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Question: Can't Re-attach thunderbolt stand

I have removed the stand from my Thunderbolt monitor to place a touch overlay device on the sceen (needed to lay the screen flat facing up to attach the overlay)

Now I am trying to re-attach the stand and the flange that holds the torx screws has gone back inside the monitor. It seems to be locked in the "closed" position at this point.

I can release the latch at the top with a credit card but the flange doesn't come back out. I can't figure out how to get the flange that the torx screws screw into exposed again so I can re-attach the stand.

Any help? I see several other people with this question on the web but no answers. It seems the flange locks in two positions "open" which exposes the screw holes and "closed" where mine is stuck now.


Thunderbolt display-OTHER

Posted on May 12, 2013 6:23 PM


May 13, 2013 3:16 PM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

Looking at this YouTube video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPXGzqRsS9U) it appears that to move from the down locked position to the up position (exposing the screws for removal) takes a bit of force. My guess is that without the stand attached to push on for leverage it is difficult for the flange to move up. Is there a way to pry up on the bottom side of the flange while using a card to push down on the top to unlock?

May 13, 2013 3:16 PM

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May 13, 2013 9:44 PM in response to tbirdvet In response to tbirdvet

Yeah it was incredibly hard to move. There was no way I was going to move it without taking apart the diplay.

I took it to an apple store for support and they gave me no help. It was the first time I have been throughly angry by apple support. I would have expected more from them.

They claimed that removing the stand is a non-standard use of the montior which invalidates the warranty and wanted to charge me $250 to try and fix the problem. They would have needed the display for 3 - 5 days and couldn't explain to me how they were actually going to fix it....

Awful customer service imo.

So I fixed it myself. I found this explaination on ifixit of how to take apart the screen http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple+Thunderbolt+Display+Teardown/6525/1

I went to home depot and purchased two heavy duty suction cups (these: http://www.homedepot.com/p/QEP-4-7-8-in-Suction-Cup-for-Handling-Large-Non-Porou s-Tile-75000Q/100119050#.UZG_7CtAR90)

Within 10 mins I had the display opened. I was then able to fit the stand through the opening in the back of the display and screw in two screws to secure the stand. (I screwed them in from the inside of the display.

Then I could relase the latch and move the flange using the stand (since it was attached with the two screws)

The whole process from opening the display to closing it back up took 20 mins. This should have been incredibly easy for the Apple store to do I am sure seeing as how they open these types of screens (iMac screens work the same way) often I would think.

Anyways, hope this helps someon else that is stuck in the same place I was.

Note: that opening the display voids your warranty (howver, Apple claims that taking the stand off of mine voided my warranty already so.....)

May 13, 2013 9:44 PM

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May 18, 2013 7:56 AM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

Unfortunately the experience you describe aligns exactly with my experience with Apple store employees. I can't believe that was the service you were offered. The stand is advertised as removable and the monitor is supposed to be able to be wall mountable. Insane.

Thanks a ton for providing a solution.

May 18, 2013 7:56 AM

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May 18, 2013 10:56 AM in response to uncleglenny In response to uncleglenny


With the vesa mount on the display I am pretty sure you don't want the latch to go back inside. The VESA mount attaches to the flange correct?

At least that is my understanding. In my case the flange went back inside the montior when it wasn't supposed to.

The flange bascially operates in two positions "open" which is when it is exposed (sticking out of the monitor) and "closed" (when it is inside the monitor)

You can release the latch with a credit card (or similar stiff object) to unlock the flange and then it is supposed to be moveable.

In my case the only way to move the flange was to attach the stand and use the leverage from the stand to operate the flange.

This is why, when the flange get's stuck in the "closed" position, without a stand attached, it is impossible to move without opening the monitor up.

Which, to be fair, is really simple. Now, opening it does void your warranty so keep that in mind.

But if you follow my steps posted in the answer you can open the monitor in about 10 mins or less and get access to the flange.

Hope that helps (this is more help than apple will give you so.... 😉 )

May 18, 2013 10:56 AM

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Jun 25, 2013 5:09 PM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

I received my Thunderbolt display yesterday, and in the process of installing the VESA mount, I ran into the exact same problems described in this thread. I immediately called apple and scheduled an appointment at the genius bar. I took the monitor in today, and apparently they have a tool now (at least they do here at the apple store in Tacoma, WA) that they can use to pull the flange back out again. The apple tech took the monitor and 10 minutes later had it back ready to go. They did accidentally leave a very small scratch on the back of the monitor near the flange (they pointed it out immediately and apologized), but it is quite small and is totally hidden by the VESA mount. I just got it back home and finish installing the VESA mount and put it on the arm--and it is working great!!!

Jun 25, 2013 5:09 PM

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Oct 26, 2013 9:58 PM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

This happened to me and while I was ready to proceed with the suggestion whihc BTW is a great way to get it solved, I went another route. I took a thin gauge wire and patiently threaded it in one of the holes. Using a needle nose plier I pulled it up so I have two ends out - longer the better. So now this is where help comes in to make it easier - I did myself so it was awkward. While pulling the wire up, have somone push the lever with a used credit card (just like taking out the stand). This facilitate the mechanism to loosen up and viola the flange is now exposed.

