issues with keyboard trays

5 Common Problems and Solutions for Keyboard Tray

A common problem most desktop users face is the keyboard kept too far away or way high. This can affect the way to type and create an uncomfortable or even painful posture when maintained for long. However, this problem can be solved with the help of a keyboard tray. This ergonomic accessory provides two benefits. Firstly, it helps maintain a better posture when typing or using the mouse. Next, it helps make space for other essential objects on the desk’s surface.

Even though keyboard trays are so beneficial, it doesn’t mean they are perfect in every sense. There could surely be a glitch or two in this accessory.

So, here is a complete list of problems you might face with keyboard trays and some solutions to tackle them with ease.

Keyboard Trays: Top 5 Problems You Might Face

1. Knee Clearance Problems

Your computer’s keyboard tray could be very convenient in a sense. However, it can create knee clearance issues. This is given the fact that the tray is placed underside the desk. Surely it is inevitable as the bulky trays might hamper your comfort and act as a barrier for your knees.

Now, depending on the desk surface’s thickness along with its height, you might be unable to use the desk while seating. The computer’s keyboard tray might not swiftly slide while you are sitting, and it could also hit your leg every now and then.

The solution to this clearance problem is to opt for a tray with a thin profile. Look for an ergonomically designed tray that clears up at least 1 to 2 inches of space below the surface. If you are doubtful whether a keyboard tray is a right fit for you, a quick DIY with desk drawers can be ideal. You can convert desk drawer to keyboard tray and check whether it eases things for you. If so, start looking for the best keyboard trays right away!

common problems with keyboard tray

2. Limited Area for the Keyboard/Mouse

The market is loaded with multiple options for a keyboard tray. Depending on your choice and the clearance space you seek under the desk, the space for your mouse or keyboard might be limited. You can find several mouse and keyboard combinations that are designed to be small enough for your keyboard tray. However, if you already have a separate keyboard and mouse in place, you need to search a keyboard tray accordingly.

The first recommendation is to get an average idea of how much space you require for your mouse and keyboard. Next, place your existing mouse and keyboard on a flat surface and measure the area it covers. This will help you quickly eliminate the keyboards that aren’t ideal for your keyboard tray.

If you are someone who doesn’t face problems with knee clearance, look for a keyboard tray that is large enough to pack in both your keyboard and the mouse. However, for individuals with knee clearance issues, opt for a tray that comes with a separate mouse holding section.

3. Incorrect Keyboard Tray Setup

Most users do not use the right way to set up the keyboard tray. They mostly tend to tilt the keyboard tray in a positive position towards the downward side. However, this is very bad for the wrists in the long as well as short run. In this position, you tend to place the keyboard further away from yourself.

When you do this, users have to bend their wrists in order to use the keyboard properly. This significantly increases your wrist issues such as carpal tunnel. This position might feel a bit comfortable at first. However, it can start creating issues that would call for a clinical visit in the long term.

An ideal position for your keyboard tray is to keep it slightly negative or flat. This helps create the best and most neutral position that aids your wrist health.

4. Trays Tend To Be Bouncy

If you take a look at your keyboard tray design, you will notice that they are designed in place with an extended armature. As this armature extends in an outward direction, it might increase the bounce you experience. This bounce is experienced especially when you set it on a positive position on the downward side, as explained in the previous pointer.

Keyboards trays crafted from plastics or phenolics are the ones that show maximum bounce effect due to their natural flexing nature. The bounce increases with the pressure you put on the tray. The key is to type a bit gentler or put minimum pressure when typing or using the mouse.

Alternatively, you can use steel or wooden trays that help reduce the bouncing effect.

5. Keyboard Trays Might Be Awkward

A popular reason most keyboard tray users return the same is due to the awkwardness that comes along with it. While some might adjust to it easily, others might find it hard to adjust to the tray. If you have never used keyboard trays, it could surely be fairly awkward to use.

issues with keyboard trays

A large part of this keyboard tray awkwardness comes due to the fact that it creates a restricted feeling. However, this awkwardness today can easily be dealt with due to the fact that there are wrist supports available for users. Depending on whether you need this support or not, you can opt for a removable variant.


So, if you happen to experience these issues when using a keyboard tray, the solutions mentioned can help you out for sure. Keyboard trays are no doubt an amazing addition to your workspace. However, before you purchase a keyboard tray, make sure you consider your requirements and purchase accordingly. Regardless, keyboard trays can surely be an ideal addition to your computing experience.

Salman Zafar

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