How To Hide Your Keyboard And Mouse Cables

Wired keyboards and mice are simple and essential tools for your workspace. There are no batteries or connection issues to worry about, they just get the job done. 

That is until you try to make your desk clean and cable-free. This is pretty much the only downside of wired keyboards and mice.

Those pesky wires make your keyboard and mouse reliable but they are also a bit of an eyesore. It’s a real cable management challenge. 

In this article, we’re going to give you practical ways you can cable manage and hide those keyboard and mouse cables. 

Hide Keyboard Mouse Wires (1)

Key Takeaways

  • You can either conceal your keyboard/mouse cables or you can make your cables look more attractive with sleeving and other options.
  • Be sure you are not restricting the natural range and movement of your mouse or keyboard with these methods. 

Before You Hide Those Cables

Before you start hiding those cables, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, we want to ensure we still have some mobility with our keyboard and mouse. Computer mice especially need a certain amount of range to accomplish everyday tasks.

You want to ensure you can move your keyboard around too. I constantly adjust my keyboard location depending on how I’m sitting or if I have other things on my desk to get a comfortable typing position.

You should also be able to move your keyboard and mouse for cleaning purposes. You’ll always get a better clean when you can move things out of the way. 

So whichever method you use below, keep mobility in mind and don’t fix those cables in place too rigidly.

How To Cable Manage Keyboard And Mouse Wires

Here are seven ways you can cable manage those keyboard and mouse wires on your desk. These solutions are ordered from least intrusive to most intrusive.

Use a Pull-Out Keyboard Tray

A keyboard tray is a desk add-on that mounts underneath your desk. It gives you a platform that holds your keyboard and mouse and slides in and out of your desk on rails.

This would be the simplest way to completely hide your keyboard and mouse cables. Instead of seeing these cables on top of your desk, they would be routed underneath your desk!

If you don’t want to drill a tray under your desk, you can use a simple clamp-on keyboard tray such as the one shown below:

VIVO Under Desk Pull Out Keyboard Tray

This under-desk keyboard tray saves desk space and holds your keyboard, mouse, and small accessories below your desk. It easily slides in and out, extending a maximum of 8.5" from the edge of your desk. The tray is attached with C-clamps that hold everything in place and are easily adjustable. (The tray is not compatible with desktops that have beveled edges.)

Check Price on Amazon

Keyboard trays also lower your typing position which makes them ergonomic additions for users with tall desks. Check out this article on figuring out the proper desk height.

Consider a Desk Shelf or Monitor Stand

A desk shelf is a small shelf that sits on your desk. It is primarily designed to lift your monitor to eye level and give you some storage space underneath. We touch on all the benefits in our article on the purpose of desk shelves.

Desk shelves can create quick escape that your keyboard and mouse cables can disappear into! Notice in the image below how close my keyboard and mouse are to my desk shelf.

aothia desk shelf with ultrawide monitor on desk

You would only see a few inches of cable before it becomes hidden under the desk shelf. Plus, you get a great-looking desk accessory with easy access storage.

Here is the desk shelf I am using in the image above:

Aothia Large Dual Monitor Desk Shelf
  • Comes in three wood grain colors
  • Made with real poplar wood
  • Supports up to 100 lbs.
  • 43 inch by 9.4 inch surface
  • Affordable compared to other wood desk shelves of the same size
  • Cork legs are not the prettiest
Check Price On Amazon

Match Wires With Your Desk Mat

If your keyboard and mouse cables have contrasting colors with your desk or desk mat, they are going to stick out like a sore thumb. The goal is to have your wires as concealed as possible.

One way to do this is to get a desk mat with the same color as your keyboard and mouse wires. If you don’t have a desk mat yet, here is why you really should consider one. We also have articles on why thick desk mats are better.

A large desk mat will protect your desk, add some aesthetic points, and act as a mouse pad. And for our purposes, a black desk mat could make those cables much less obvious. 

In the image above, you can still see my mouse cable with my dark desk mat. However, it’s not nearly as ugly as if it were on a lighter-colored desk mat.

Manage All Other Cables

Keyboard and mouse cables are pretty difficult to completely remove from sight if they are sitting on your desk.

