Mount Your Monitor Vertically With These Simple Steps

A vertical monitor makes more and more sense for applications that are very scroll-heavy. Why scroll so much when you can just rotate your screen and have more presented to you instead? 

Doesn’t matter if you are programming or just scrolling through Google, most people can benefit from a vertical monitor. 

To ensure you can still get nice wide full-screen pictures and videos, I do recommend people make their second monitor vertical. It’s one of the highly recommended dual monitor arrangements

If it seems daunting to make that second monitor vertical, I have good news: it’s a very straightforward process. We’re going to walk you through the process of mounting practically any monitor vertically.

Key Takeaways

  • If your factory stand does not rotate, find an aftermarket monitor mount that does. There are a few types out there worth considering depending on your desk type. 
  • Ensure the aftermarket mount can swivel between vertical to horizontal orientations easily. This keeps the setup flexible.
  • Mount your monitor using the VESA mounting holes, or a VESA adapter. 
  • Configure your computer’s display settings to get a vertical layout. 

Step 1 – Check Your Monitor Mount

Before we go out and buy a new monitor mount, first check if it can support a vertical orientation natively. Many factory stands have the ability to rotate the screen a full 90 degrees for a vertical monitor setup. 

Usually, the factory stands that support a vertical monitor setup are also height adjustable to account for the additional screen clearance needed. 

This check is really simple – just try to rotate your monitor vertically. Stands that support this have a built-in rotation swivel that makes this very easy. You don’t have to use a lot of force. 

If your factory stand supports this, you are pretty much done. You can skip down to the computer display settings step. 

Step 2 – Choose The Right Monitor Mount

If your factory stand doesn’t natively support the vertical orientation change, you’ll have to swap out that monitor mount. 

There are a ton of different monitor mounts out there though. A quick search for “monitor mount” on Amazon shows that there are almost 900 different options! 

We can’t blindly choose any one of these. We need to choose one that will specifically be good for vertical monitor mounting. It also needs the right attachment method for your specific setup. 

Here is what you need to keep in mind when shopping for a monitor mount for vertical mounting. 

VESA Compatibility

Aftermarket monitor mounts have a standardized mounting pattern known as a VESA mount. You can learn all about VESA mounting here

Basically, it’s a standard hole pattern found on many monitors and pretty much all aftermarket mounts. This ensures that a VESA monitor mount can be used with a monitor that has the same VESA hole pattern. 

You will need this compatibility for a clean vertical monitor setup. There are ways around this, and you are able to mount monitors without the VESA mounting holes

Glance behind your monitor. If you see a square hole pattern or a plate covering up four threaded holes, you have a VESA-compatible monitor. Your factory mount could be covering up these mounting holes too. 

Monitor Mount Types

For simplicity, we’re going to talk about two main monitor mount types. Mounts that clamp down to your desk, and mounts that just sit on top of your table just like a factory mount. 

There are other mounting methods such as wall mounts, but those require drilling into your walls and such. If you have an all-in-one PC, check out our article on Mounting All-In-One PCs.

Desk clamp mounts and stand-alone mounts will get you up and running the fastest and with no drilling. Here’s how to choose which stand is right for you. 

Desk Clamp Mounts

Desk clamp mounts will be the cleaner solution that gives you a big footprint reduction. Instead of a big square monitor base, you just have a small clamped area toward the back of your desk. 

This small clamped area requires a pretty strong desk. If you have a solid wood desk, you will be a good candidate for a desk clamp mount. 

If you have a weaker desk that is too thin or even hollow like an IKEA table top, follow our guide on mounting monitors to thin desks. There are reinforcement plates and such you can use to help. 

North Bayou Monitor Desk Mount

This monitor mount is universal and fits most 17''-30'' monitors. It has a durable gas spring system for easy positioning, supports C-clamp or grommet installation, and improves overall well-being by creating a comfortable viewing angle for work or gaming, reducing strain on the spine, neck, and shoulders.

Check Price on Amazon

Similar mounting workarounds apply to glass desk monitor mounting as well. 

