How to Tell How Old Your Computer Is
Whether you’re trying to determine software compatibility or replacement components, knowing the age of your computer is important. Technology has a tendency to advance faster than expected, usually rendering a great deal of older computers obsolete.
If you want to know how to tell how old your computer is, we’ll give you some of the easiest ways, no matter what platform you’re on.
Checking the Serial Numbers and Manufacturer’s Stickers
Unless you build a computer from the ground up using components bought separately, the entire machine usually has the same manufacturing dates. Most, if not all computer producers will have the dates of their component’s manufacture somewhere on the exterior of the machine. This helps in identifying the batch of the computer coming out of the factory, which can be matched to any known defects in the batch.
Usually, these dates are placed in the serial number sticker, as the serial number also immediately identifies the model and make of the machine. If a date isn’t clearly indicated, the serial number in itself may contain a code to the manufacturing date. If you can find the serial number or the QR Code of your computer, write it down or scan the QR Code. You can then head to the manufacturer’s website to see if you can identify the manufacturing date of the computer from the serial number.
This process can also be used to identify the manufacturing date of the individual parts if the computer was built from scratch. This is handy if you wish to upgrade individual parts and not replace the entirety of the computer.
Do note that you should never remove the serial number sticker to try and record the code. Many manufacturers will void your warranty if the serial number sticker is removed. You may also need the serial number again in the future, and forgetting to put the sticker back will cause you to potentially lose it. Write it down or take a quick digital photo. Never take it off.
How to Tell How Old Your Windows 10 PC Is
If the serial number does not contain a manufacturing date, or the manufacturer’s website is unable to give a date using the serial number alone, you have alternatives. If you are using a Windows 10 PC, then you can find all the relevant information using the Windows System Info command. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click on the Windows Search bar. If you do not have the magnifying glass icon in the taskbar itself, you can find it by right-clicking on the taskbar, hovering over Search, then choosing either the icon or the Search box.
- On the Search bar, type “command” and then click on Command Prompt. This should open the DOS Command prompt window.
- Type in “systeminfo” and press the Enter key.
- Wait for the command to finish running. This should produce a list of data. Scroll through the list until you find the BIOS Version Information. This is the BIOS Version date, which usually gives a rough estimate of how old your computer may be. This is not the manufacturing date, but it may be close.
- Another date that you can use unless you have recently installed a new OS, is the OS installation date. This indicates the day on which your current operating system was put in. It may not indicate the exact age of your computer, but for a rough estimate, it means that your machine cannot have been made after the installation date of the OS. (That’s unless you have changed the hard drive or put in a new drive where the OS resides.)
It is a good thing to note that although you can search for and run systeminfo.exe from the search bar without opening the command, it will close immediately afterward. The command itself doesn’t have a pause to display the information so you will need the command prompt window to be able to view the data.
How to Tell How Old Your Chromebook Is
As with all computer hardware, the easiest way to know the manufacturing date of a machine is to check the serial numbers for a date. If the date isn’t indicated, or the manufacturer’s website doesn’t have that info, you can make an educated guess using the Chromebook’s system settings.
The Chromebook is rather unique in that the OS itself has an expiry date. It does not mean that the machine itself will stop working when it reaches that date, but it does mean that it will stop getting update support. This is important as the Chromebook is almost entirely dependent on Google’s online services to function properly. If it is no longer updated, then compatibility errors may render the machine useless.
Different models of the Chromebook may contain different data, but if you want to know the specs of your Chromebook, you can do the following:
- On your Chromebook, open a New Tab, type in “chrome://system” and then hit Enter.
- You should be given a text list of all the system information for your Chromebook. Scroll down to see if you can find the Model and Manufacturer dates. If not, you can use the model and manufacturer info to search the internet for approximate dates of manufacture.
If you want to know the End-Of-Life date for your Chromebook or the date on which Google will stop updating your particular model’s software, follow these steps:
- On the Search bar, type in “Settings” to open the Settings menu.
- On the bottom of the menu bar to the left, click on About Chrome OS.
- On the first tab, click on Additional details. The end-of-life date of your Chromebook should be listed under Update Schedule. After that date, your Chromebook will no longer receive any additional updates from Google.
How to Tell How Old Your Mac Computer Is
If you own a Mac, then getting the manufacturing date is directly tied to the serial number. Unlike other platforms that rely on different companies to build the hardware, the Mac is entirely built by Apple. This means that there is a standardized process to find the info you need. If you want to know how old your Mac is, follow these steps:
- Find your machine’s serial number.
- If the sticker is in an out of the way place, you can find this information through the OS itself. You can do this by:
- Heading to the OS home page to restore the Finder menu.
- Click on the Apple Icon.
- Click on About This Mac.
- Click on More Info and you will find your hardware’s serial number listed under Overview.
- Proceed to this Apple Check Coverage website.
- Enter your serial number in the text box, solve the verification code, then click on Continue.
- You should be given the proper dates after you follow the further instructions.
How to Tell How Old Your Dell Computer Is
Dell has its own dedicated support website to determine the manufacturing date and warranty support date for your model. This does entail finding the Dell Service Tag of the particular computer that you’re using.
- If you’re using a desktop model, this service tag is usually located on the top, side, or back of the case.
- If you’re using an all-in-one computer, it’s on the lower back of the case or stand.
- If you have a Dell laptop, the Dell Service Tag will be on the bottom, the battery case, or on the keyboard or palm rest.
With the service tag located, it’s time to find out the computer’s age.
- Record the service tag and proceed to the Dell Support Website.
- Enter the service tag on the Search Dell Support text box or the Identify your Product text box and then follow the instructions.
- Alternatively, if you’re using Windows OS on your machine, you can follow the instructions for Windows 10 as detailed above. This may not give an exact manufacture date, but it’s still a good estimate.
How to Tell How Old Your HP Computer Is
HP records the manufacturing date of its PCs as a code in the serial number. At least that is how it is done for those made from 2010 to 2019. The manufacturing date is hidden in the 4th, 5th, and 6th numbers in the serial number code. For example, if these three numbers are 234 then your PC was manufactured on the 34th week of 2012. This trend will probably follow for newly created computers, as most of them don’t tend to remain in use after a decade.
If you have an older HP computer though, it may be better to contact HP itself to know a manufacturing date if the serial code doesn’t give an exact number. You can find the serial code in the outside casing or by using the HP Support Assistant. You can open HP Support Assistant by typing it in the windows taskbar search box.
Calling the Manufacturer
If your particular manufacturer doesn’t provide a serial search option on their website, then it may be better to call their support hotline. They keep records of the dates of manufacture for their products and will usually have that information on hand. Check your product manual or the manufacturer’s website for the support numbers.
A Straightforward Process
Whatever reason you may have to check the age of your computer, it’s really a straightforward process as long as you know what steps to take. Depending on your computer model or OS, however, this may entail simply typing in the right commands, or it can be as inconvenient as having to call up your product’s manufacturer.
Have you ever had trouble finding out how old your computer is? Do you know of other ways to do so? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.