 On the other hand, all the other cables at our desk can be hidden in one way or another. If you are able to manage all the other cables at your desk, you will only have your keyboard and mouse wires left.

When everything else is managed well, you can have a desk setup that looks something like this:

You can tell that this desk setup is still very nice even though the keyboard and mouse wires are visible. That’s mainly because all other cables are completely out of sight.

If you need help managing your cables, we have articles on how to hide monitor cables, and how to hide cables on top of your desk.

Make Cables Attractive

Would you still want to hide your keyboard and mouse cables if they actually looked nice? Probably not. There are two ways to go about this.

If you have a fancy keyboard or mouse with interchangeable cables, you could go with a replacement cable that actually looks good. Here is an example of a sleeved replacement cable that would look fantastic. 

Most keyboards and mice have a cable that is not removable. If this is the case for you, you can instead look into cable wraps that add a nice braided sheathing to your basic cable. 

Because keyboards and mice have a big USB connector at the end, the split cable sleeving will be easier to install on your cables. I did this to cover the ugly plastic cable from my Stream Deck.

Stream Deck Cable Cover for better aesthetics

This will make a huge impact on how nice a cable looks. I manage all the cables above my desk with this type of split-sleeving. The ugly plastic mouse or keyboard wires are transformed into a clean braided wire.

If you want to get fancy, you can have both the keyboard and mouse cables in the same wrap and only have them split their separate ways once they are closer to you. That way you only have one nice braided cable traveling to the back of your desk. 

Consider a Cable Raceway To Hide Keyboard Wires

A cable raceway is a plastic strip that can conceal a cable inside. It is a solid square tube with a cleaner appearance compared to bare cables going towards the back of your desk. 

68in Black Wire Covers for 2 Cords

This cord channel is a cost-effective, easy-to-install wire cover that conceals unsightly cords. Its adhesive tape ensures simple and fast installation, organizing messy cords without damaging walls. Made of high-quality PVC, it's a safe and affordable solution to keep your home organized and safe for children and pets.

Check Price on Amazon

These raceways have an adhesive back, so once you cut them to length and find the ideal position, you can mount them permanently. This option can restrict mobility, so keep that in mind when cutting the raceway to the ideal length. 

Drill Through Your Desk

This recommendation is not for everyone. I can’t imagine doing this to my own desk.

If you are willing to drill through your desk, you will likely get the best wire-free appearance with your keyboard and mouse still on top of your desk.

When you drill a dedicated hole through your desk, your cables can immediately travel out of sight. You also choose exactly where to have the hole drilled.

Check out this video from TeckBlock drilling his IKEA LINNMON desk to hide his keyboard and mouse wires!

My recommendation is to do this as close to your desk mat edge as possible to avoid seeing a random hole in the middle of your desk. You can also cover the hole with a grommet for a clean and professional look.

Keep in mind that the hole has to be large enough to fit a USB connector through it. 

2 Inch Desk Grommet and Hole Saw Kit

This desk grommet and hole saw set makes quick work of adding a grommet hole to your desk. The grommet cover has a soft texture and fits standard 2-inch holes. The hole saw comes with additional drill bits and a hex wrench.

Check Price on Amazon

Just be sure you measure a million times and cut once. Think about the ideal keyboard position, full mobility, and anything else that applies to you.

Go Wireless

I know this is the last recommendation that wired keyboard and mouse users want to hear, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

You can get very reliable wireless keyboard and mouse combos with long battery life for very cheap. Here is one option from Logitech worth recommending that won’t break the bank. 

Logitech MK345 Wireless Keyboard Mouse Combo

The MK345 keyboard and mouse combo features a full-size keyboard layout with a generous palm rest, spill-resistant design, and easy-access media keys, as well as a comfortable right-handed mouse. Its 2.4 GHz wireless connection provides reliable and fast connectivity up to 33 ft away. Additionally, the combo has an extended battery life of up to 3 years for the keyboard and 18 months for the mouse.

Check Price on Amazon

If you want to pay almost nothing for a wireless keyboard and mouse, check your local used marketplaces. That includes Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. 

Some people who upgrade want to rid themselves of old electronics that work perfectly. You can find these for under $15 or even free if you’re lucky!

Photo of author


I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

Leave a Comment