Buying a used MacBook: 6 things you need to check

You are about to buy a used MacBook. A second hand through a friend of a friend. Or an opportunity through Marketplaces. The seller will not agree to “try a week”. But probably with a quick check – and if not, then it’s better to abandon the purchase. What should you look out for? These are the things that you can quickly check when purchasing one used MacBook.

1. Visible damage

First look at what the MacBook looks like. You don’t want heavy user tracks and butsen or scratches. They also reveal the way in which the previous owner has dealt with his valuable things. Use light to check the screen for scratches. Check the condition of the charger: you have to replace frayed cables and that is pricey. It is best if the MacBook plus accessories are supplied with the original packaging.

2. Switch it on

See if the MacBook starts up normally. If all goes well, the seller has swept the Mac empty. On the one hand, that is an advantage, because it proves once again that the salesman has handled his Mac with knowledge. On the other hand: you now have to create a new user, because ideally you want to perform some tests. If you turn on the Mac, you can also immediately check if the cable still works and – very important – if the MacBook also works without a cable.

3. How old is the MacBook?

It will not be the first time: someone is offering a Mac from 2017. But … in the end it turns out to be a model from 2015, purchased in 2017. That considerably shortens the shelf life of your Mac. Therefore, check which MacBook it is. To do this, click on the apple and “About this Mac”. There you can see what kind of MacBook it is. Also check whether the Mac supports macOS Catalina – the most recent version of the operating system.

4. Check the battery

The battery of a MacBook lasts a long time, but not endlessly. It is therefore important to check the condition of the battery and the number of charging cycles it has undergone. You do not want the Mac to be constantly on power. You can check the battery condition via “Apple> About this Mac> System overview”. Under the power supply you can find the status information of the battery and the number of cycles. At> 500 you have to think about replacing your battery and that is a costly affair.

5. Pay attention to keyboard and trackpad

Check if all the keys on the keyboard are working. Apple made MacBooks with a butterfly keyboard for a while, and they are notorious. Looks great, but when you type, they sometimes “stick”. You also have to check the trackpad: click around. Also, check the connections of the Mac – there have not been many in recent times.

6. Diagnostic information

Apple has installed a feature on every Mac that you can use to get diagnostic information about your MacBook’s hardware. This test checks whether everything is still working properly. Is there something wrong? Then you get suggestions on how you can solve the hardware problem. You can read how to perform the test on the Apple Support page Diagnostic information Use Apple on the Mac.

The alternative …

Do you find it too risky to buy a used Mac and do the check yourself? But do you find a new MacBook too expensive? Then you could consider buying a refurbished MacBook. This is first checked for many more than six points, and repaired if necessary. You also receive a guarantee. Make sure you buy from an (online) store with the Refurbished quality mark, for example Forza Refurbished.