Buy A Used MacBook: 7 Things To Check

It’s a great idea to buy a refurbished Mac, as sometimes you don’t really require a new Mac; you just need to liven up your old Mac! In case you feel like it’s time to switch to a new Mac. This might be probably due to your current Mac not performing nicely, and you can also buy a used or refurbished Mac rather than buying a new one. In contrast, if you are purchasing a refurbished or second-hand Mac, you can never be sure of its lifespan, how old it is, as well as the exact condition of the device you are buying. Alternatively, purchasing a used Mac will help you save your money. In this article, you will get to know the things that you must check in case you are opting to buy an old or refurbished Mac.  

7 Things to Check in a Used MacBook

#1 Check for Damages

To begin with, examine the body of the Mac carefully in regard to any physical damage, scratches, or dents. Make sure that the screen and the case of the Mac are not bent. Then check all the screws; if you find a loose screw, then it’s a clear indication that an authorized repair service hasn’t serviced the Mac. Now, check for the display hinges, which should be powerful enough to support the lid, preventing it from accidentally falling. 

#2 Ensure How Old the MacBook is

When the Mac owner claims that the Mac is in like-new Condition, that doesn’t mean that it’s actually new. In this situation, you must check the actual age of the Mac by heading to the About This Mac section under the Apple menu, which is located at the top left corner.

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Alternatively, in case the macOS is not installed within the used Mac that you are examining, then you can check its age with its serial number. Turning on the Mac, next to the regulatory marking, you will find the serial number. 

#3 Disable Firmware Password

Usually, Mac users set up several passwords for their devices. If the person from whom you are purchasing a second-hand Mac sets up a firmware password on their device, then you will not be able to start the Mac from the USB drive. While booting a Mac and hearing the startup bell, hold down the option key. In case you are asked to type in the firmware password, ask the person to switch it off. Here are the steps to disable the firmware password:

  • Switch off the Mac.
  • Then, turn it on again and press the Command+R shortcut keys immediately after turning the Mac on.
  • Release the keys the moment you see the lock icon and password field.
  • Now, ask the person from whom you are buying the Mac to enter the firmware password.
  • Once done, press the Utilities option and then select Firmware Password Utility or Startup Security Utility.
  • Then tap on Turn off Firmware Password.
  • When prompted, enter the firmware password.
  • Exit the Utility and then restart the Mac.

#4 Check the Condition of the Display

To check for defective pixels on the display or the used Mac. Head to the Dead Pixels Checker, which is used to fill your screen with pure colors. Additionally, open the pictures using a monochromatic background, including red, green, blue, white, and black on the used Mac. If you notice any pixel damage, you will notice tiny spots on the display. Do note that if you see a dead pixel or two, then it’s not an issue. However, if you see a number of dead pixels, then you must not buy this used Mac.

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#5 Try Running a Keyboard Test.

By using the macOS built-in Text Edit application, it is making sure that the keyboard is not malfunctioning. Then, open the app and start typing every keyboard character. If it’s working fine, then the used Mac is nice. Then, try typing the Caps Lock button and functional keys. If these keys are also working perfectly fine, then the keyboard of the used Mac is functioning well. 

In addition, you can also use a Keyboard Viewer. Head to the language menu at the top menu section, and then select Show Keyboard Viewer. Then, each key you press is displayed in the new keyboard-like window.

#6 Check the Battery

Macbooks are highly known for delivering excellent battery performances, so you wish to make sure that the used Mac that you are going to buy doesn’t drain the battery after just an hour of use.

In order to check the Mac’s battery health:

  • Tap on the Apple Logo.
  • Press and hold the Option key.
  • Then, from the drop-down menu, select System Information.
  • Now open the Power section, which is located within the left sidebar menu.
  • Here, just check the Health Information section. The Cycle count, as well as the Condition, will help you to examine the Mac’s battery health. 
  • Ensure that the cycle count and health are within the limits. Generally, the rule says that the fewer battery cycle counts, the better the battery health of the Mac.    

#7 Apple Hardware Test 

Finally, go for an Apple Hardware Test, or you can perform an Apple diagnostic on newer Macs. This helps in detecting issues with the logic board, memory, and other hardware equipment. In order to begin the Apple Hardware Test, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Firstly, disconnect all the external devices and turn off the Mac.
  • Turn the Mac on, now press and hold the D keys the moment you hear a startup bell.
  • Then, choose the language you prefer and press the arrow button to run the test by following the on-screen instructions. 
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