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How to Check if Your Android Phone is Refurbished or Factory-New

Find out if your Android phone is a refurbWhether you’re buying a new phone or getting an existing one swapped out / repaired, you might want to keep an eye out for the casually slipped in refurbished models.  Repair shops, wireless carriers, and eBay sellers would love to hand you a refurb in place of a factory-new one.  Why?  Well, factory-new phones are just that -new- and it costs more money for carriers or stores to swap out broken models with factory-new ones. And, since it’s hard to tell (sometimes) if a phone is a refurb, many will try to “slip one past ya.”  Fortunately for you, you’re a groovyReader, and I’m going to share with you a simple technique for sniffing out a Refurbished Android Phone.


If the code below does not work for you, try this method instead.

Step 1

Tap your Phone app and open up the dialer.

Open the Android dialer app

Step 2

Using the touchscreen keypad, Dial ##786# (aka ##RTN#).

No need to press dial, the phone should automatically open up to the RTN screen.  From here Tap View

Note: If this code doesn’t work, try *#*#786#*#* instead. Stars and numbers must be entered in the correct order.

dial the rtn codeview android rtn information

Step 3

Scroll down the RTN screen to Reconditioned status. Here there are only two possible status entries:

  • Yes – Your phone is a refurbished model.
  • No – Congratulations, your phone is not a refurbished model.  Instead, it is factory new.

android phone reconditioned status rtn

Why should I care if my phone was refurbished?

Refurbished or “reconditioned” means your phone was previously used or damaged, and then returned, repaired, and polished up to make it look “like-new.”  In most cases, this means there is no longer anything wrong with the device, and it should work just like a new one.  However, sometimes ‘refurbs’ have issues.  The warranty is usually never as good for a refurbished device, if it even has one at all… The build quality might also be lower on a refurb since replacement third-party parts are sometimes used rather than the OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer).

Refurbished devices also have a lower sale value, and this also applies to resale value.  If at some point you want to sell your phone on eBay or elsewhere, a refurbished phone won’t garner the same price point as one that is straight from the OEM.

Before buying a phone, or after receiving one you bought online – the first thing you should do is check to see if it is a refurb.  If the sale description did not mention that it was a refurb, you can return it and get a full refund or file a fraud claim.

For example, I recently had Sprint send me a replacement after experiencing problems with my phone, and sure enough –it was a refurb.  Needless to say, I spoke to Sprint about the finding and they sent me a new one.

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95 Responses to How to Check if Your Android Phone is Refurbished or Factory-New

  1. Gene Harris May 10, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Didn’t work on my Droid. Entered ##786# and nothing happened.

  2. johnl May 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Didn’t work for me. Tried it on an HTC Magic running 2.2. Nothing happens after entering ##786# so if I hit the dial button it comes up with an unknown command error. Is this a 2.3 only command and what do you mean by (aka ##RTN#)?

  3. RPL May 12, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Did not work on my Moto Droid either. That code may only work on your phone service.

    • grooveDexter May 12, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      Looking like this might be a Samsung only thing, if I can find the HTC and Motorola codes I’ll update the article.

      • sarah November 8, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

        I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 and this did not work for my phone either.

      • Ahmad June 26, 2016 at 8:20 am #

        Doesn’t work on S5 Samsung of J7 either.

    • John Asamoah January 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      I entered the code but I found nothing

  4. REM May 15, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    Does not work on the Samsung Galaxy S 4G

  5. JoeyG June 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    This does work on my HTC EVO (well, maybe not *my* EVO) Just received my phone back from HTC Repair and I think HTC Repair swapped out my phone because the DEC, HEX and S/N are now different.. I did the ##786# and the “Reverse Logistics Support” screen came up, only under “Reconditioned Status” and “Reconditioned Date” both say . Does that sound fishy???? It does to me. My phone not acting the same and had a different SprintPCS user and phone number when I received it back from HTC!!!

    • JoeyG June 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

      sorry it says in brackets under each Reconditioned Status and Date “Not Available”

  6. Zorba October 26, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Does it comes only with the original stock ROM ?
    If the store changed the ROM, does the Reconditioned status may be lost or be changed ?

