UpDown Desks Australia Blog

My Standing Desk Won't Go Up: Causes & Fixes

standing desk won't go up

You arrive at your desk, press the power button as usual, and nothing happens. Why won't your standing desk go up when there's nothing obviously wrong? The realization that something is wrong with your standing desk can leave you with a pit in your stomach - is the control box broken? Is the power to your house out? What could be the reason your standing desk won't go up?

You may experience occasional difficulties while using a stand-to-sit desk, just as you would with any other electrical equipment or appliance. The most typical issue with electric height-adjustable or electric sit-stand desks is that they stop going down or up, leaving the desk trapped. This issue just serves to negate the reason for purchasing the desk in the first place.

Fortunately, there is usually a very simple fix. Don't lose all hope just yet - because in this article, you'll learn why your standing desk won't go up or down, as well as how to fix it. Continue reading to learn how to get your desk to work again.

Potential Reasons Why Your Standing Desk Won’t Go Up (With Fixes)

We're going to assume you are only asking about why your electric standing desk by UpDown Desk won't move up or down. If you're asking why your standing desk won't go up - and you have a cheaper desk - chances are, the desk itself could need to be replaced. We've seen plenty of horror stories where people buy a cheaper standing desk in an effort to save money - only to spend more in the long run as they need to replace it prematurely.

If you haven't already purchased a standing desk, we encourage you to stick with the top-rated standing desk in Australia. Our ergonomic standing desks are the #1 choice in Australia for a reason: we put an emphasis on quality, durability, and reliability. Whether you're looking for an electric corner sit stand desk or a more traditional standing office desk - we've got you covered.

Now - that's not to say these tips may not help you with your existing standing desk problems. You can still give these solutions a try - and when the time comes to upgrade your workspace, stick with UpDown Desk.

Objects On It

Some problems with standing desks arise when you put objects such as bookcases on the desk, which may get in the way of the desk’s ability to move upward. Some standing desks have built-in safety features that will prevent them from moving if they come into contact with something. 

There is a maximum lifting capability for every height-adjustable table. So, if you put too many things on it, it can cause an overload. When this happens, the desk is essentially telling you that it can't withstand the weight and has shut down to protect itself.

How To Fix It

When you buy a desk, pay attention to the lifting capacity to prevent this from happening. Pay close attention to whether the number refers to the base solely or the base plus work surface. 

The Updown Pro Series, fortunately, has a lifting capacity of up to 150kg. This indicates that it is both stable and long-lasting.

This high rating indicates that the actuators can withstand higher loads without overheating or losing power, or the desk failing to rise. However, make sure you don't exceed the desk's required weight capacity, as this may shorten its lifespan.

Uneven Legs

When the legs of your standing desk aren’t level, your desk might stop working. This is most common when the desk has two motors.

If the motors don’t have a strong mechanism that allows them to lock on their own, the spindle and motor can turn while the height position is supposed to be maintained.

While one motor may rotate, the other can remain stationary or rotate more or less than the first. The motors lose synchronization, causing your desk to be uneven.

Uneven legs can cause two things to happen. The first is that the desk's control box will detect that the legs aren’t at the same height and stop moving to prevent further damage to the desk. 

Alternatively, if the control box isn't intelligent enough to detect the problem, the desk will continue to move down or up until there's too much friction in the columns of the legs, at which point it will become stuck and not move at all.

standing desk wont go up

How To Fix It

With some desks, you may need to perform a complete reset to get the legs to realign themselves to resolve this height-adjustable desk troubleshooting issue.

If you own an UpDown desk, don't worry if your desk becomes unbalanced: it's simple to correct. Simply reduce the height of your desk to its lowest possible height. The motors will reset themselves and your desk will be level once more.

Control Box Cycle

A desk’s control box can only be pushed up and down a certain number of times before it needs to rest. The term used to describe this is the desk’s “duty cycle.” The duty cycle indicates how long the control box can work and how long it must be in its rest stage.

