How to Mount iMac Display to Adjustable Arm Mount for Thick Desktops

My home office has two 24″ Apple LED Cinema displays powered by a 15″ MacBook Pro. The monitors are mounted to their factory display stands, which offer limited adjustments to screen angle and can’t be swiveled or turned easily. The monitor stands also take up a substantial amount of space on the desk top surface, so I was looking for a way to:

  • enable quick and independent swivel/swing/adjustment to each Apple Cinema Display
  • eliminate the need for two monitor stands (stock) to take up so much space on my desk surface
  • mount two, independent arms to the edge of my 4-inch thick desk to hold the monitors

Thick Desk Clamp Solution

The simple solution to this problem is to “mount your monitors on a retractable arm that clamps to your desk”. Seems straightforward, right? False. The problem for me is, my desk is 4″ thick, and nearly every desk clamp-mount monitor stands max out at ~3 or 3.5 inch maximum thickness.

I read the product descriptions and specifications for over 25 desktop arm mounts on Amazon, until I finally found 1 (just 1 out of all the available products) that can clamp to a desk that is greater than 3.5-inches thick. If you’ve been searching trying to find a desk clamp mount that supports a 4″ desk thickness, you’re in luck!

The VIVO Single LCD Monitor Desk Mount Stand did just what I was looking for. It is a basic, single monitor, pole-style monitor mount that can clamp on desks up to 4.1-inches thick. My desk measured 3.95″, and I can confirm, it fits!

Mounting Apple Cinema Display to VESA Mount

Once I found an arm-mount that could fit my desk, I needed to convert the 2 Apple Cinema Displays to VESA-compatible mounts (specifically, 100mmx100mm VESA mount). Apple’s Cinema Displays are not easy to disassemble, but the VESA Mount Adapter Kit for iMac and LED Cinema or Apple Thunderbolt Display, available on Amazon, includes each and every tool needed to complete the installation of the VESA mount to the iMac. It took me about 25 minutes the first time, and only 15 minutes when I installed it on the second monitor.

If you have a 24″ iMac, this is the VESA mount you’ll want:

Pair this VESA mount for Apple iMac Display with the VIVO Single LCD Monitor Desk Mount Stand and you’ll be able to mount 1, 2, 3, or 4 Apple Cinema Displays to your desk using a clamp mount. Let me know if you found this helpful, or if you have any questions!

More Mounts to Consider

If your desk is NOT as thick as mine, you’ll have a much easier time, and wider selection, of mounts for your monitor. Through my research, these would be the 3 I recommend for standard-size (aka “not-so-thick”) desk surfaces.