  7. chARM October 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    want to know for the google nexus s.. anyone has the code??

  8. Julie November 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    It work on my android , the reason why im looking for these answers is because on the label where is the serial numbers of the phone said REMANUFACTURED, does somebody knows what is this, I though it was refurbished. I got it as New.

    • Greg Wright May 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

      The term “REMANUFACTURED” means refurbished. They are also termed “Good as New” but are in fact refurbished units. Most refurbishing is done by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) however there is a growing trend to have independent dealers and resale vendors that are preforming the refurbishments. They may or may not be certified by the OEM to preform this practice.
      Good Luck!

  9. Fani November 21, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Is that a joke?its not working

  10. John M. January 31, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Doesn’t work on my Galaxy Note either!

  11. Deiler February 27, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Try this instead:
    Dial: *#*#786#*#*

    • Az May 18, 2015 at 4:01 am #

      Its not working in my blackberry z10

  12. Rusty March 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Deiler, thanks that last code you gave works perfect on my Samsung GN

    • Deiler March 8, 2012 at 7:20 am #

      I am glad I could help!

      • Salman April 16, 2014 at 4:26 am #

        Dailer please help me also.. i have Xperia Z but both codes are not working on them…

  13. Nikki April 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Neither worked on my Samsung Galaxy 4g. I am concerned because I bought this new and when I got home, after surfing the internet, porn popped up!! Having kids I’m pretty ticked off and would like to prove this is refurbished. Bummer it didn’t work.

  14. harvey cobb April 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    I have an HTC thunderbolt and none of the codes mentioned worked. Any idea of what codes will work

  15. BeeMan May 4, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    I have a motorola defy+ (2.3.6) and none of the code above work.

    The Launcher doesn’t work either. I can see only com.motorola stuff, but no

    Does anybody have a clue?


  16. SQ*RedReaper July 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Its for sprint only!

    • Austin Krause July 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      This should work on most Samsung phones. Try the
      *#*#786#*#* if the other code doesn’t work.

      It may work on other phones running Cyanogenmod as well.

      • emran May 3, 2016 at 2:29 am #

        It’s 2016 and now we have note 5.
        Would you please confirm the code for checking it whether it’s refurbished??

      • SMN September 10, 2016 at 4:19 am #

        Nine of the codes work on my Galaxy A5

      • Elizabeth Kavaloski May 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

        it did both codes on my galaxy s5 ….nothing happened…didn’t work 🙁

  17. MissD July 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Really appreciate this..I was going crazy wondering if my phone was refurb but the codes worked perfectly and I’m good to go.. Thanks again!
    Motorola Xprt

  18. jordan July 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    do you have any idea how to show the rtn in galaxy nexus with jelly bean? this doesnt seem to work. thanks

  19. Harsh August 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Neither of the two no.s (##786# OR
    *#*#786#*#*) worked for my HTC one X. Is there any other way to check this?
    ##786# doesn’t work at all while on typing *#*#786#*#* the dialer appears fresh and nothing else happens

  20. Aamer August 10, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    No code works on my HTC sensation xe.

  21. Balaji De Swamy January 5, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    It doesn’t work in NEXUS S. Please give me some suggestion.

  22. Gina May 10, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    It works on my HTC evo ! Thanks

  23. QFanatic May 31, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    ##786# worked on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Thanks!

    • afanatic June 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      It didnt worknon my galaxy s4

  24. Ezra A. July 30, 2013 at 4:38 am #

    Do you think that a seller could tweak with firmware/OS of an unlocked phone to remove the refurbishment status altogether? Meaning, it is still refurbed but doesn’t show the status like that?

  25. Ashok July 30, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    I m getting international sign on my signal bar but i m using my mobile at local service provider

    i have samsung galaxy sprint mobile

  26. Nazim August 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    these codes dosent work on Galaxy S n S2 Either 🙁

  27. DarkSutra August 12, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    This does not work on my phone.. Iam recently got a samsung galaxy s4. what should iDo? the other thing does not work either.. pls help me. thanks

  28. Jahanzaib Ahmed August 14, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    will this code be work on htc inspire 4g?

