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Mounting computer monitors is becoming increasingly popular as it clears desk space and allows you to easily adjust your viewing experience for comfort, ergonomics, and efficiency. Whether you are struggling to arrange a small office space, or just want more versatility from your screen, a monitor mounting system could be for you. While mounts are relatively easy to use and install, not every display is actually capable of being mounted (or at least without a little help), but knowing how to tell if a monitor can be mounted can be confusing for the uninformed. Here is some information to help you determine if your computer monitor can be mounted.
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) is the organization responsible for defining the standards involved with mounting computer monitors, TVs, and other flat panel displays using wall mounts or stands. These standards make it easier for manufacturers to deliver on consumers’ needs, allowing for general interchangeability between monitor mounts and brackets, regardless of the monitor’s brand. These standards also allow for the affordable installation of mounts and stands for improved ergonomics and flexibility.
TVs and displays that are VESA compatible feature four holes on their backs. This pattern is measured horizontally and vertically usually with the holes drilled directly into the steel frame of the monitor.
VESA standards determine:
These are mainly determined by the size and dimensions of the monitor you plan to mount.
Most modern flat-panel monitors and TVs are designed with VESA compliance in mind. To determine if your computer monitor complies with VESA standards, simply check the back. If it does comply, you should see the standard four-hole screw pattern in the back of your monitor. The most common pattern for the screw holes is either 75 x 75 mm or 100 x 100 mm, while larger monitors will be 200 x 100 mm.
Some monitors, particularly those that include their own stands or mounts, will have these holes hidden. Remove the attached mount or rear panel as instructed in the user manual. You can also refer to your monitor’s user guide, which should usually provide information on VESA compatibility.
If you are truly not sure if your monitor can be mounted, check online or reach out to the manufacturer directly to find out if your monitor is VESA compliant.
Apple’s monitors are also known to not be VESA compatible. Smaller, cheaper monitors, monitors that are curved, and monitors that are too thin usually have a hole pattern that is not compatible with VESA mounts. That means you will have to use the custom stands and mounts provided directly by the first-party manufacturer.
The good news: if you still want to use a VESA mount, adapters for these mounts are readily available and generally easy to use. Some adapters, like those provided for Apple computers, act as an aftermarket VESA plate and screw onto the back of the monitor, allowing you to then attach a mount or stand as usual. Other adapters essentially clamp onto your monitor so that you can avoid screwing anything directly into your monitor.
Whether your display is compatible or requires an adapter, make sure you follow through by choosing the right mount for your needs. Pay attention to the size and weight ratings for your selected mount to avoid potential damage to your monitor.
Along with specifications, it’s good to understand the different types of mounts available. Freestanding mounts are the most affordable option, allowing you to change the height, angle, and rotation of your screen
without needing to worry about clamps or drilling holes in your desk. However, freestanding mounts don’t feature adjustable arms, making for less customization and fewer adjustments.
Clamp stands are the most common, allowing you to get a full range of motion to adjust viewing angles on the fly. These secure to your desk via a clamp and usually feature an adaptable bracket if you want to drill into your desk or otherwise have a hole in your desk to secure the mount. For more help on mounting your monitor, check out our step-by-step guide on how to mount a monitor.
Monitor mounting is one of the best ways to save space and support ergonomic benefits while you’re working at your computer. Before you start browsing for a mount, make sure your screen is mountable in the first place or invest in an adapter for surefire mounting.