I need to know when some Macbook did run first time. Is it possible?

  • Related: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/19021/…
    – nohillside
    Nov 16, 2015 at 18:31
  • @patrix Or apple.stackexchange.com/questions/18951/… :-)
    – bmike
    Nov 16, 2015 at 18:43
  • If you're looking to parse the filesystem, this is just a duplicate of the linked question. If you want to explain that you have wiped or replaced the drive (and be sure to define how you did that specifically) by editing the post, this might be worth reopening for additional answers / migrating the existing answers to the old thread.
    – bmike
    Nov 16, 2015 at 18:46

3 Answers 3


I would choose stat -x /var/db/.AppleSetupDone to look at file creation dates in conjunction with estimating the build date of your Mac.

Enter the serial number of your Mac here or here to get the build week and year. To get the serial number enter system_profiler SPHardwareDataType |grep "Serial Number (system)" or use About this Mac -> System Profile

If the timespan is small between both dates it's quite likely that the Mac was booted for the first time just before the file .AppleSetupDone was created.

My Mac has the build date "Week 14, 2011" and the file creation date of .AppleSetupDone is "Jun 13 21:45:11 2012". It's obvious that I erased the Mac on Jun, 13 2012 and reinstalled a new system.

  • @user3439894 I added a second service
    – klanomath
    Nov 16, 2015 at 18:05
  • 1
    This question might get edited and reopened. Would you mind posting this on the main thread for this question - how to read the filesystem and check build dates: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/18951/…
    – bmike
    Nov 16, 2015 at 18:47
  • this does not cover that case if my mac was reinstalled os.
    – swift2geek
    Feb 4, 2019 at 13:19

You can try following this command on Terminal:

ls -lt /private/var/db/ | tail -3

There will be shown a list of files, and you can refer to the oldest one in order to determine the date you are looking for.

  • 1
    actually this way we can check when was the latest reset of software...:) Nov 16, 2015 at 16:32
  • In this case, I think is not possible. One thing I think is to check the life of your battery (supposing you never changed it). Can this work?
    – mgiordi
    Nov 16, 2015 at 16:33
  • Yes, this is better solution. In my case there is 5 years:) but on the other site, batter life is counted from the date when Apple put it inside, not from the user run device first time. Nov 16, 2015 at 16:35

For older versions of OS X You can view the System install receipts in /Library/Receipts. The creation date of the bom files should match the install date.

  • @patrix all three answers have that same issue. A cloned OS makes it very hard to figure it out compared to a fresh install.
    – cde
    Nov 16, 2015 at 19:17

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