Every computer has a certain lifespan, and as your computer ages, it will inevitably begin to exhibit symptoms of wear and tear. It makes sense to evaluate how old your computer is in order to determine whether an update or new computer is necessary.
In other cases, some people would simply be interested in knowing how old their computer is, especially when purchasing a pre-used system.
The following guide covers different methods of finding out how old is your computer, be it a Mac, a Windows office machine, or a custom-built PC.
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How Old is Your Computer?
There are different ways to determine how old your computer is, and we will start with the easiest one!
Check the Backside of your System
Turn your laptop upside down in a closed form. You will see different types of stickers on the back, and one of them will contain Serial Number as well as MFG Date of the laptop. In certain laptops, this could be printed instead of a sticker format. The MFG Date is indeed the manufacturing date of your system, and this is the most accurate way to determine how old your system is.
If the date sticker is missing or illegible, you can find the serial number and enter it on the manufacturer’s website for support. This will help you determine how old the system is. Occasionally, this data will be encoded in a QR code (which, when scanned, will simply direct the user to an online help page).
Computer manufacturers like HP, Dell, and Acer offer this support but it is worth noting that not all manufacturers offer this.
However, in case the laptop is old, or pre-used, the sticker might have worn off or the print might have faded away too. In such cases, you have to use other techniques which include determining the date from the internal specifications.
If you have one of those old tower computers, it will have the same stickers or prints from the manufacturer on the front.
Use About Menu in Windows
In the case of Windows systems, including Windows 10 and 11, you can simply type About Your PC on the search bar and access it from the top of the list.
Here, you will find Device Specifications and Windows Specifications.
Under Windows Specifications, you will find the Installed-On section. This will tell you when the operating system was installed on your PC. Ideally, this is quite close to the date on which your system was manufactured or first used.
Be mindful of the fact that some people may have a different operating system installed later on. This would modify the actual date of installation and may represent an inaccurate date. Nonetheless, there are still many other methods to determine how old your system is.
Through BIOS Version
The systeminfo.exe command-line utility provides a comprehensive overview of your BIOS settings. This can tell you how old your computer is based on the BIOS version it uses, which is an accurate reflection of its age in certain cases.
To access the Command Prompt, type cmd in the search bar and hit enter.
Type systeminfo as the command here and hit enter. System information, such as processor specifications, windows specifications, BIOS information and other data will be displayed to you.
The date that appears next to the BIOS Version provides a ballpark idea of when your motherboard was produced. When you look at the BIOS Version, all it does is tell you when the BIOS Firmware was last built.
The System Information utility is another method for determining the current BIOS version.
Simply type msinfo32.exe in the search bar and hit Enter. The System Information application will open. BIOS Version/Date is found in the System Summary section which is quite close to the actual date the system was produced.
CPU’s Release Date
Every year or so, a new generation of CPUs is released. However, some computer makers employ older generation processors in their budget-oriented systems, and your system may have been on a shelf for a while before you purchased it. A computer’s age is roughly estimated by looking at when its central processing unit was first released.
- Type sysinfo or msinfo32.exe into the Windows search box on the taskbar, and then click Run as Administrator
- The Central Processing Unit is shown under the Processor heading.
- Simply type the name of your CPU followed by the phrase release date on Google and see what comes up.
- Follow the link to Intel or AMD’s website.
- You should be able to find your processor’s original release date on that page.
Using PC’s Device Management App
Desktop and laptop PCs come with device management software pre-installed from companies like Lenovo and Dell. You can use these programs to control your device’s settings, optimize its performance, address driver updates, and much more. In addition, they detail every aspect of your machine.
The three major computer brands all have their own device management software: Lenovo has Lenovo Vantage, Dell has SupportAssist, and HP has HP Support Assistant. On the home screen of these programs, you can see what kind of computer you have. This information is again sufficient for a Google Search and can help you determine the age of your system.
How Old is Your Custom-built PC?
For a custom-built PC, it is difficult to determine how old it is. After all, some parts are far more recent. Companies like Dell offer reconditioned laptops made entirely of parts that failed the strict quality assurance process. Therefore, both new and old items are possible.
Because of the nature of its moving parts, components like power supplies and mechanical hard drives have a far higher failure rate as they age. Here, you need to check the manufacturing date and serial number on each and every part of the PC for an exact idea.
However, for a rough estimate, you can determine when the core components of your system were installed.
For example, an old custom-built PC may have NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card. Now, since you don’t exactly know how old the PC is, you can simply use the graphics card name to determine how old is it. Simply perform a Google search and find out when was this graphics card introduced.
You’ll figure out that it was launched in 2015, and that may have been the time when the owner installed it into his system as well.
On the other hand, someone else might have NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card which is one of the recent ones. This again highlights that the system is not older than 2-3 years, at max!
Similar searches can be performed on other components as well, such as motherboard, RAM, and hard disk. In most cases, the “MFG” date is going to be imprinted on the component you are looking for but even if it isn’t, Google can help you find out the exact date easily just by the model’s name.
How Old is Your Mac?
If you have an Apple computer, you can easily determine how old it is. The hardware components of any Windows-based system come from a wide range of manufacturers. However, Apple has much more control over the components used in its machines. Follow these steps to determine the age of your Mac:
- On the desktop, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner and select “About This Mac.”
- Here, you will find the date/year in which your Mac was manufactured. You can go a step further by clicking on “More Info…” to know extra details about your device.
- On this page you’ll be able to check some more tidbits about your device, such as the screen resolution and storage size.
Alternatively, you can enter your serial number from this page on Apple’s Check Coverage webpage. You will find the coverage date of your system, and when was it manufactured.
Finding how old your computer is may seem like a hectic task but with the simple steps we mentioned above, you can easily do so in less than 5 minutes. Keep in mind that with more modifications, and after-market changes, the date of manufacture is going to be less accurate. It is important to keep everything in your system in its original form in order to find out the exact date, easily.
How Old is My Computer - FAQs
You can typically find the manufacturing date of your computer by checking for stickers or prints on the back of the device or its components, such as the CPU or motherboard. These stickers or prints often include manufacturing information, including the date of manufacture.
Yes, you can contact the manufacturer’s customer support on their website and provide them with the computer’s serial number. They can often provide information about the manufacturing or shipping date based on the serial number.
Some operating systems, such as Windows, provide system information that may include the BIOS or UEFI version and date. You can access this information through the system settings or by using commands in the command prompt or terminal.