How to Tell How Old Your Computer Is

And how old is too old?

What to Know

  • Look up the serial number using the wmic bios get serialnumber command, then research this using Google.
  • Check the BIOS version and date using the systeminfo command.
  • Look for the Original Install Date for Windows in systeminfo results.

If you're considering upgrading your computer or wondering if your computer is still under warranty, you're going to need to know how old your computer is. Thankfully, there are several ways to do this, and none of them are overly complicated.

How to Tell How Old Your Computer Is

The following methods for finding out how old your computer is will work for any Windows computer unless stated otherwise.

  1. If you purchased your computer from a manufacturer, you should find a sticker with the serial number on the back of the computer if it's a desktop PC, or the bottom if it's a laptop. If you can't find any sticker, you can look up the serial number by opening the command prompt and typing wmic bios get serialnumber and pressing Enter. Search Google or the manufacturer's website for that serial number to find the year your computer was made.

    Looking up a computer's serial number in the Command Prompt.
  2. You can skip the research by using systeminfo.exe to check your BIOS version. This will include include the date your computer was manufactured. To check the BIOS version, open the command prompt, type systeminfo.exe, and press Enter. You will see the month, day, and year of the BIOS version, which should match the year your computer was made.

    Checking the BIOS version in Windows Command Prompt.
  3. It stands to reason that Windows was installed on your computer when it was originally set up at the factory. If you can determine when Windows was installed, you can gauge the age of your computer. This is also an item you can find when you run the Systeminfo command. Just look for the Original Install Date in the list of results.

    Looking up the original install date using the Windows systeminfo command.

    This option only helps if you're using the original version of Windows that was installed when you first purchased your computer. If you've ever upgraded Windows, then the Original Install Date will reflect the date you upgraded to the newer version of Windows and not when the original version was first installed on your computer.

  4. Another way to estimate the age of your computer is by checking when your computer's processor was initially launched. This is because when computers are manufactured, they're typically made with the latest available processor technology. First, find your processor by selecting the Start menu, typing "System Information", and selecting the System Information app. Your processor details will be listed in the Processor field. Use Google to look up the date this manufacturer was launched.

    System Information on Windows 10 with Processor details highlighted.
  5. Checking the oldest date of folders in the Windows System32 folder is another good way to get a sense of the age of your computer. You can find this folder at C:\Windows\System32. Sort the file listing by Date Modified and look at the folders with the oldest dates. This date is typically when your system was initially set up and therefore also represents how old your computer is.

    The System 32 folder in Windows sorted by Date Modified.

    Pay no attention to the date of individual DLL files in this folder. Many of these were created when the version of Windows you have installed was created. For this reason, DLL file dates will often predate the age of your computer by many years. However specific folders are related to hardware and software installed on your computer and therefore reflect when Windows was initially installed.

  • How old is my HP computer?

    Locate your HP laptop's serial number on the bottom of the device or the side or back of an HP desktop PC. You can also look up the serial number from the Command Prompt using the wmic bios get serialnumber command. Find the manufacturing date in the fourth, fifth, and sixth numbers of the serial number to determine the age of your HP computer.

  • How old is my Dell computer?

    Use the Dell SupportAssist tool to find your device's serial number, which Dell refers to as Service Tag. Open the program or search for SupportAssist > find the Service Tag in the upper-right area of the main screen > visit the Dell support site > enter the serial number > click Search > and select View Warranty Details. Your Dell's manufacturing date is under Ship Date.

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