You can discover unique bargains when looking for a refurbished Apple product. Still, before you buy reconditioned devices from the company, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into.

This post answers nine common questions about refurbished Apple products and explains everything you need to know before your next purchase.

1. What are refurbished Apple products?

Apple devices in white boxes

Refurbished Apple products are Apple devices restored to complete working condition, as new, after being either pre-owned or used as display models, such as an iPhone, MacBook, iPad, Apple TV, or an Apple Pencil.

Sellers and buyers also refer to them as refurbed, reconditioned, or remanufactured.

2. Will my refurbished Apple product work like new?

Yes, refurbished Apple products are 100% functional. All their components work like new.

They will always have all of their parts in complete working condition, from the screen of an iPhone to the battery of an iPad or the charger of an Apple Watch. Same as their brand new counterparts.

How is this? You may ask.

Well, refurbished products aren’t the same as used products. If any parts on a refurbished Apple product are not up to the functional standard of a new Apple product, they will be replaced.

If the hard drive on a MacBook doesn’t work, Apple will replace it with a new one. If the battery on an iPhone has lost its charge or doesn’t work correctly, they will replace it.

No matter what, if you buy a refurbished Apple product, it will be completely functional.

3. Does Apple thoroughly test its refurbished products?

Apple A7 chip

Of course. Testing is one of the most important stages when Apple refurbishes a device.

Refurbished Apple products undergo a rigorous refurbishment process, including hardware and software tests and thorough checking of all components. Most parts, if not all, will pass the checks with flying colors.

If there are any issues found, the parts will go through troubleshooting. When the refurbisher knows what is wrong with the piece, they can make an informed decision on how to proceed. Sometimes, they will replace the part entirely.

For example, if an iPhone screen has a crack, it will be replaced with a new screen. Other times, the refurbisher will simply fix the part. For example, if there’s a loose wire on a MacBook motherboard, they can easily reconnect the wire.

After completing the fixes or replacements, the refurbished product must go back through the complete product test. Only when a product can pass all functional testing (as a new product would) can it be approved and sold as refurbished in the Apple Store.

4. Does Apple clean its refurbished products?

Yes. Many refurbished Apple products have spent their short lives being used by their previous owner or multiple people as display or stock models in a store. That is why refurbished phones, tablets, and computers must undergo an intense cleaning process.

Products are thoroughly cleaned to ensure they are as shiny and dust-free as new. Screens are polished, dust is removed from keyboards, and all ports are checked for dirt. In addition, the internal parts of the hardware are cleaned, so the refurbished device is entirely spotless and sanitized.

5. Do refurbished Apple products have user data on them?

None at all. Any internal storage will have been wiped of all data when a product is refurbished. You’ll not find traces of any of the previous owner’s configurations, pictures, music, videos, or apps.

Whether on a computer, iPhone, or iPad, the hard drive will be completely fresh and ready for you as if it came fresh from the factory.

6. Do refurbished Apple products have their operating system reinstalled?

macOS installation

Yes, the operating system is reinstalled after the hard drive is erased of all data in the refurbishing process.

When you receive your refurbished iPhone or iPad, it will have a clean copy of iOS ready for you to set up. Or, if you’ve purchased a refurbished MacBook, it’ll be ready for you with a clean copy of macOS.

The software will be ready for you as it would be in a brand new model, and you’ll be able to set your device up as new or possibly restore it from a backup of your previous device.

7. Do refurbished Apple products come with a warranty?

RefurbMe Warranty Cover seal

Yes, they do.

It’s important to note that not all refurbishers include warranties with their products. We advise you to avoid companies that don’t provide warranties for any electronic items—whether they are refurbished electronics or not.

Buyers don’t wish to spend their hard-earned cash on electronic items without a warranty. That’s why it makes sense to include them in refurbished Apple products.

Thankfully, we aggregate all of the best deals from Apple refurbishers on RefurbMe. They all provide warranties with their products, and some merchants even allow you to pay in order to upgrade the warranty period to be covered for multiple years. Most of them offer a minimum of a one-year warranty.

8. Will my refurbished Apple device look brand new?


The only real difference between refurbished Apple products and new Apple products (aside from the much lower price, of course) is the cosmetic condition of the items, namely, the product’s appearance.

There are three different levels of cosmetic conditions you can choose from:

  • Excellent. The screen and body are in perfect condition.
  • Good. The screen is in very good condition. There may be scuffs or nicks on the side or back.
  • Fair. There are scuffs and nicks. It will look used but will be fully functional.

All products that Apple refurbishes are classified as Excellent. In fact, you may not know this, but if your device breaks and Apple offers you a replacement, they actually give you a refurbished device. That’s right; you literally can’t tell between new and refurbished in this case.

9. Are refurbished Apple products cheaper than new Apple products?

Yes, that’s why there are loads of hot deals for refurbished Apple products on our platform, both from the Apple Refurbished Store and third-party reputable refurbishers.

This may be the most remarkable fact: by purchasing a refurbished product, you can save between 15% and 80% of the original price of the new product.

Here are some examples so you know what to expect:

Discounts do vary a lot, so you just need to have a good browse!

Bonus question: Are refurbished products more likely to fail?

MacBook Air

Even electronic products can get through the highest quality standards of product checks and still have a manufacturing problem when in the hands of their new owner.

Refurbished Apple products, however, go through these high-standard quality checks twice. So, even if they pass the first time, they are unlikely to pass the quality check for a second time if they actually have a problem.

We suspect that refurbished products are less likely to fail than new products. Since there isn’t any data on this yet, we’ll have to confidently say that refurbished products aren’t any more likely to fail than new ones. And remember, you’re always covered with a warranty in any case.

Now, head on to RefurbMe and start comparing hundreds of refurbished Apple devices sold by the original manufacturer and multiple sellers. Find the best deals or set an alert for price drops.

Good luck!

Apple Refurbished