Buying Used Macbook: 9 Things to Check (2024)

MacBooks are getting pricier, leading many people to consider buying used macbook. This guide covers vital checks, from physical inspection to battery health, ensuring a reliable purchase.

Whether you’re a techie person or not, this article will surely help you make an informed decision. Let’s dive right into it:

1. Physical Damages

Before finalizing the purchase of a used MacBook, it’s crucial to thoroughly inspect its physical condition. Here’s what you need to look out for:

  1. Examine the Body: Carefully scrutinize the MacBook from all angles to detect any visible scratches or dents. These could indicate rough handling or previous accidents.
  2. Inspect Screws: Check all screws on the bottom lid to ensure they are intact and not loose. Loose screws may suggest unauthorized repair work or poor maintenance.
  3. Screen Condition: Check the screen for damage, cracks, or scratches. Pay special attention to the rubber gasket surrounding the screen, ensuring it’s not worn out.
  4. Display Hinges: Test the display hinges to ensure they are not too loose. most of the time, if a macbook is very roughly used, its hinges become very loose. The lid should not fall off casually, indicating the hinges are in good condition.
  5. Bottom Panel Authenticity: Verify the authenticity of the bottom panel by cross-referencing the serial number with the system OS. Mismatched serial numbers could indicate unauthorized repairs with non-original parts.
  6. Additional Checks: Along with this, test the functionality of the microphone, Ensure proper connectivity in all C-ports and inspect the charging cable for any cracks or damage. if it’s a MagSafe cable, check whether its magnet is working and the cable is not falling off.

By conducting a thorough inspection for physical damage, you can ensure that you’re purchasing a used MacBook in good condition, free from any major issues that could affect its performance and longevity.

2. Battery Health and Cycle Count

Battery is another crucial aspect to assess when purchasing a used MacBook. Here’s how you can check whether you’re getting a good MacBook:

battery health and cycle count check
  1. Evaluate Cycle Count:
    • The cycle count indicates how many times the battery has been fully charged and depleted.
    • Lower cycle counts typically indicate less usage and better battery longevity.
    • Access this information by going to “About This Mac” > “System Report” > “Hardware” > “Power.” > “Health Information”
    • Apple suggests that any MacBook with a cycle count under 1000 is considered acceptable.
    • However, for optimal performance and longevity, I recommend you aim for a cycle count of less than 350.
  2. Inspect Battery Health:
    • Navigate to the same Health Information section to check the battery’s health.
    • Ensure that the battery health percentage is at least 85% or above for better performance.
    • this simple check makes sure you’re getting a very less-used system on which you can rely for the next few years.

3. Display / Screen Condition

To detect any potential issues, keep an eye out for any black dots or small spots on the screen, as these could indicate dead pixels.

Here’s how you can do it within 3 minutes:

Open images with solid colours or simply go to this free dead pixel checker tool. Click on start test and it will fill your screen with bright colours where you can easily detect any screen damage or dead spots.

While a few dead pixels here and there may not be cause for concern, you should not go for a MacBook with a significant problem with the display.

4. Check Serial Number Across Places

When buying a used MacBook, the first thing you should do is check the serial number. Make sure to note it down from all the places you can find it: Inside the MacBook itself, on the bottom lid of the macbook, on the original box, and on the purchase invoice if you have it.

go to Apple’s official page and enter the serial number of the macbook you’re intended to buy. it will show information like its manufacturing year, purchasing data, and whether the macbook is still under warranty or not.

Along with that, it also shows you if there is any Apple Care Plus (which is nothing but an extended warranty) available on the system.

It’s important that the serial number matches across all these places. If you find any differences, ask the seller about it.

Sometimes, a mismatch could mean that the MacBook has had unauthorized repairs or changes made to it. By double-checking the serial number in different spots, you can be sure that you’re getting an authentic MacBook without any surprises later on.

5. Keyboard Functionality

To conduct this check, we have two straightforward methods:

One approach involves utilizing the macOS built-in Text Edit app, where users can type every keyboard character and test the Caps Lock button and functional keys.

Alternatively, users can visit and navigate to the Apple section to test each key individually.

keyboard key checker

By pressing each key and observing the corresponding character displayed on the screen, users can quickly identify any faulty keys and ensure that the keyboard functions perfectly. If all keys respond accurately without any glitches, it indicates that the keyboard is in good condition.

6. Check All Ports

This straightforward check involves connecting an external drive to the USB port and plugging headphones into the headphone jack. If both devices are recognized and work correctly, it’s a positive indication that the ports are in good condition.

Special attention should be given to USB-C ports, as they are commonly used for various peripherals and accessories.

Additionally, if the MacBook includes a MagSafe cable, it’s essential to check whether the magnet is working correctly and the cable is securely attached, as this ensures reliable charging without the risk of accidental disconnection.

7. Firmware Password / Lock

A firmware password or lock can be a significant inconvenience for the new owner, as it restricts certain functionalities of the MacBook. It prevents you from booting the Mac from a USB drive or changing/upgrading the SSD.

To check for a firmware password:

  • shut down the MacBook and restart it.
  • As soon as you hear the startup chime, press and hold the Option (⌥) key.
  • If prompted to enter a firmware password, MacBook has a firmware lock

If you come across a firmware password prompt, it’s essential to ask the seller to disable it before proceeding with the purchase. make sure you double-check this to ensure the issue has been resolved.

8. Apple Hardware Test

Before finalizing the purchase of a used MacBook, it’s advisable to perform an Apple Hardware Test (or Apple Diagnostics on newer models) to identify any potential hardware issues. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Disconnect all external devices from the MacBook and ensure it is turned off.
  • Power on the MacBook and immediately hold down the D key once you hear the startup chime.
  • This action will initiate the Apple Hardware Test (or Apple Diagnostics) process.
  • Upon starting the test, you will be prompted to select the language you prefer.
  • Use the arrow button to navigate and select the desired language.
  • Once the language is selected, proceed to run the test by pressing the arrow button.
  • The test will then analyze the MacBook’s hardware components, including the logic board and memory, for any potential issues.

While the Apple Hardware Test may not detect all functionality-level issues, it serves as a valuable tool for identifying logic board or memory-level issues. Although it may be time-consuming, it offers peace of mind by ensuring that the device is free from significant hardware issues that could affect its performance and reliability.

9. Check Seller’s Credibility

Online platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace often provide seller ratings and feedback, offering insights into their reputation.

Clear communication and transparency are key indicators of a credible seller; they should readily provide photos of the MacBook, and its accessories, and be open to answering any questions about the device’s condition.

New Platforms like Lapicart are becoming popular across India due to their quality and after-sales support. Lapicart marks a premium, used MacBook (strictly not refurbished) that exceeds 40-point rigorous internal quality standards. So you get exactly what you ordered.

Check out the latest range of used MacBooks or contact our support team (+91 7387775677) for further communication. Give us a chance to serve and help you to buy your dream MacBook without hurting your pocket much.

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