There are good reasons for wanting to mount your computer monitor, but before you start drilling holes in walls, have you thought about whether your monitor is VESA compatible? While mounting will clear desk space, and potentially improve ergonomics, not every monitor is actually compatible with a wall mount.
So rather than buy a lot of equipment that you then can't use, it's worth taking some time to understand what VESA compatibility is, and why it matters. By doing this, you'll find that mounting your monitor gets a whole lot easier than it otherwise could be.
How To Tell If A Monitor Is VESA Compatible
The vast majority of monitors these days are built to conform to VESA standards. But the majority does not mean all. And because there are several different VESA standards (more on this below) it's important to make sure that your monitor is VESA compatible, and if so, determine which mounts it will work with.
There are two main ways to check your VESA compatibility. Let's take a look at each one in turn.
Look at the back of your monitor
A visual inspection of the rear of your monitor will often give you the information you need. To start with, are there four screw holes in the back? If not, then your monitor may not be VESA compatible. But check carefully. If your monitor has its own stand, then these holes may well be hidden.
Measure the horizontal distance between the screw holes, followed by the vertical distance. This can then be cross-referenced with VESA standards, to let you know what style of mount you need to get. For example, a measurement of 75 x 75mm will correspond to VESA MID-D mounts.
Check your data sheet
Alternatively, and potentially even more easily, just check the information in your paperwork. If you've lost that, you can cross-reference your model number on the manufacturer's website. They will tell you what you need to know about VESA compatibility.
What Is VESA?
VESA is the Video Electronics Standards Association. These guys are responsible for setting the standards for mounting things like computer monitors, televisions, and other flat panel displays. By creating a more standardised approach, buyers can ensure that the mount they are buying is suitable for, and compatible with, the monitor they wish to attach it to.
VESA standards are responsible for things like setting the hole pattern at the rear of the monitor, the size of the screws required to fix the mount to the monitor, and how much weight a mount can support.
In general, this means that your monitor will have four screw holes at the back. Depending on the size of your monitor, these will commonly be spaced either 75 x 75mm, 100 x 100mm, or 200 x 100mm. They generally conform to one of three different standards: VESA MIS-D, VESA MIS-E, and VESA MIS-F.
Setting industry standards make it easier for consumers to find the appropriate mount to go with their monitor. But it's worth pointing out that not all monitors are actually VESA compatible. If this is the case with yours, then you may need to explore the possibility of getting an adapter.
What If My Monitor Is Not VESA Compatible?
There are, of course, some instances where you may find your monitor is not VESA compatible. Apple monitors are typically not compatible. Curved monitors, extremely thin monitors and very cheap ones are also frequently incompatible.
But all is not lost. There are a wide range of adapters available, which can then be connected to the VESA mount. There are typically two options: some are clamp-based, which you don't screw into your monitor. Alternatively, some will screw into your monitor, and will themselves then screw into the VESA mount.
So don't worry. With almost any monitor, you will be able to find a way to make it work with VESA.
How Do You Attach a VESA Mount To A Monitor?
As we explained above, VESA compatible mounts and monitors have screw holes in them that are a fixed distance apart. The distance will be dictated by the size and weight of the monitor, and what the mount can support.
Once you have a mount that is compatible with your monitor, usually you just need to attach the mount to the monitor using those screw holes. We'd strongly recommend that you read the instructions for your mount and/or monitor, to make sure you have screws of the right size. Too small, and they might not bear the weight of the monitor. Too big, and you could end up drilling into the back of your screen.
But provided you have everything you need, it's a very quick and easy job to do.