How-To

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

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If you have an older Android phone and want to check if it’s refurbished, check out these instructions.

Whether 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 are 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, I’m going to share with you a simple technique for sniffing out a Refurbished Android Phone.

Note: This article was originally written over 10 years ago. Android has matured a lot over that amount of time. We’ll come out with an updated version of this soon and link to it.

Update:

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.

108 Comments

108 Comments

  1. Gene Harris

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

    • Lori Mccain

      Hello,I downloaded the launcher found the hidden menu found rtn tried to put it on my home screen but it wouldn’t load. I got ripped off brought a phone online let them know phone wasn’t working right they deleted my history and changed their email did a fraud Report with PayPal and lost can I take my phone to my carrier and could they tell me if its refurbished or not?HELP pls.Thx

    • suman

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

      • Kathryn Smith

        I cannot access the rtn for a Motorola z force. I have tried both codes as well as 2 different launchers. Nothing has worked. I think my phone has been refurbished. The battery dies as quickly as the one it replaced, there was a factory reset and it has a glass screen.

    • Kirubel

      Do’t Work On My Samsung A70 how Can I Check My

    • David Holsapple

      Mine didn’t give anything with trying with both options, any other way someone might be aware of, I have a Pixel 4a

  2. johnl

    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#)?

    • Hasam

      Loru aka means “as known as” cus 786 on keypad means in alphabets RTN.

  3. RPL

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

    • grooveDexter

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

      • sarah

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

      • Ahmad

        Doesn’t work on S5 Samsung of J7 either.

    • John Asamoah

      I entered the code but I found nothing

  4. REM

    Does not work on the Samsung Galaxy S 4G

  5. JoeyG

    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

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

  6. Zorba

    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

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

  8. Julie

    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

      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

    Is that a joke?its not working

  10. John M.

    Doesn’t work on my Galaxy Note either!

  11. Deiler

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

    • Az

      Its not working in my blackberry z10

  12. Rusty

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

    • Deiler

      I am glad I could help!

      • Salman

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

    • Avro Ahmed

      what was the last code ?

  13. Nikki

    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

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

  15. BeeMan

    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 com.android

    Does anybody have a clue?

    Thanks!

  16. SQ*RedReaper

    Its for sprint only!

    • Austin Krause

      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

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

      • SMN

        Nine of the codes work on my Galaxy A5

      • Elizabeth Kavaloski

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

      • Johnson

        Both code didn’t work on my Samsung Galaxy S8

  17. MissD

    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

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

  19. Harsh

    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

    No code works on my HTC sensation xe.

  21. Balaji De Swamy

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

  22. Gina

    It works on my HTC evo ! Thanks

  23. QFanatic

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

    • afanatic

      It didnt worknon my galaxy s4

  24. Ezra A.

    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

    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

    these codes dosent work on Galaxy S n S2 Either :(

  27. DarkSutra

    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

    will this code be work on htc inspire 4g?

  29. Austin

    works on the HTC One V
    Thank you!

  30. Shenal

    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.in Sri Lanka here we use only GSM mobile phones.please answer soon.thanks.

  31. Amila

    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

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

    • Hitesh P

      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

    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

    What about windows-phones?

  35. wabukay

    Try *#*#4636#*#*

    • beckers

      thanks, this one worked for the droid 4

    • Julie

      This worked on my Samsung A12 with AT&T!

  36. Md Maniruzzaman

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

  37. Copeland Lee (@copelandlee08)

    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.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQcwLBctwI0

  38. kurt e

    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

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

  40. godfred

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

  41. Cj Gaviola

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

  42. rojarox

    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

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

  44. Stacy Fuhrman

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

  45. Stacy

    None of these codes worked with Samsung Galaxy S5

  46. Yvette

    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

    Both methods not working on my s4

  48. burzin

    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

    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

    these both codes dosent work :/

  51. Gin

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

  52. Ankan

    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

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

  54. Sandy

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

  55. nadeem

    thank God my mobile is real samsung s5

  56. mir

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

  57. Dewlance

    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

    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

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

  60. Aimal sagar

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

  61. Backohtown

    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

    To check this phone need Sim card?

  63. Caleb

    It Worked on my LG G2 Phone

  64. Alexy

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

  65. Aadil slim

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

  66. Krysten

    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

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

  68. sherry

    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

    Try *#*#4636#*#*

    • mohan

      it doesnt show refurbished status

  70. rodas

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

  71. Sharmi

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

  72. ghulam Muhammad

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

  73. Sarah

    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

    It’s not working on my mobile lava A97

  75. Josephine

    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

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

  76. Sam

    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

    how can i check my s7 edge phone ?

  78. ganesh

    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 .

  79. Sarah

    4636 worked but I’m not sure if the phone info is showing whether it’s refurbished or not. What should I look for?

  80. Henry

    worked on on edge 7

  81. Ricardo Cortes

    I recently bought an S10 plus and none of the two codes worked for me. I would really appreciate some way for me to find my RTN.

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