How to Find Out the Date When My Computer Was Manufactured

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If you've had a computer for a while, you may be curious to know when the computer was manufactured. Typically, the manufacture date doesn't affect things like warranties, which are based on when you bought the computer rather than the actual age of a computer. However, if you need to know, you can often find out the date of manufacture from the computer's maker by going online or making a phone call. If the computer's especially old, this may not be possible, but you can scour computer history resources to find out roughly when the computer model was built.

Desktop or Laptop Manufacture Date

There are several ways to find out at least roughly when a desktop or laptop computer was made.

One way is to check the computer's basic input/output system, or BIOS, software to see when it was installed. In some cases, the BIOS displays this information when you boot the computer.

If it doesn't do so automatically, look for a BIOS menu option when you turn on the computer. Often a computer says something like "Press F2 for Setup." Follow these instructions and search for a date within the menus. Make sure not to change any settings you don't want to change or don't understand.

Check It in Windows

If you're running Microsoft Windows, you can access this information through the System Information tool. Type "System Information" into the search box in the taskbar or Start Menu and click the icon for the program. You should see a listing that says "BIOS Version/Date" with this information included.

Contact the Manufacturer

Some computer manufacturers allow you to enter your computer's serial number online to see when the computer was made. Dell, for instance, makes it possible to see the date the computer was shipped. Apple enables you to see the model year of the computer, though this won't give the exact calendar date.

In some cases, the manufacturer may be able to interpret the serial number over the phone to tell you your computer's age. Contact your computer's manufacturer for help with this.

Computer History

If a computer is old enough, such as an actual antique computing device, you might not be able to find out from the manufacturer exactly when it was made. In that case, you can research online when the model of computer was made. Use an ordinary search engine such as Google or Bing and type in your computer's model.

If that's not conclusive, reach out to a computer history organization, like the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. Library resources may also be useful.

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