Another shortcoming of desk clamp mounts is that they need a desk that is not too thick either. Most clamps can hold onto tabletops as thick as 2-3 inches. Not many clamps support desks over this range. 

If you really want to use a desk mount on a thick desk, we also have a guide on ways you can use monitor mounts on super thick desks

Stand Alone Mounts

If you don’t want to worry about any risks associated with clamping a mount onto your desk, a standalone mount is an easy choice. 

This is more or less the same idea as factory stands. Take up more desk space for a platform that supports your monitor. 

MOUNTUP Freestanding Single Monitor Stand

This monitor stand can mount a single monitor with the standard VESA mount hole pattern. The freestanding design makes this monitor stand compatible with any desk out here.

Check Price on Amazon

With this solution you don’t have to worry about weak/thin/glass/thick desk types. These work with any desk. 

Mount Requirements

After we choose the mounting method, there are two more things we need to pay attention to before pulling the trigger on a mount. 


When we mount a monitor vertically, the mount has to be a bit higher than a normal horizontal monitor. 

If you have a typical 20 – 24″ monitor, this won’t be a problem. If you have a larger screen, take a quick measurement of your monitor’s width. 

Once you have that number, divide it by two, and make sure the monitor mount you purchase can go at least that high. 

For example, my 34″ ultrawide monitor is 32 inches wide. That means I need a monitor mount that can go at least 16 inches high. 16 inches is from the bottom of the table to the center of the VESA hole pattern.

Desk with a vertically mounted monitor (2)

Orientation Swivel

Lastly, we need to make sure the mount can actually rotate from a horizontal to a vertical orientation. 

Most sellers on Amazon do a pretty good job of showing you what their monitor mounts can do. It’s a good sign when they actually show a monitor being vertically mounted. 

North Bayou Monitor Desk Mount

This swivel keeps your desk setup very flexible. If you need to go back to horizontal for any reason, you just rotate it. No need to unscrew or re-screw anything. 

This is an absolute must if you are not super sure if you’ll like a vertical setup, but would still like to try it out. 

MOUNTUP Freestanding Single Monitor Stand

Step 3 – Prepare Your Desk

Once you purchase a monitor mount, the rest of the steps are easy peasy. 

Prepare your desk by removing your current monitor from where the monitor mount will sit or clamp onto. I like to take this opportunity to empty my desk entirely to give it a good wipe down. 

This also gives you a good opportunity to take a look at the back of your desk and manage some cables in preparation for your new monitor mount. 

Step 4 – Install Monitor Onto Desk

Unbox your new monitor mount and follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions. Then install it at your desk. If you have a stand alone mount, this will be a piece of cake. 

If you have a clamping mount, keep in mind where the center of your monitor will be and make sure you clamp down somewhere that supports this location. 

I had to clamp my mount a little off center to make sure my monitor was centered and able to be pushed back into the wall. 

Dual monitor desk setup

Step 5 – Remove Your Factory Monitor Mount

Now it’s time to remove the existing monitor mount from your screen. Some manufacturers make this easy by adding a quick release button to the factory mount. 

If you are not sure how to proceed with removing your monitor mount, look up your monitor’s model number to find the user manual and follow the removal instructions there.  

We have a dedicated article on removing Dell monitor mounts

If necessary, expose the VESA mounting holes by removing any other cosmetic plates as needed, 

Step 6 – Mount Your Monitor

After the VESA mounting holes are exposed, you are ready to mount your monitor! 

Some aftermarket mounts have a separate plate that mounts to your monitor, and that plate is more easily installed to the mount with your monitor attached. 

Because this is different for all of the monitor mounts out there, follow the installation instructions provided with your aftermarket monitor mount.  

Plug in all the necessary display and power cables and viola! You’re done mounting!

Step 7 – Setup Your Computer

The very last step is to tell our computer to actually rotate the display now that we have a vertical monitor setup. 

Here is how you rotate your display settings on Mac. And here is how you rotate your display on Windows

Now you should be completely up and running with your vertical monitor setup! Enjoy the boost in productivity and scrolling a lot less! 

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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!