How to Know if the Laptop is Refurbished? – Top 5 Ways

Well, it’s no surprise that nowadays the prices of laptops and other electronics have skyrocketed tenfold, and buying anything double its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is an idea not only eye soaring but borderline ridiculous.

However, opting out for options like investing in second hand or used products has never been more feasible than before given the facts mentioned above, but if a used product doesn’t bat your attention and budget is a restraint that hasn’t got ahold of you, then feel free in investing in a brand new laptop.

Given it is easier said than done as the market is cluttered with refurbished products being passed as new and if you are an individual that is pondering over the fact that how to know if the laptop is refurbished then you must keep on reading this article to enlighten yourself.

Before we proceed I would like to point out the fact that there is almost no issue or problem of any sort in investing in used products since most of the time you can actually do land a sweet deal if you are careful enough, however, a new laptop will almost always be better than a refurbished for a wide variety of reasons.

Tips To Know If The Laptop Is Refurbished

Well, as mentioned above, as the market is highly saturated with refurbished products that have been disguised as brand new and it is very hard to tell if it has been used before, there are still plenty of ways you can distinguish it from a laptop that hasn’t been touched before.

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1. Tampered Screws Or Hardware

Starting from the obvious, laptops tend to have smaller lifelines and usually degrade in quality over time and often require technical evaluation. This evaluation demands opening and changing of its components and a refurbished will almost always have some sort of loose screws or minor physical damage that is most probably almost invisible to the eyes.

You can check the sides and the keyboard region of a laptop if the laptop has been tampered with for its component or repair by using a magnifying glass or if you have a newer smartphone you can use the macro camera to clearly identify any repair spots that might have been caused by applying pressure on its opening regions.

Moreover, a refurbished laptop will have janky or moving parts when you shake it which indicates something might have been moved from its original place for it to cause such noise.

2. Different Software And Operating System

If you are still unsatisfied, you can boot up your laptop and check for the operating system and its version by going into the Command search option and typing

“Winver” (without quotations) 


“Msinfo32” (without quotations) 

This will bring up the windows version and other software specifications build version which you can cross-check and examine onto the manufacturer website and confirm whether or not the software of this laptop has indeed been tampered with or changed in way or form.

Be advised, since most of the laptops ship out with different versions of windows and bloatware applications depending on the region, there is a high chance that your software might not match the software listed on the manufacturer’s website. If that is the case, you can call customer support and manually check for each software version by yourself.

Although this might be a lengthy process, be assured that this is the most reliable way to confirm software tampering in a refurbished laptop.

3. Battery Runtime Issues

Speaking of degrading hardware, the first and foremost thing to take a hit in performance after years of use is the lithium-ion cells of your laptop. A brand new battery will always have an adequate amount of runtime available to power your laptop which can be matched at the manufacturer’s website listed in the specification area.

And it is no surprise that a refurbished laptop will have its battery go through plenty of intensive labor which might have caused it to stain and wear down by losing its charging capacity. So if you see someone selling your refurbished laptop as brand new with a faulty battery, they are pretty much lying to you.

4. Hardware Wear And Tear

You can also check other hardware components that are susceptible to direct wear and tear such as a keyboard that oftentimes has mashed or defective keys or a touchpad that might have clicking issues.

Moreover, a noisy fan might also indicate that it has gone through plenty of straining and depreciation by going through a wear and tear process. You can check all these factors by thoroughly doing a stress test on both the keyboard and your fans to identify if the laptop is refurbished or not.

5. Refurbished Sticker Indicator

Purchasing a refurbished product isn’t a bad thing and oftentimes buying it from a reputable website might include a refurbished sticker on the lid of your laptop which clearly states that your laptop has either gone through a repair process or has exchanged owners before.

Moreover, it might also have a lower warranty period such as 30 days or 90 days which is significantly lesser than the one listed by a manufacturer selling their brand new products.

How do you check if your laptop is refurbished or not?

Check for physical damage, scratches, or dents all over the laptop you are inspecting. Additionally, you can also check the cycles of your battery through third-party applications in order to determine if it’s refurbished or not. Hard drive health can also indicate if you are holding a brand new laptop or not.

What is a refurbished laptop?

The term “refurbished laptop” refers to a laptop that has had numerous owners and has been sold or recycled to the manufacturer or to a vendor in order to be repaired. These models have been repaired in order to sell them at a lower price than the new models in order to make them more accessible to people on a tight budget.

Can you trust refurbished laptops?

You will be most likely to get a decent refurbished laptop if you thoroughly inspect it. You can trust a refurbished laptop as long as it works well and has only cosmetic damage.

Final Verdict

Now that you have the general idea of how to know if the laptop is refurbished you would be easily able to identify one and prevent getting scammed by paying full price. However, if you are intentionally going for a refurbished product, we advise you to thoroughly check all the components and stress test it so you don’t run into any issues after a while.

Hope you had a beneficial read and it was well worth your time, feel free to let me know if you have any queries.