Should You Put Your PC Under Your Desk? No, Here’s Why.

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Jun 10, 2022

Before you stash your computer desk underneath your desk, stop.

By putting your PC under your desk you could be asking for trouble.

Should you put your computer under your desk or on top of your desk?

You shouldn’t put your PC under your desk because it restricts airflow, can pull dust and debris into your system a lot easier and cause overheating. 

There are several factors involved with where to place your computer, and while you technically can place your computer under your desk, you need to be mindful about how you do it.

I’ll go over these factors and explain why each factor matters. Then I’ll tell you how to decide for yourself whether to put your computer on a table or under a desk.

Real quick, before we get too far into it here, if you want to get more great ideas for your gaming room or home office and want to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.

Why shouldn’t you put your PC under your desk?

Some people give little to no thought where they place their PC tower.

Many people think don’t give a second thought to putting their computer under their desk.

They just want to get it out of the way, or maybe they have a small office that doesn’t allow them much space.

But there’s you really should think carefully about putting your PC under your desk because there’s more involved with that decision than just clearing up space.

So, what’s the big deal about putting your PC under the desk?

There are a few major problems with doing that which can cause very serious performance issues for your computer and can damage your hardware.

Heat

Your PC has components that can put off a lot of heat. If you place a PC under your desk your computer can almost act like a space heater, heating up the area around your desk, and can make the room uncomfortable. The more heat your components generate, the higher the temperature at which your components run.

PCs really want their environments to be cool so that the hardware can operate efficiently.

Airflow

Airflow is essential to keeping your computer cool. Without proper airflow, your computer will overheat. This could lead to data loss, crashes, and even hardware damage.

Dust & debris

Dust and debris can also enter your computer through the vents. Over time, this buildup can clog up the vents, causing your computer to overheat.

Carpet

Carpeting that’s standard in most homes and home offices is longer and can hold a lot more dirt than a flat surface. If you have carpet in your home office it can trap dirt and other particles between the carpet fibers and then release them when you walk on the floor.

This is especially problematic if you have pets.

Where should you put your PC instead?

The best place to put your computer is on somewhere that it will have lots of space to breathe and get good airflow, and that can mean that there are a variety of place you can place it.

But here’s the catch:

If you decide to move your computer off your desk the most important thing you will need to consider is how you will be able to access the peripherals that your computer uses.

Any wired device, like if you’re using a wired keyboard or mouse, will have to have cords that are long enough to reach wherever you plan on placing it.

Either that, you will need to switch to using a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Same thing goes for your printer. Many printers are accessible via your local network, but for some models you may still be using a wired connection via USB cable. If that’s the case, once again, you’ll need a cord long enough for it to connect your PC to your printer.

What if you don’t have room on your desk?

If you don’t have room on your desktop for your computer then what are you supposed to do?

This is a challenge that PC users face, especially when their home office is small, or they’ve got a small computer desk.

So what can you do if you don’t have a lot of room?

Use a small shelf

Many computer desks plan for issues that arise from the placement of your PC tower. Many come equipped with an under-the-desk shelf that will elevate your computer off the floor, and make sure that it has plenty of airflow around it.

Use a small table

If you don’t have a dedicated shelf or place in your computer desk for your PC, then you can always get a small table to sit next to your desk to place your computer on.

You can pick up a small IKEA table to use as a stand for your computer tower.

Get a bigger desk

In some situations, if space allows maybe it’s just time to get a new computer desk.

Like I mentioned above, many new computer desks have designed a specific space for your PC tower to be stored so that you maximize your available desktop space.

And there is no shortage of options to choose from: you can get an L-shaped desk, a gaming desk, or a bigger desk. It just depends on what you need and how that desk will work in your space.

If you’re not sure what size desk you need to get for your home office you can read my guide here.

What if you just don’t have any other option than to put it under your desk?

If you’ve looked at all the possible solutions and still just don’t have any choice about where you should put your PC, you can put it underneath your desk, but if you want to get the most out if it, you need to make sure you consider the following info.

First – make sure it’s at least a couple inches off the floor. This is especially true if you’ve got carpeting in the room where your PC is located.

Second – make sure there’s good ventilation in the area. Putting a PC inside a cabinet with little to no air flow is really bad for your PC

Third – make sure it’s not going to be in a place where you’re going to trip over it, or knock it down. Seems like an easy thing, but if it’s near a walkway in your home office or gaming room, it’s a lot more likely for it to be bumped into and knocked off its stand which can cause irreparable damage.

Next Steps

Want to connect with other remote workers, contractors, freelancers, gamers and people who work from home who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office or gaming room setup the best it can be?

Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

Robert David Orr

I'm an award-winning web designer & developer, creator, an all-around digital marketing guy and, most importantly when it comes to this site, a long-time veteran of the working from home life. My work from home life spans more than 10 years, and I've experimented with just about everything you can think of when it comes to getting the most out of my home office, how to work from home without going crazy, and found solutions to the numerous challenges that those of us who work from home run into in this life.

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