Are you looking to purchase a MacBook? Perhaps for a loved ones birthday or maybe for your personal studio? With the high cost of Apple products a lot of people are turning to refurbished and used Mac products. The issue many people have when it comes to purchasing a secondhand Apple Mac Computer is knowing what to look for.

So you’re done researching and you understand what computer specs best fit you. Next step is finding a used MacBook. There are many different places online to search for a computer. Online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or Mercari are a good place to get a good deal on Apple products. However, many of these sellers do not offer warranties or money back guarantees. I would recommend finding an online store that specializes in Refurbished Mac Computer. This will ensure you are getting a quality product, while also giving you peace of mind.

However, if you do decide to purchase from another source please check out these tips.

1. Check Battery Health (Cycle Count)

The battery cycle count on many Apple products is a good indicator for how much the computer has been used. Apple batteries are usually able to last about 1000 charge cycles before they need to be replaced. You will want to make sure the condition is normal and has a cycle count value below 1000. To check this you will have to click on About This Mac in the upper – left hand corner of your screen. Then click on System Report. Once System Report comes up click on Power in the left side menu under Hardware. There you will be able to see all the Battery Information including the Health Information.

2. Check for iCloud Lock

In order to check the status of iCloud on an Apple computer you will need to make sure the operating system is already set up. This will give you access to the System Preferences. So once you are logged in to the User account go into System Preferences.  Then click on the iCloud icon. If there is an account signed in you will want to make sure that is signed off before purchasing the computer. If you do not do this, you will have issues with many of the iCloud functionalities within the Apple Operating System.  Most Apple Refurbished resellers will check for this.

3.  Test all the Components

Make sure that when you are testing the used MacBook you confirm all the components are functioning properly.  When I say components I am mostly referring to all the ports, the keyboard, track pad, screws, etc… This seems like common sense, but many people forget to do this. By doing this you can avoid any drama or need for repair.

4. Check the Age

It’s important to check and make sure that you are purchasing the correct computer. There are two ways you can check the model of your Mac. The simplest way is to go to About This Mac in the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen. An overview window will open once you click on About This Mac that will give you all the information you need. If the computer is not set up you can also find the serial number printed on the backplate. Once you locate the serial number you can enter that on Apple’s Check Coverage page.

5. Use Apple’s Hardware Test (AHT)

With every Apple computer comes a hardware testing application that is very advanced, yet easy to run. It can take a long time for it to run since it is checking many components, but it will pay off. It will report to you what is broke and will also give you health indicators for each hardware component.

To utilize AHT:

  1. Shut down the Mac. Then, press the power button to turn it back on.
  2. After pressing the power button, press and hold the D key
  3. AHT will begin to load. Once it is finished loading select your language and then click “Test”.

You can either choose to run the extended test or just do the basic test as well. Make sure the test completes fully before purchasing the machine. This will assure you that you won’t have any regrets after purchasing your used Apple Mac.