If you've had a computer for a long time, you may be curious about when it was manufactured. Generally, the manufacture date doesn't affect things like warranties, which are based on the date you bought the computer rather than its actual age. You can usually find out the date of manufacture of a computer by going online or calling the maker if you need to. If the computer is particularly old, this may not be possible, but you can look up computer history resources to find out roughly when it was built.

Desktop or Laptop Manufacture Date

At least roughly determining when a desktop or laptop computer was made is possible in several ways.

Check the computer's basic input/output system, or BIOS, software to see when it was installed. The BIOS may display this information when you boot the computer. When you turn on the computer, check the BIOS menu options if it doesn't do so automatically. The computer often says something like "Press F2 for Setup." Follow these instructions and look for the date in the menus. Don't change any settings you don't understand or don't want to change.

Check It in Windows

Microsoft Windows users can access this information via the System Information tool. In the taskbar or Start Menu, type "System Information" and click the icon for the program. The listing should say "BIOS Version/Date" with this information.

Contact the Manufacturer

Computer manufacturers allow you to enter your computer's serial number online to find out when it was made. Dell, for example, lets you see the date a computer was shipped. You can see the model year of the computer on Apple, but not the exact calendar year.

A manufacturer may be able to determine your computer's age by interpreting the serial number over the phone. Ask your computer's manufacturer for assistance.

Computer History

You might not be able to find out the exact year that a computer was made if it is old enough, such as an antique computing device. Afterward, you can research online when the model of computer was made. Search for your computer's model using a search engine such as Google or Bing.

You can also reach out to a computer history organization, like the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. Library resources may be helpful as well.