Even if you are happy with your Mac, there are many reasons why you suddenly want to know the year it was released. For example, you are preparing to install the latest version of macOS, preparing a computer for sale to purchase a new one, or trying to troubleshoot something. Whatever the reason, there are several ways to find out how old and what generation your Mac is, as Apple terminology constantly mentions.
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You may already know, but your Mac is not the age when you purchased it. For example, a computer purchased new in 2021 may not necessarily be a 2021 Mac. It could very well turn out to be a 2020 or even 2019 model.
What we will call “age” is actually the same year when this model was introduced by Apple… Any computer you purchase from Apple has certain specifications specific to that particular model for that specific year.
And to find out the model, ID, and part number of any MacBook Pro, Air, iMac, or Mac mini specification, go to this page.
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How to determine the year a Mac was released on a turned on computer
If you have a working Mac that boots at least, you can find out the year it was released in less than a minute.
Click on the Apple icon in the menu bar and select “About this Mac“.
That’s all! In the information on the Overview tab, you will see your Mac’s year of manufacture next to its type on the first line of the computer description. As you can see in this screenshot, my iMac is released in 2019.
This is a pretty useful screen as it contains detailed information that you need for other purposes. For example, here you can see the serial number of your computer, the amount of RAM installed in it and the processor model. If you want to get the model ID of your Mac, then click on “System report …“
On the left side panel there will be a list of available equipment, but if it is not there, then open the list by clicking on “Hardware“. This way you can see what parts are installed on your Mac with the exact model ID and other information.
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On a non-working Mac
If your Mac is unusable and you can’t turn it on, then it takes a little more effort to age your computer. But the result can still be found out.
At the bottom of the back of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini (on the iMac, for example, on the back of the “leg”) the serial number of the computer and possibly the model number are written in small print. You need to write them down, and then open the browser on your iPhone, iPad or anywhere.
If you find the model number, then you can use one of the links above for your Mac type. The model identifier will allow you to find out her age.
If you only have a serial number, go to the Apple Check product page. Enter an existing serial number in the field, enter the code to confirm that you are a human, and click “Proceed”… Then you will see information with the year your Mac was released.
Another option for obtaining information about a non-working Mac is the factory packaging from a once purchased device. But this is possible if you have it. If you are lucky enough to find a box, look on the barcode for the serial number of the device, or check the purchase receipt, invoice.