  29. Austin September 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    works on the HTC One V
    Thank you!

  30. Shenal September 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    the above process of finding the refurbished status of samsung galaxy core i8262 did not worked properly.please tell me how to find the refurbished status of the new samsung galaxy core that runs on android Sri Lanka here we use only GSM mobile phones.please answer soon.thanks.

  31. Amila September 22, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    the above process of finding the refurbished status of samsung galaxy core i8262 did not worked properly.please tell me how to find the refurbished status of the new samsung galaxy core that runs on android JellyBean.

  32. right1 October 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Worked on my Motorola, thanks. Going to sprint keeps shutting down and key board keys some dim, knew something was up. Told me it was a new phone.

    • Hitesh P November 17, 2015 at 1:46 am #

      which moto model u were using? i am using moto g 2g 4g LTE, and it is not working on this phone..plss suggest any other way to find out.

  33. sourena4ever November 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    So thanks
    i am iranian & finding a factory new android phone in my country is very very hard because chines products are coming into my country very easily.
    so thanks for your help that is useful.

  34. Lumia 820 February 10, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    What about windows-phones?

  35. wabukay March 6, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Try *#*#4636#*#*

    • beckers March 25, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      thanks, this one worked for the droid 4

  36. Md Maniruzzaman April 10, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Both code doesn’t work on my micromax canvas 2+

  37. Copeland Lee (@copelandlee08) May 26, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Believe it or not, it is incredibly easy to get personal information from an old phone even you have reset all settings to manufacturer default settings.

    So before selling your old phone, the first thing you shoud do is to erase everything on it permanently and keep your personal data safety.

  38. kurt e July 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    i recently bought a galaxy s4 its meant to be brand new, but the batterylife is terrible and when people ring me they get some other guys voicemail… i never set up a voicemail, but i did have my number brought over to phone,,,, have they given me a refurbished phone??.. neither of the codes do anything on my phone

  39. arsalan August 4, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    i want to check my motorola droid razr m . how can i check /?????

  40. godfred August 6, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    i did de same and de numbers disappear but no result showing as to wether my fone is original or refurbished

  41. Cj Gaviola March 10, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    I’m using acer liquid E700 and it’s not working.

  42. rojarox March 14, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    This worked on my Virgin Mobile (Sprint network) HTC Evo 3D. I just bought an unlocked Nexus 5 from Ebay that the seller said was “New (other)” condition, but when it arrived the seller had included a previous invoice from the Google Play store that said it was refurbished. When contacted about that, the seller said Google told him that though it said refurbished it was really a new phone. I want to return this if it is refurbished, but i haven’t received my SIM card yet from my new carrier and didn’t want to activate any service on this phone if it turns out it is refurbished to make it simpler to return. I turned it on and all screen prompts made it seem as if it hadn’t been used before (refurbished might reset to the same? Factory reset might set to the same also?). Is there a way to do this kind of check on a phone without inserting a SIM card and activating the phone through my carrier? Thank you!

  43. Benjamin April 4, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    I tried both codes on my samsung galaxy young and non of them worked

  44. Stacy Fuhrman May 4, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    I tried the (##786#) and it is asking for a 6 digit MSN CODE. What is an MSN CODE?

  45. Stacy May 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    None of these codes worked with Samsung Galaxy S5

  46. Yvette June 12, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Hello there. Thanks for this post. I was wondering if my Galaxy Note 4, that I purchased from Sprint was a refurb or brand new. The code you provided worked perfectly in helping me determine it is in fact a new phone.

    Take care.

  47. Habib.kashmiri June 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    Both methods not working on my s4

  48. burzin July 25, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    Thanks this was awesomebi went crazy finding things ur one code helped me know if my sprint note 4 was refurbished ir new.
    Its new

  49. Hook July 30, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    The code does not apply on my samsung galaxy note 2 N7105… Can u help me? I need to know if ky android phone is brand new

  50. Aamir Khan September 5, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    these both codes dosent work :/

  51. Gin September 28, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    Both the codes doesn’t work on my Samsung J7? How please advise.

  52. Ankan October 8, 2015 at 12:16 am #

    When I tried using ##786#, nothing happened. So I pressed the dial button and it returned a message saying “Thank You”, and no other information.

