What To Check When Buying a Used Laptop

A used laptop is a laptop that has been previously used by another person and it is a great way for people to save money on the expensive cost of laptops. They are also environmentally friendly because they reduce the amount of electronic waste that goes into landfills.

A refurbished laptop is a type of used laptop that has undergone repairs and/or upgrades to make it new again.

When you are buying a used laptop, there are some things you need to check. You need to ensure that the laptop is in good condition and has the right specifications for your needs.

Some of the things you should check when buying a used laptop are:

Check the battery life

The first step is to open the battery icon in the system tray. The icon will show you the current battery percentage and whether or not it is charging. If it is charging, then you can click on the icon to see more details about your laptop’s battery.

Sometimes the laptop manufacturer publishes a tool to help you diagnose the laptop and look for any errors or malfunctions such as a bad battery and stuff like that, HP offers this type of tool, if the tool tells you that the laptop is bad and needs replacing then never hesitate to return it to its owner.

There’s also something called charging cycles, they’re sometimes between 500 and 600 cycles or even more, a charging cycle means how many times this battery was charged from 0 to 100%, if the charging cycles count is near 500 or 600 then this means this battery is about to go bad soon.

An extra tip would be to leave a movie or something like that running until the laptop shuts down automatically to check the true battery life and if it’s really working properly.

Check the keyboard and mouse condition

It’s very important to check both input devices before you pay and leave, after some time touchpads and keyboards function differently or unexpectedly, maybe the previous owner spilled juice or water on the keyboard or mousepad, such liquids will be responsible for damaging these devices, you can use the help of online tools to check both the keyboard and mouse online.

Check the keyboard

You can use this website to check if the keyboard is working properly or not, make sure to press every key to make sure it’s working fine.

Check the touchpad

You can use this website to check if the touchpad is working properly or not, follow the instructions to start the test.

Check how old the laptop is

The age of laptop determines how well the laptop is and if it’s a good idea to buy it or not, you can do so by asking the owner what time ge got the laptop by showing you a receipt or you can go online and search for the laptop model number to discover when the laptop was launched.

Is there any damage to the screen?

This step is crucial as well, the laptop’s screen could contain dead pixels, a dead pixel is a very small point on the screen which produces no color whatsoever, you can easily check for these dead pixels online too, this website can do the job for you.

Check the hard disk

After a while hard disks go bad, it could get something called a bad sector, a bad sector can damage you laptop and make it slower, it’s always a good idea to download a software to check for these bad sectors, if you found any nevery attempt to fix them sometimes after fixing them the laptop gets faster yes but it takes a lot of time and the overall performance of the hard disk won’t be the same so if you found any return the laptop immediately.

You can use the EaseUS Partition Master to chek for bad sectors, it’s free by the way.

Check all ports

A laptop might contain many ports, some of which are USB ports, display ports, storage ports like an SD Card, and Ethernet port… etc.

Testing all of these ports is an essential step before moving forward and buying the laptop,

Check Audio and Camera

Sometimes the audio quality gets worse over time, run a few tests by playing music or any sound file to see if the speaker is working properly. 

Most laptop cameras are bad anyway but that doesn’t mean you ignore checking it, open the camera app on the laptop and see if the camera is dusty or the quality isn’t as good as the reviews online. 

Look for Scratches or Cracks

Look closely and look for any scratches of any kind, a scratch or crack could mean that the previous owner dropped the laptop at some point of its life, dropping a laptop could break or move inner parts causing it to be slower or not turn on at all, also the HDD could be ocrrupted from the fall.

Check the laptop hinges

Try closing an opening the laptop a couple times to make sure the hinges work fine, a loose hinge could be a headache and cause the laptop to close on itself making you regret that you got it one day.

Make sure all components are there

Uusually the seller will list out all the specs of the laptop, for example, the laptop has a 500 GB HDD and an Intel Core i3 CPU and 8 gigs of RAM, always make sure that all the specs he listed are correct and in place, you could accidently expect an SSD in there while it’s an old HDD 🙁

What to Consider Before Buying a Used Laptop

From my experience there are some considerations to take in mind before buying a laptop, pay close attention to the next tips before you regret anything.

The laptop screen

This tip is important, the first time I got a used laptop I made this mistake, at that time I used to deal with graphics and colors, if you’re a graphic designer, photographer, UI/UX designe, web developer… etc, you need to choose a laptop screen that’s at least of an IPS type, in a nutshell an IPS screen doesn’t change its colors if you look at it from any direction or angle, this is crucial because you’ll need to see the actual colors of an image or a website or whatever, look the laptop screen type up online before going through and buying it.


Clearly, buying a laptop with an SSD is a much better option, an SSD is much faster than an HDD, nowadays having an HDD is a kind of a big mistake, having an SSD will save you up time and headache, there’s a clear difference in price between both types, an SSD costs more than HDD of the same size, but it’s worth it.

How heavy the laptop is

If you move around a lot carrying your laptop then it’s a good idea to choose a light or slim laptop, carrying a heavy one around could be irritating.

Ask for a warranty

I know I know, how could a used laptop come with a warranty? It’s always a good idea to ask for some kind of guarantee or warranty that the laptop won’t break after a month or so, a typical guarantee period would be a minimum of 6 months, I discovered that the laptop’s battery was bad 5 months after I got it 🙁 

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