If the control box's active time reaches its limit, an obligatory rest period will be activated to stop it from overheating. So, don't be alarmed if your workstation suddenly stops working - give the control box a chance to breathe, and then try again.

How To Fix It

Some workstations have a duty cycle of 2 minutes on and 18 minutes off. This means that after changing the height, it functions best if it is left to rest for 18 minutes. 

This is the standard in the industry. This isn't to say you can't alter heights more frequently; in most circumstances, there won't be any problems.

Object Preventing It From Moving

Anything installed above the desk may be preventing it from moving upwards. Mounted shelves, cabinets, and artwork are often culprits.

As a safety precaution, some stand-to-sit desks contain a collision detection feature that stops the desk from colliding with another object. When it finds an object in the way, the table will stop going upwards and begin to slide down gently, giving you space to remove the obstruction.

How To Fix It

Check under your desk to see if there are any objects in the way and remove them. 

The Desk Has Lost Power

This usually happens for one of two reasons: the desk was unplugged and then plugged back in, or the outlet lost power. When a standing desk loses power and then gets it again, it often goes into reset mode. A sit-stand desk can only move downwards while in reset mode.

How To Fix It

You'll need to reset your standing desk if you've lately lost power and it's not moving. If you need to troubleshoot a height-adjustable desk, follow these procedures. Things should return to normal after completing the reset. The following are the ways to resolve standing desk issues:

  • Step 1: Get rid of anything that might be lurking beneath your desk.
  • Step 2: Wait 30 seconds after unplugging the workstation from the outlet or surge protector.
  • Step 3: Reconnect the desk. Listen for clicking sounds; once you hear them, you're all set.
  • Step 4: Keep pressing the down button until your desk can no longer move any lower. The desk has lost its memory settings since you unplugged it, and it may move slowly.
  • Step 5: Remove your finger from the button after it has reached its lowest point.

my standing desk wont go up

Loose Cables

By being dragged on or jammed, the power, motor, or control box cables can become loose. Poor wire management is frequently the cause of the tug.

Even if a wire is slightly yanked out of the socket, electricity will still be intermittent. This means that power can flow through them at times but not at others. When the power goes off on the desks, the table goes into reset mode. 

How To Fix It

Check all cords to ensure they're firmly connected before resetting your sit-stand desk. After that, you can proceed to reset the desk. Take a look at our standing desk accessories for cable management accessories to prevent this issue in the future.

Upper Container Stop

Most desks have an upper container stop that allows the user to define a maximum limit to prevent the desk from colliding with other items.

As a result, instead of being able to go up to 48 inches, the maximum height can be adjusted to 40 inches. You can use it to keep your sit-stand desk from colliding with something else, like a cupboard or shelf.

How To Fix It

To make the table go higher than the existing setting, you'll need to adjust or remove the upper container stop. Follow the directions provided by the desk's manufacturer to accomplish this.

how to reset standing desk

Parting Thoughts on Why Your Standing Desk Won't Go Up (and How to Fix it)

There are many reasons why your standing desk could become stuck, and it may be difficult for you to figure out the exact cause. Fortunately, you now know the most common reasons why your standing desk won't go up. Now - we're assuming you know how to lower your standing desk and how to program your standing desk. If not, take a look at these two resources before doing anything else - they'll help you get started using your desk safely and correctly.

From objects in the way to a power outage, there are so many potential causes of your standing desk movement problems. However, we've given you a list of the most likely issues and solutions, which you can start testing as soon as you discover your desk isn't moving. Catching these typical issues early on can either entirely solve the problem or save you time on the phone with tech support if the issue is a malfunctioning issue. If you're still struggling to get your standing desk working, reach out - we'll see if we can identify the problem together and come up with a solution!

    How to Set Up a Standing Desk in 3 Simple Steps
    How to Lower a Standing Desk: Tips for Electric & Manual Desks