Effective Ways To Hide Your Laptop At Your Desk

Laptops are life savers when on the move because of how portable they are. When you aren’t going from one place to another though, a laptop just takes up space on your desk. 

This can be inconvenient because we might have better peripherals and even a dedicated monitor at our desks at home. The monitor is usually bigger and the dedicated keyboard and mouse are likely more ergonomic. 

laptop being stored in drawer at desk

Here are the best ways you can hide your laptop and get some precious desk space back. Fortunately, due to their portability, laptops are pretty easy to hide. 

minimal desk setup flexispot E7 standing desk
Laptop being hidden away
alex drawer desk setup without computer tower on desk
Laptop being used as a second monitor

We’ll also touch on some things you should keep in mind before hiding the laptop away. Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Before mounting your laptop in its hiding place, make sure it is in an easy-to-access location and has good ventilation. Also, avoid any areas that you or a pet might constantly bump into. 
  • Specific thunderbolt docking stations can increase the convenience of a hidden laptop setup significantly due to their mirrored power buttons.
  • You can use under desk mounts, vertical laptop mounts, and even wall mounts to hide your laptop away.

Methods To Hide A Laptop At Your Desk

Here are the different ways we can hide our laptops at our desks. Keep reading after these recommendations for tips and tricks before hiding your laptop! 

Under Desk Laptop Mount

Mounting your laptop under your desk is one of the most common ways to hide a laptop and get it off your desk. 

Brackets like these are screwed under your desk and have flanges that stick out to hold your laptop. The ones below are made from metal and are screwed into your desk, making it a very solid mount.

IFCASE Under Desk Laptop Mount

This under-desk laptop holder is suitable for laptops and devices less than 38mm thick, freeing up desk space. It has anti-scratch silicone pads and a non-slip surface to protect devices.

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There are also adhesive mount versions as well, just be careful with these. If you have an especially heavy laptop, I would steer clear of adhesive mounts.

It’s not worth the risk of your computer falling to the floor if the adhesion isn’t holding for some reason. If you have a lightweight laptop, adhesive mounts could be a good way to avoid drilling into your desk.

Use a Vertical Laptop Stand

If your main goal is to reduce your laptop’s footprint, a vertical laptop stand is a no-brainer. It makes accessing your laptop super easy and there is no need to drill your desk.

If you are worried about performance or safety, check out our article on whether vertical laptop stands are good for your computer. In summary, if you don’t block the vents much, you will be fine.

HumanCentric Adjustable Vertical Laptop Stand

This wood vertical laptop stand saves desk space and has adjustable width for compatibility with most laptops and a sleek, minimalist design. The felt interior protects your device and the holder is weighted for stability and support.

  • Adjustable width from 0.5 - 1.5 inches
  • Minimalist design
  • Protective felt interior
  • Comes in leather & wood finishes
  • Silicone base is grippy
  • Pricey, but you get what you pay for
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The only compromise here is that your laptop is not completely hidden. However, you can pair your laptop with an attractive laptop stand like the one from HumanCentric above.

This might elevate the appearance of your desk setup! You also might be able to get away with hiding your laptop behind your monitor. 

Side Desk or Wall Laptop Mount

The last method here is to install a wall mount pocket which could also work well on the side of your desk. This mount uses two vertical brackets to hold your laptop flush against your wall. 

Hide laptop at desk (2)

Technically, you can do the same job with the under-desk mounting brackets that we talked about in the first section. But these brackets look a bit nicer with only two pieces. 

Aluminum Wall Laptop Mount

This adjustable wall mount is suitable for various devices, with anti-scratch silicone pads. Choose between adhesive 3M VHB tape or screw mount for installation. Made of high-quality aluminum and stainless steel for durability and ease of use.

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This specific mount comes with a screw-in option or adhesive strips so you have mounting flexibility!

Before You Hide Your Laptop…

Here are a few quick things you should keep in mind before you hide your laptop. 

Make Your Laptop Easy To Access

Hiding your laptop out of sight doesn’t mean it should be hard to get to. You should still have easy access to your laptop from its hidden position. 

This is in case you need to access a USB port, the power button, general maintenance, etc. If you end up wanting to take your laptop to travel or just go to the couch, make it easy to grab and go.  

Hide laptop at desk (3)

I can’t tell you how many times my laptop had a glitch on startup and only displayed on my closed laptop screen. I had to remove my laptop from my under-desk mount countless times for events like this and to just turn it on. 

