Can I Mount My iMac on a Monitor Arm?

August 8, 2018

How to Mount an iMac™ on a Monitor Arm

Part of the appeal of an iMac is that it’s a complete functional computer in and of itself—as soon as you buy it, you can use it without worrying about setting up a peripheral monitor. While this design may be iconic for its ease-of-use, it causes headaches in our modern world of standing desks (or more specifically, neck aches). Your built-in iMac stand can never match the ergonomic adjustability of a monitor arm at a standing desk. And Apple isn’t exactly known for making products that play nicely with others.

Nowadays, when you purchase an iMac, you can opt to receive a VESA adapter in lieu of the iMac’s classic stand. And while that’s all well and good, what does it mean for iMac owners that bought their iMacs with the stand attached? Unlike the iMac Pro (which has separate mounting requirements), Apple does not currently offer a conversion kit for the regular iMac—you must purchase it pre-attached to the iMac when you buy your system.

A gaggle of iMacs

The solution lies with third party manufacturers. Even if you purchased your iMac with the stand attached, you can use a conversion kit that allows it to be VESA compatible (the universal standard for monitor mounting). The conversion kit allows you to mount the whole thing to a monitor arm and position it freely and ergonomically, saving yourself from neck strain at your standing desk.

Buy iMac VESA Mounting Adapter

It’s important to note that the conversion kit only works for iMacs made after late 2011. It will also not work for the iMac Pro (iMac Pro users can purchase a conversion kit from Apple).

What About the Monitor Arm?

The iMac is a heavy machine, and many monitor arms are simply not built to support the weight. The most recent version of the iMac weighs up to 19.7 lbs (depending on model). Make sure to look up the weight for the version that you have (which can be tricky, since the iMac hardware can change multiple times per year), or weigh it yourself to be sure.

The other problem is screen size. If the iMac is your only monitor, then you are good to go. However, the larger 27” iMacs might not fit some dual monitor arm configurations. That being said, monitors are growing ever larger and 27” is no longer the behemoth it once was, and manufacturers have caught on and designed dual arms that accommodate 27” screens. Just remember that if you’re using double screens, you should double check your monitor arm specs as well (weight can also be an issue when using the iMac plus an additional monitor).

Be sure to check out our roundup of monitor arms where we’ve taken a look at the best monitor arms available and ranked them. We also lay out a step-by-step guide to selecting the right monitor arm for your equipment setup. If you’re interested in monitor arms, or the broader world of office fitness and ergonomics, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.

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