I bought a new 2017 MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar. I found that it had 2 charge cycles.

Is this normal for a new MacBook Pro or it is used?

  • Did you check the cycle count before any other activity like restarting and connecting chargers?
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 11, 2019 at 10:37
  • No, It came out of the box with 2 cycles. Jan 11, 2019 at 10:39
  • When i checked the serial number on apple website, It should me the page to enter the purchase date, This means it is not used before or you can use it without having the warranty started? Jan 11, 2019 at 12:21
  • @ThunderBolt - no. That just means it wasn't "registered." You (someone) can use a Mac without ever connecting to Apple's servers or ever signing in with an AppleID. Warranty coverage is from the date of purchase and your receipt is what determines that.
    – Allan
    Jan 11, 2019 at 12:53

3 Answers 3


How can you tell if your MacBook is new or used?

Cycle count on a battery can't tell you if your Mac was new or used. Why?

  • You could have a new top case (new battery)
  • It could have been plugged in (i.e a "demo model") and never allowed the battery to fully discharge

In both of the above scenarios, you would have a low cycle count, but actually have used equipment.

Additionally, a 2017 MacBook Pro is the previous years model (as of this answer), so it's entirely possible you have something called NOS or New Old Stock. Battery charge levels will drop, so to make the unboxing experience a positive one, retailers will often times remove the device to charge it up and re-shrink wrap it.

Also, looking up the serial number is not a definitive way to see if the unit is used or not. The SN# database is updated upon registration of the device. If the Mac is never registered nor signed in with an AppleID, it won't show in a SN# lookup.

At best, these are indicators, but they are not definitive.

It's important to note that you can have a new product actually contain components that came from an previously opened/used item. In this answer I reference an FTC opinion on a Sony case involving the recommissioning of previously owned products as new (spoiler: it's legal).

So, how can you tell if the Mac you are buying is new or used?

  • Buy from a reputable source. Scams do happen, but there is a level of protection when buying from reputable sources. Buying directly from Apple or a retailer you trust goes a long way in ensuring you get what was advertised.

  • Physically inspect the item. Does it have that "new tech unboxing experience?" Does the plastic protective film look factory applied? Do the cables and boxes look properly sealed, coiled, and secured?

  • Boot the machine. Do you get that new user "Welcome" experience or does it look like an account was created?

  • When in doubt, return it! You paid good money for a laptop. If you feel that it's not what you are expecting and you have lingering doubts - return it for exchange or refund.


Two charge cycles on a new MacBook that's technically 1 year old is perfectly fine. Unless you have something else that's jumping out at you that this is a used device; in all likelihood, your device is brand new.


To me this value looks completely normal. Apple needs to use the battery for quality testing.

That represents the results of testing during build and Quality Testing.


A used MacBook will have well over 2 battery cycles.

  • 1
    Who ever said that in the thread you sourced has zero clue about QA processes. Battery QA is done prior to gluing it in to the top case assembly. You also don't need to cycle a battery in the device to test a) the battery charging or b) the charging sub-system. Final Assembly units pulled for QA are sent to a lab for testing and never returned to stock. It's much more likely that the battery/top case was recycled as a return from a defective machine and reinstalled into another unit and sold as new (which is perfectly legal).
    – Allan
    Jan 11, 2019 at 11:13
  • 1
    Also your statement "A used MacBook will have well over 2 battery cycles" is not accurate. If you leave it plugged in for a month (like you were using it as a desktop) will have only 1 or 2 cycles, but 30 days of use.
    – Allan
    Jan 11, 2019 at 11:20

The maximum count of your unit is 1000. 2 is normal for new unit. You have 998 cycle count before you reach the maximum cycle count. Once you reach it you need to replace the battery.

  • 1
    I’ve never seen a battery need to be replaced after any one arbitrary cycle count. They degrade in several ways. Put in other terms if a switch is rated for 100,000 cycles you don’t go replace them all at 100,001 toggles or not fix one that’s broken at 5,001 cycles when it breaks.
    – bmike
    Apr 18, 2021 at 13:51

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