What to do if a motherboard screw is stuck in a standout

Updated: 03/06/2020 by Computer Hope
Motherboard standout aka standoff

When removing a motherboard from a computer case, all screws securing the motherboard inside the case need to be removed. Generally, standoffs (standouts) are located between the motherboard and case to act as spacers between the motherboard and case.

Sometimes when removing a motherboard screw from the standoff, the standoff unscrews from the case. If this occurs, you need to unscrew the standoff separately.

Needle-nose pliers

To do this, using a pair of pliers (needle-nose pliers are the easiest) and hold the standoff in place. Then with a screwdriver, unscrew the motherboard screw. The screw should separated from the standoff.


Most cases give you access to the underside of the motherboard by removing the opposite side of the case. Hold on the standoff on this side of the case.


If the motherboard screw is difficult to remove from the standoff, even when using pliers, do not use grease or oil to attempt to loosen the screw. Grease and oil could cause damage to the motherboard. Also, the screw should always be snugly screwed into the standoff. Never try tightening the screw in more than a snug fit in hopes of screwing the standout more into the case. Doing this can damage or break the motherboard.