    Quite suspicious. What do I do? Any suggestion?

  53. Hitesh P November 17, 2015 at 1:42 am #

    what about Moto G 2G 4G LTE phone? this code is not working on this phone.plss help me.

  54. Sandy November 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    Tried the ##786# and *#*#786#*#* on Samsung LG G3 phone and did not work.

  55. nadeem February 15, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    thank God my mobile is real samsung s5

  56. mir March 12, 2016 at 6:50 am #

    Its not working on my lg g2. I tried bith codes.

  57. Dewlance March 12, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

    I think it will only work on refurbished mobile and also work on some new mobiles. There is high chance that If your mobile is not refurbished then it will not work.

    Another thing is why they will modify refurbished status and If refurbished by local company then they will try to remove this function so you can’t find about it and they will get profit by selling refurbished mobile as new mobile specially “unlocked mobile” sold on ebay type website.

  58. Trager May 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    pls help me out bought this new RCA G1 phone which says is 3g but it doesn’t shows only the Edge displays and the network am on is working on 3g too but I don’t know why it doesn’t display I called the network operators and they said they,ve enable the 3g on my sim but still it doesn’t display so I wanna if the phone is refurbished and that if it’s 3g is fake too and the phone is a dial sim. thanks

  59. Trager May 19, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    and I have tried both codes but nothing showed up is ##786# and *#*#786#*#*

  60. Aimal sagar August 21, 2016 at 5:23 am #

    I try these two codes but its not working in my sam galaxy s6…….

  61. Backohtown September 10, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    Tried it on my Samsung galaxy note 5 which I bought from China via ebay typed as you stated ##786# worked fine, GOOD NEWS NEW PHONE thanks again UK user

  62. Tshering September 19, 2016 at 7:28 am #

    To check this phone need Sim card?

  63. Caleb October 7, 2016 at 12:34 am #

    It Worked on my LG G2 Phone

  64. Alexy November 25, 2016 at 5:49 am #

    Doesn’t work for me on my samsung device.. help me..plsss..

  65. Aadil slim December 3, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

    i tried this code on my s6 edge and my phone is not refurbished thank u very much for sharing

  66. Krysten February 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    For a hauwei ascend xt ran through marshmallow?? I’ve tried both also and nothing I am only asking because I have asticker from walmart almost reminds me of the one they give you when it’s returned. I just got this couple days ago but sticker says 1-17-17 I tried and hopefully when niether works that it what it means…I know nothing about this brand thanks in advance

  67. Murtaza ali March 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    I have tried many time on my Samsung a3 2016 it doesn’t work

  68. sherry March 30, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

    i got a phone from sprint a samsang galx 7 and i cant get service any where there is something really fishy with this

  69. Megan Johnson April 2, 2017 at 7:47 am #

    Try *#*#4636#*#*

  70. rodas April 12, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    it didnt work for my samsung s4 can you please post another code that may work

  71. Sharmi May 8, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

    I bought Vivo v5 in Bazar to check its new or old

  72. ghulam Muhammad May 30, 2017 at 6:44 am #

    It doesn’t work on my Samsung glaxy A5 what should i do please

  73. Sarah May 31, 2017 at 3:30 am #

    I just received what I think is,definitely a,refurbished phone as replacement for my Samsung S6 but it says no yet there are 298 hours of call time and phone registered 2 years ago??? Can they override this??

  74. krishna June 15, 2017 at 8:58 am #

    It’s not working on my mobile lava A97

  75. Josephine August 6, 2017 at 11:42 am #

    Hey I just bought a note 5 but I have tried both codes to check of it’s a refurb or original but both don’t work.

    Someone help me out

    • Lisa August 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

      I just got a new Note 5 too, and would like to know as well.

  76. Sam August 20, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

    Is possíble someone reset the RTN info? Why is reset bottom there? Mine said NO but I want to know if is possible to reset, thanks

  77. sheikh saddam August 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    how can i check my s7 edge phone ?

  78. ganesh September 16, 2017 at 5:09 am #

    use phone info app for samsung phones go download from playstore after downloading open the app and drag menu it will be in left there u will find refurbishment check option click on it then it will display the status of ur phone .

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