Refurbished MacBooks are computers which are pre-owned. They might have had a faulty part—a faulty SSD, a screen issue, a battery problem, an unresponsive keyboard—and were sent back to the manufacturer. Or, they were a display item that is now getting prepped to go on the market.

But how do MacBooks get refurbished?

First, the MacBook gets sent back to the manufacturer or to a refurbisher. There, it is subjected to a battery of tests. Both hardware and software are tested. 

Should any faulty part be discovered, the refurbisher will move to troubleshoot. They will fix the part when possible or replace it with a new one. Typically, a loose wire on a MacBook motherboard can easily be reconnected but a cracked screen has to be fully replaced.

Once all the parts are functional again, the refurbished MacBook is thoroughly cleaned before it goes through a full set of tests once again. Product testing is crucial to make sure the device is ready for sale. Only when a MacBook passes these tests—just like a new one would!—the refurbisher can stamp them as refurbished.