How do you fix that wobbling screen? [Setups]


A wobbling monitor will drive you mad in short order.
A wobbling monitor will drive you mad in short order.

Imagine buying a massive new ultra-wide, curved monitor to display what you do on your Macs in style. But once you get it all set up, the monstrous thing won’t stop wobbling.

Today’s featured M1 MacBook Pro and Mac mini setup suffers just that problem, despite the use of a recommended monitor arm attached to a solid standing desk.

Check out the advice the user got and all the gear in play below.

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What can you do to fix a wobbling screen/monitor?

Redditor csDarkyne (“Dark”) showed off his setup with a call for help in a post entitled, “My work from home setup (currently experiencing heavy screen wobble, any tips?)”

“This is my current work from home setup using an m1 MacBook Pro and a 2014 Mac mini (local dev server),” Dark said. “I love the 49-inch [Phillips] monitor but I currently experience heavy wobble (using Ergotron XH arm).”

“At first I thought it‘s only the monitor but it might be the whole monitor,” he added. And it’s worth noting that his standing desk sits on rolling casters on a carpet and that his monitor wobbles but doesn’t sag.

Suggested remedies

And yes, there were tips. As usual, social media came to the rescue and was barely even super-snarky about it.

Here’s the first response:

Check arm is still connected and that all the hinges are still tightened. Check if stand or desk wobble too.

Then if persists buy a new arm for your monitor?

If persists buy new desk for monitor.

New flooring

New room

New house…

Destroy monitor.

Well, we said “barely” even super-snarky. Most of the other responses were straightforward attempts to solve the problem.

Keep in mind that Dark’s got an ultra-wide curved monitor perched over a desk shelf on an arm attached to a standing desk with wheels sitting on a carpet. That one sentence offers several opportunities for instability, doesn’t it?

DIY woodworking project

Here’s a heroic effort with suitable advice for those suffering wobble with big monitors. Some of it is easy to do. But some of it isn’t, if you’re not, say, used to cutting your own custom shims out of wood.

My experience/cheats when working with fairly generic desk-mounted VESA poles/mounts:

I’ve made custom shims for heavier monitors (blocks that sit between the monitor and the mounting-post, just below the mounting point). These were basically cut from an average piece of wood with a hole drilled on one side for the VESA pole, and some neoprene or rubber on the other edge that touches the monitor. (Spray-painted black to match the mount).

For Double Extra-wides, my only solution to eliminate ALL vibration was to lower the mount until the bottom of the monitor was resting directly on a monitor-riser-shelf, raising the riser-shelf to meet the bottom of the monitor, or making a custom riser-filler underneath the monitor, so that it was fully supported across the entire bottom of the monitor.

In general, the wider the mounting-bracket used, the more stable they seem to get. (i.e. 400 hole-pattern is more stable than the 200 one).

Alternatively, looking at it again, you might be able to get away with 2 smaller shims on the bottom right and bottom left that add two other sources of stability to the far right and far left bottom edges.

Fix it through proper posture

“The quickest and cheapest way to reduce wobble while typing is to just type with good posture. Keep your wrists off the desk while you type,” scolded a commenter.

But that didn’t seem to fly with Dark.

“Wrists off the desk? What the f? I can’t image not typing like an IT goblin,” he replied.

So that one might not work.

Another person recommended the monitor arm Dark already uses, an Ergotron HX, but a Huanuo Ultrawide Monitor Arm got a nod, as well.

The wheels may have to come off

Some of the back-and-forth in the comments focused on the desk legs. In Dark’s case, they end in stabilizing horizontal sections on wheels or casters. And they sit on a carpet, not directly on the floor. That doesn’t sound especially stable.

He suggested he might just have to take the wheels off (and maybe he should trade the carpet for a firm mat). That might help make the remaining practical advice work out:

“Check to see if your desk has adjustable leveling screws on it legs where it sits on the carpet,” another helpful commenter recommended. “I have a stand up desk and couldn’t figure out why my monitor started wobbling when I upgraded it.”

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