day. Read on to learn how you can mount your monitor.
Pick the Right Mount
You have several mounting options for your monitor that can change the usability and the mounting process. In order to use any third-party monitor mounts, your monitor should be VESA compatible. VESA (the Video Electronics Standards Association) essentially sets the standards for mounting monitors, TVs, and other displays. The good news is that most modern monitors are compatible with VESA. To tell if your monitor can be mounted, look for mounting holes drilled into the back of your monitor, usually in its steel frame. Sometimes these holes are hidden behind the existing stand. Remove the stand or simply look up the VESA compatibility of your monitor online.
Smaller, cheaper monitors or thin monitors with a curved back tend to not be VESA compatible. Thankfully, you can still mount these monitors, but you will need to purchase an adapter.
From there, it’s a matter of deciding the type of mount you want.
- Freestanding mounts – These are the most affordable option, essentially acting as a replacement for your usual monitor stand. The mount attaches to the monitor and rests on your desk. Without any screws or clamps, there isn’t anything stabilizing these mounts to your desk aside from their own weight. Still, these are highly adjustable and a considerable step up from the stand that your monitor came with. Freestanding mounts allow you to adjust the height, viewing angle and panning, and many even allow you to rotate the screen between landscape and portrait orientations.
- Side-clamp mounts – Side-clamp mounts attach your monitor to the edge of your desk, securing the mount’s pole or riser with a sturdy clamp. This significantly clears up your desk space while providing all the customization and adjustability of a freestanding mount. The main problem with side-clamp mounts is that they won’t mount to all desk types. The modern computer desk or task desk will work fine, but older, boxy desks generally lack the edge required for these mounts.
- Through-the-desk mounts – These semi-permanent mounts offer the greatest stability, requiring you to drill a hole into your desk or use an existing hole (like the cable management grommets found in some office desks). This may limit your options, but through-the-desk mounts allow you the highest weight capacity while still minimizing desk clutter. If you have multiple monitors, through-the-desk mounts might be the way to go.
- Wall mounts – These offer the slickest look of all the monitor mount options, completely doing away with desk clutter. These mounts do require finding studs and drilling into your walls, which isn’t always feasible in rental properties and offices. You may not even have a wall near your desk. We’re mainly talking about desktop mounts here. For wall mounts, check our installation page.
Whichever mount you choose, make sure that you pay attention to the ratings and choose a mount that fits the weight and dimensions of your monitor.
Installing a Clamp Mount
You will need a Phillips head screwdriver, but all other tools, parts, and accessories that you need to install a clamp mount should be included with the mounting kit.
- Attach the bracket to the bottom of the mounting arm. Make sure all the screws are lined up properly and tightened completely.
- Attach the clamp to the bracket using the included screws.
- Loosen the clamp by twisting the knob counterclockwise. Position the mount at your selected location and tighten the clamp by turning the knob clockwise. Tighten until the clamp is secure, but try not to go overboard. Clamping too tight can potentially cause damage to your desk.
- Use the screws and washers to attach your monitor to the rear mounting plate. Make sure that the arrow on the plate is pointed up.
- Slide the monitor plate onto the mount arm. Repeat for other monitors if you are using a multi-monitor mount.
- To ensure the perfect angle, adjust the gas spring arm to proper tension. The spring arm is what keeps your monitor perfectly balanced. If your monitor is too light, the arm may gradually raise it up. If your monitor is too heavy, the arm may sink down. The spring is set at a lower tension out of the box. The screw to adjust the tension can be found at the joint of the arm. To adjust, press the arm and loosen the screw. Turn it counterclockwise to increase tension for heavier monitors, and clockwise to reduce tension for lighter monitors. This can take a little trial and error as you use the mount, but it will make all the difference once you lock it in. See our video tutorial here for more information
Installing a Through-the-Desk Mount
Many of the steps here are the same as the steps involved with the clamping mount. The main difference is that the clamp is replaced by the grommet style mount.
- Attach the mounting bracket featuring the support screw into the bottom of the mounting arm. The support screw should be sticking down.
- Stick the foam pads to the bracket. This helps to provide cushion and support and prevents dents in your desk.
- If you have an existing hole in your desk, like the cable management holes standard to many office desks, you are good to go. However, if your desk does not have a screw or if you want a different position for your mount, you will need to drill a hole into your desk using a drill bit that is slightly larger in width than the screw.
- Slip the screw into the hole and tighten using the washer and knob. Tighten enough that the mount stays secure. There should be no wobbling.
- From there, attach the mounting plate to your monitor, slide it onto the mount arm, and adjust the tension in the gas spring.
Adjust Height and Viewing Angle
Proper ergonomics is good for your overall health and can keep you from getting uncomfortable after a long day at your computer. Thankfully, with a mounted monitor, making adjustments on the fly is simple.
Your monitor should be about 20 to 28 inches (about an arm’s length) away from your face. The top of the monitor should be at or slightly below eye level so that you’re looking down at the screen at an angle of about 15 degrees. At the same time, the monitor should be tilted up to about 20 degrees. If you are also using a laptop for a dual monitor setup, think about also getting a laptop stand so your screens are at the same level.
Along with adjusting your monitor, adjust your seat and posture. Your feet should rest flat, and your thighs should be parallel to the ground. This may mean investing in a footrest. Adjust your armrests so that your arms can stay on them with your shoulders loose and relaxed. Your keyboard should be slightly below elbow height with your wrists straight and not touching the desk.
Setting up a mount for your monitor can seem intimidating, but it’s much easier and straightforward than you think. Mounting your monitor can improve your ergonomics and make your work much more efficient.