Don’t make it cumbersome to access. Expect that you will have to grab it and open it up once in a while, and don’t hide it too well. 

Seriously Consider A Thunderbolt Dock

Thunderbolt docks are complete life savers for a hidden laptop setup.

Before you go out and purchase a Thunderbolt dock, make sure one of your USB-C ports supports the Thunderbolt connection. Some laptops have a little lightning bolt next to Thunderbolt-capable USB connections. 

Here are the main benefits of using a Thunderbolt docking station:

Single Cable Connection

Thunderbolt docks use a single cable to connect to your computer. This one cable can supply power, connect to monitors, and connect to peripherals, all with a single cable.

This makes super quick work of setting your laptop on your table and getting up and running. It’s not only thunderbolt cables that do this, certain USB-C ports can also be capable of power delivery and data.

Here is a rundown of Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 capabilities from Intel if you want to know how much these docks can do.  

Mirrored Power Button

Another huge benefit of a Thunderbolt dock is that some docks can mirror the power button! This means when you hide your laptop out of sight, you don’t need to access it anymore.

We go into this solution in more detail in our article on the best external laptop power button. You do have to get a dock that is from the same manufacturer as your laptop. Power buttons are still proprietary and not universal on all docking stations yet.

thunderbolt docking station connected to dell XPS laptop with single thunderbolt cable top view

I had a mirrored power button on my Dell TB16 dock, and it powered up my Dell XPS 15 flawlessly. This makes it so much easier when it comes to daily use of a closed-up and hidden laptop!

Docks Provide Power Delivery 

Because we have a single cable setup and our docks have power delivery, we don’t need to use the power brick that comes with the laptop anymore. 

When it does come time to travel, your standard power brick can be packed in your bag and ready to travel with you. If you didn’t have a dock with power delivery you would have to unplug the power cable and undo all the cable management. 

In summary here are the main benefits you get from using a Thunderbolt dock:

  • Single cable connection for all peripherals
  • Mirrored power button
  • Your factory charger is ready for travel 24/7

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Another thing we need to keep in mind is that our laptop is a breathing machine when in use. The fans want to cool down the laptop when you do some intensive work. 

When we go about hiding our laptop, we don’t want to suffocate it in a completely enclosed space. This will make the fans work much harder than they need to and stress out all the electronics in your computer. This can reduce a laptop’s lifespan. 

dell xps 15 laptop bottom intake vents

Hide your laptop in a well-ventilated area. Most laptops have vents that are visible from the outside. Don’t cover up these vents when hiding your computer.

Avoid Risky Locations

Hiding your laptop is a great way to gain desk space and boost aesthetics, but don’t put it anywhere where it can accidentally get damaged. 

When I had my laptop mounted under my desk, I was always crashing my knee into my laptop because I didn’t position it well.

Also, nobody likes to drill their desk, but screw mounting is much more mechanically stable than random double-sided tape.

Wherever you do hide your laptop, ensure it’s secured well and not in a collision course with anything else in your home. 

Set Up Your Laptop For Being Closed

On some Windows laptops, the computer goes to sleep when you close the laptop lid. This is no help to us as we want to use our laptops in the closed position.

To ensure your PC doesn’t fall asleep when you close the lid on Windows computers, do the following:

Go to Control Panel> Hardware & Sound > Power Options > “Choose What Closing The Lid Does”

windows power settings laptop close lid function

Here you’ll see that there are different options for the “When I Close The Lid” setting. You can have the laptop sleep, hibernate, shut down, or do nothing.

I have my laptop set to “Do Nothing” when I close the laptop lid. If your laptop has a different setting checked, be sure to change it. Now you should be good to go!

Rule Out Using Laptop As Additional Monitor

Before we go through all the work of hiding our laptop, it’s worth reminding ourselves that we can use our laptop as an additional monitor. 

You’ve probably already considered this and ruled it out if you are reading this article, so skip to the next section if this sounds like you.

If you have a single monitor setup, then using your laptop as a second monitor can be a game changer. We list having multiple monitors in our article on the best productivity-focused desk setup

You can still gain desk space back by using a desk-mounted monitor arm, as seen in the image below. We compare laptop stands to laptop arms here and have recommendations as well.

laptop arm holding laptop above desk

If you can use your laptop as a second monitor then you get the productivity benefits and can avoid the need to hide your laptop entirely. 

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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!

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