VESA-mount for 21.5" Late-2013 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by p-i-, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. p-i-, Dec 22, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015

    p-i- macrumors newbie


    Nov 25, 2015
    I have got hold of a (secondhand) dream machine. 21.5" iMac, Late 2013, 16GB/512SSD/3+GHz i7. Gutted to discover there is no simple way to VESA-mount (being partially disabled I need to mount it on an arm).

    I am bitterly disappointed with Apple's choice to push the personal computer in the opposite direction from "user serviceable".

    I'm going to put all the information I find in this post (seeing as these forums allows retro editing).

    Apple stipulates the base cannot be removed: iMac (Late 2012 and later): VESA mount compatibility

    However you can preorder VESA-mount for an extra $40: Buy iMac with Built-in VESA Mount Adapter

    Several companies have created mounts that attach a VESA plate to the back of the existing mount:
    This is a horrible/clumsy/fugly solution as the existing base will still be floating around underneath the unit, and also the arm to which I need to attach the unit has a ball and socket joint; this compounded with the sprung hinge joint may create problems.

    The next option would be to disassemble the unit, gut everything out, detach the base from the chassis and screw in a VESA Mount. However, Apple don't sell this component separately. shows a good hack for a 27" model. Unfortunately the eBay listing for the Mount itself says "It will not work with the 21.5" models, or any 27" iMac models prior to 2013." Furthermore, the component does not seem to be available any longer.

    However, if only someone were to manufacture the appropriate component, it should be possible to do the same fix on a 21.5" model: if you look at the bottom picture on you can see that the mount is not in fact welded to the chassis.

    One possible option for me would be to get hold of a VESA Mount Version, maybe a broken unit, spares / repair, or just the chassis even, and perform a transplant: either transplant the internals of my existing machine into this and other chassis, or extract the VESA Mount and insert it into my unit.

    One solution might be to use one of the above mounts, and just hacksaw off the base. I might well end up going for that.

    Another solution might be to somehow hold the unit in place like the way a clamp holds a test-tube. i.e. Grip it around the edges. But this looks like a really tough mechanical engineering challenge.

    If anyone is able to further this enquiry, please do reply -- or even edit the original post if the forum allows this. Same goes for me.


    EDIT: Hunting for the VESA-mount component finds -- I'm waiting to hear from these people whether this is indeed the correct component.

    EDIT: It appears I may need three or more parts: googling the iMac model (A1418) together with parts starts to get into the right places. The tricky thing is going to be figuring out exactly what parts I need.

    ($46) 923–0419 Vesa Mechanism Plate iMac 21.5 MD093LL MD094LL ME699LL A1418
    ($28) 923–0420 Vesa Tongue iMac 21.5 MD093LL MD094LL ME699LL A1418
    ($62) 923–0421 Vesa Mount Adaptor iMac 21.5 MD093LL MD094LL ME699LL A1418

    (...thanks to

    I think I need those three parts. Maybe plus some screws & maybe screwdriver. <-- prices for this site seem relatively reasonable. <-- silly prices but at least they give pictures of the parts. <-- decent looking prices.

    EDIT: I've just learned from a technician at that:
    You would also need the housing with a vesa mount capability. The apple part number is:

    ... and that unit weighs in at $418.

    So that pretty much kills it.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Or you could just sell the one you've got and buy one with VESA mount it's the simplest answer.
  3. p-i- thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 25, 2015
    If money were no object, yes I could do that. But (on account of the high specification I require) I only have enough cash for a secondhand system.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Yep, Apple doesn't support this any longer and there's really not much you can do. I think the risk of damage is too high to try to cobble something together.

    You shouldn't be surprised by this because that's been Apple's direction for some time now.

    It definitely sounds like the iMac may not be the best solution for you. iMacs do have a great resale value, I'm sure you can get something that is compatible with your needs without losing an arm and a leg.
  5. p-i- thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 25, 2015
    It was disappointment, not surprise that I expressed. I am unsurprised.

    The modification appears to be possible if I can only source the component. I'm no stranger to stripping down computers.

    This is the machine I need. I work as a software developer so I require OS X. I also require a WindowsVM for my EyeTracker. I require high spec in order to get good performance despite running a VM which is in itself running a resource hungry driver.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Buy a second hand VESA mount iMac then!!!

    I'm not trying to be funny but you have clearly bought a product that is not suitable for your needs, unfortunately you only have yourself to blame the information was available and you didn't do your research thoroughly enough.

    It is unlikely you can easily or quickly modify it to what you need, you bought second hand so you can't return it, this leaves you few sensible options.
  7. p-i- thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 25, 2015
    Easier said than done. Have a look on eBay and see how many secondhand VESA-mount iMacs of appropriate calibre you find (I get 0 matches of ANY calibre).

    While you are cluttering up this thread saying things that are of no use to anyone, I have managed to source the necessary components. Luckily I can keep amending the original post, so I can minimise the adverse effect of this dilution.


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