Are you having issues with your newly-bought MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air and want to see if it’s been used before or if it’s a refurbished unit? Today, we’ll show you how to check it.

Unlike the iPhone where you can easily check if it’s a new, replacement, or refurbished unit using the serial code, there’s no direct way to tell if your MacBook has been used before. Well, other than a visual check-up, of course.

But don’t worry, while it may not be as straightforward as iPhones, there’s still a way to check if your MacBook is new or a replacement.


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How to check if my MacBook is new or refurbished?

Since your Mac’s serial number can’t show if the device is brand-new or refurbished, you have to resort to other ways — mostly via inquiry — to figure out its status.

Check the packaging

Official refurbished Apple products, even MacBooks, come with packaging that has a tag that says “Apple certified refurbished”, so you immediately know its condition.

But if you’re buying a second-hand unit, make sure the seller includes the official box for you to check. If they can’t provide one, then you can ask for the device’s serial number and follow the other methods below.


Ask the retail store or seller where you bought it

If you’re worried if the device you’re purchasing is refurbished or not, you can simply ask the retail store or seller where you bought them for. If they are quite reputable, say they are an Apple Store, Power Mac Center, Best Buy, etc., rest assured that they are telling the truth.

But if they are a random seller you found online or someone a bit sketchy, you can try all the other methods below, or better yet, do not transact with them at all.

Contact Apple customer service

This is possibly the best way you can do to check if your Mac is refurbished or not. This method involves contacting Apple customer service. And being one of the biggest and most renowned companies in the world, their customer support is really responsive, straightforward, and convenient to deal with. We’ve tried it before, and we can attest to that.

To start, make sure you have your Mac’s serial number with you. If you don’t know how to find it, follow the guide at the bottom of this article.

After that, visit Apple’s contact page here. Look for your country and choose the mode of contact you want to do (via hotline, mobile number, etc.) and reach them.

Once you’re talking to a representative, you can give them your Mac’s serial number and ask them if it’s a brand-new or refurbished unit.

Check the battery cycle

If your Mac has been used before, chances are, it’s already been charged a few times. Fortunately, there’s a way you can check the battery cycle count on Mac. This is the number of times it’s been charged.

This is also useful if you’re buying a 2nd-hand Mac as it will give you an idea of how used the device is. Follow the steps below to check.

Step 1: Press the Command + backspace at the same time to launch the Spotlight search tab. Type “System Report” then press Enter.


Step 2: If you’ve updated to macOS Ventura, you’d land on the General page in the settings. Scroll down, then click System Report.


Step 3: Tap Power.


Step 4: Here you find the “Cycle Count” and the battery health. Again, the higher the number, the higher the probability of it being used.



How to find my MacBook serial number?

While you can’t directly tell from the serial number if your MacBook is new or refurbished, it’s still essential when contacting Apple’s customer service, which is one of the methods you can do to help check the status of your Mac when you bought it.

Step 1: Click the Apple logo in the top left corner.


Step 2: Hit “About this Mac.”


Step 3: From here, you shall see your Mac’s serial number.


These are the ways to check whether your Mac is brand new or refurbished. Again, you can’t easily tell it by the serial number, but it sure helps in figuring it out.

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