How to buy a refurbished MacBook

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)
(Image credit: Future)

There's no denying Macs are some of the most expensive computers you can buy. MacBooks especially can set you back thousands as you add on the extras. The premium price is worth it since Macs have been designed for many years. If you can't afford a new Mac but need one anyway, there is another solution: you can purchase a refurbished Mac. 

Refurbished vs. used

There are big differences between refurbished and used Macs. The latter was used for an uncertain amount of time by someone who has decided to resell it. There are no guarantees this computer runs as expected or if it has problems. When situations do arise, the Mac is probably not covered by a warranty.

Refurbished Macs are also pre-owned. However, they were sent back to Apple because something malfunctioned. That problem has now been fixed, and, if necessary, Apple replacement parts were installed. The computer has also been tested and cleaned and includes accessories, cables, and the latest macOS. 

Your "like new" Mac will be sent to you with free shipping and returns.

Every Apple Certified Refurbished product comes with a one-year limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary technical support. You can also get additional coverage by purchasing AppleCare products.

Refurbished Macs example

(Image credit: Future)

Buying refurbished Macs

You can find and purchase refurbished Macs in the online Apple retail store. Besides MacBooks, Apple also offers refurbished mobile devices, Apple TVs, and accessories. Prices are at least 15% below the original retail price. Each offering includes its original and current price. 

When placing the order, you can elect to have your item shipped to you or sent to the nearest Apple retail store for pick-up. 

More to know

Apple doesn't offer refurbished products in every country and supply differs by location and time of year. When new products are released, it can take weeks or months before refurbished models arrive. 

Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe is a staff writer at TechRadar, iMore, and wherever Future can use him. Though his passion is Apple-based products, he doesn't have a problem using Windows and Android. Bryan's a single father of a 15-year-old daughter and a puppy, Isabelle. Thanks for reading!