Oct 26, 2013 9:58 PM

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Dec 2, 2013 7:51 PM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

There is a procedure to pull out the accidentally retracted stand. Apple provides a special tool that has a hole in it that is used to grab the pin that is on the mechanism. You depress the latch with a half credit card (cut lengthwise) and then slide the special tool with the hole in, latch the pin with the hole, and pull hard.

See http://tim.id.au/laptops/apple/displays/led_cinema_display_24.pdf on page 81 (this is for the 24 inch display, but it is the same procedure)

Dec 2, 2013 7:51 PM

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Dec 2, 2013 8:06 PM in response to mlincoln In response to mlincoln

I suspect you could drill a hole in a piece of metal with a regular drill and form pretty much the same kind of tool as the Apple special tool. Or else you could thread in a wire (as suggested above) and pull up the stand.

Remember that you must *also* depress and release the latch with the credit card half at the same time that you pull. So do both at once: depress the latch effectively, and sumultaneously pull up, either by pulling on the pin with your specially made Apple-like tool or by threading in a wire.

The latch should not close accidentally, unless you release the latch after removing the stand. So if the stand or VESA mount is not attached ("bare" display) then don't poke inside with the credit card or a tool and depress the latch. It will retract and then you'll have to follow the procedure above.

Dec 2, 2013 8:06 PM

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Dec 15, 2013 10:06 AM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

To re - attach the stand it is very simple if you perform it properly. Anyone at the Apple store that actually has done it should be more then happy to take the few seconds and do it for you.

Let me try and explain - this is assuming you can see the 8 screws

  1. Place the monitor face down on a few pillow
  2. The pillow of course protect the screen but also raise the monitor so the stand doesn't bump the floor / table.
  3. Push the stand down as far as you can (direction that screws will still be showing)
  4. Put in the credit card white thing just about an inch or so
  5. Pull the stand back up while you still have the credit card thing in there
  6. It should just glide up and then ready to go

You don't have to force it if you do it correctly.

Hopefully, that helps and its free! 🙂

Dec 15, 2013 10:06 AM

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Apr 2, 2014 8:05 AM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

This is what worked for me:

Use a vinyl siding removal tool.

http://www.amazon.com/Wiss-WSR1-Vinyl-Siding-Removal/dp/B00826H7RS/ref=sr_1_1?ie =UTF8&qid=1396450975&sr=8-1&keywords=vinyl+siding+removal+tool

Sounds crazy expensive, but at most they are like $5.

After you remove the screws, there is a little pole sticking up from the center. The vinyl siding removal tool has a hook that is very strong and thin so you can fit it into the hole with next to no effort and with a lot of leverage.

I placed my Thunderbolt display on a towel on a table.

I hooked the tool onto the little screw.

I pulled until I reached the internal point where you should push the top latch out of the way.

I then continued pulling and *click* there it was. I couldn't believe it.

I had ordered fishing lines, went through hangers, and all other types of tools. In the end, the $3 dollar tool from lowes is what saved my display. lol.

I ended up doing it again (just to test) and I actually didn't have to push the latch to get it to stay up. I don't know if that is a defect with mine or just because of how the sliding mechanism is built (take a look at the corners with a flashlight while pushing with the credit card. Notice the part that moves.)

Oh well, good luck future people!

Apr 2, 2014 8:05 AM

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Jan 22, 2015 3:26 PM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

I used a metal corkscrew and turned it into a screw hole. pulled like **** while flipping the top metal bar.

How is it that Apple can claim removing the stand is a warranty violation when they sell a VESA adapter? http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD179ZM/A/vesa-mount-adapter-kit-for-imac-andl ed-cinemaor-applethunderbolt-display

Jan 22, 2015 3:26 PM

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Feb 22, 2015 6:12 AM in response to Foovanadil In response to Foovanadil

I had the very same problem, where the mounting mechanism retracted back inside the back of the display as the latch that locks the mechanism in the "out" position was not engaged properly when I was taking the 8 small screws out.

I used the paperclip method with a pair of needle nose vise-grips and it work no problem. It was a bit difficult to get the right, bent shape of the paperclip to thread it through one of the screw holes of the actual mounting mechanism, and then back around and out of the opening in the back of the display, in order to grab both ends of the paperclip with the vise-grips. I used a regular pair on needle nose pliers to get inside the opening so I could slowly tease the paperclip around and through the opening. Once I had the paperclip threaded properly and had locked the needle nose vise-grips on to the two ends, I needed some help in the form of an extra set of hands to actually pull the mounting mechanism back out; one person to hold the hold screen in place and to use a cut credit card to insert and press the latch release down, and then another set of hands to hold the vise-grips and pull the mounting mechanism back out of the display. I did have to use quite a bit of pulling force to get the mounting mechanism back out and into the locked position.

Pg. 84 here was a good resource. tim.id.au/laptops/apple/displays/led_cinema_display_24.pdf

Then it was easy to reattach the mounting bracket and use the card to release the locking and retract the entire assembly back into the display.

Feb 22, 2015 6:12 AM

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Question: Can't Re-attach thunderbolt stand