Can I Install a Keyboard Tray on my Standing Desk?

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Can I Install a Keyboard Tray on my Standing Desk?

The Problem With Crossbars

Standing desks have are replacing fixed-height desks in offices across the globe as the dangers of sitting disease have become more apparent. However, the vast majority of standing desks have crossbars underneath the tabletop to improve stability. This has the unintended consequence of making it difficult to install a large percentage of keyboard trays, most of which were designed long before the advent of sit-to-stand desks.

Most keyboard trays have a track (sometimes called a “rail” or a “base frame”) which attaches to the underside of your desk, allowing you to slide the entire tray under the desk when not in use. And most of these tracks don’t fit under standing desks due to interference with the crossbars.

Watch out for those crossbars!


This leaves standing desk users with a few options. The first (and best) is to find a keyboard tray without an under desk track, or one that clamp mounts to the front of your desk. For a list of keyboard trays that are guaranteed to be compatible with standing desks, check out our [comparison review] and look for items that we verified to have complete compatibility with standing desks.

Alternatively, some keyboard tracks still function when installed sideways, letting you adjust the lateral position of your tray and steering clear of crossbars. Any keyboard arm that can pivot a full 360° can theoretically be installed in a track that is mounted left-to-right instead of front-to-back. However, if you choose to do this, do so with the knowledge that these trays were not designed used or installed like this, so you’ll have to go “off the books” during the installation process. We only recommend this technique for those willing to put in a little extra elbow grease. There’s also the risk that you might lose some functionality of the tray with a sideways installation (for instance,if you install the track a few inches back from the edge of your desk, you could lose the niche ability to raise it above your work surface.) Again, the best option is to plan ahead, so you won’t have to stress about making the wrong keyboard tray work for your desk configuration.

We’ve created this flowchart to help you understand what we mean:


All iMovR brand keyboard trays are designed for use with standing desks.

The iMovR Stowaway is installed with a sideways track. It is intended to be installed that way, as opposed to any other keyboard track that we’ve seen. Here is the installation video for the Stowaway—note how the track is parallel to the front of the desk, rather than perpendicular.

The Humanscale Float is another option that is compatible with standing desks, due to its shorter track. It lacks a height-adjust mechanism, but it retains the ability to slide your keyboard tray under your desk.

Finally, the iMovR Elevon has the easiest installation of all for standing desks—with no tools required. Users seeking the most customizable and stable keyboard tray available need look no further.

The main takeaway is that buyers should be careful to select a tray that can actually be installed on their desk. Do your research and spare your wrists and elbows the pain of a suboptimal workstation.


Leave a response
  • Daren
    July 21, 2018 at 11:32 am

    You can mount a track model by creating some standoffs to clear the cross bars, as long as the tray supports height adjustment

  • July 4, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    I have been looking out for some way to install my keyboard with a standing desk and could never find one. Finally, I came across your blog and lo! You have answered my queries with this unique suggestion. I also love the infographic you have shared out there. Thanks. A very helpful blog.

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