Safely Remove Warranty Stickers

Safely Remove Warranty Stickers

When it comes to my professional life, I consider myself a little like Danny Ocean.
And not just because of the, you know, world travel, fashion sense and flashy cars.
But because often, in order to do what I do, I need to be able to get in and out of a secure area with…
“no one the wiser”.
Only, instead of casinos and banks, my theater of operations is consumer electronics.
And, instead of circumventing High-tech laser security systems and armed guards, I …
carefully remove those warranty void stickers without damaging them, so that they can be reapplied.
It’s a wild ride living your life on the razor’s edge.
And you know what?
I’m going to be showing you guys how to do it today.
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Warranty stickers?
Here’s a question. Are those even legally binding?
Let’s check in with the Linus Tech Tips legal team for a brief primer.
Oh, hi!
Now, as you may or may not know
A warranty included in the box with an electronic device, like a game console or smartphone,
is actually just a kind of contract.
Now, if one side breaks, or “breaches” a contract, the other side doesn’t have to perform.
In this case, that would mean that the manufacturer could void your warranty.
But, there is an exception to this.
There’s a US Federal Law called the “Magnuson Moss Warranty Act” of 1975.
Now, this is a law that says “A manufacturer can’t make a tie-in sale a condition of a warranty”.
Well, what’s that? Well, a tie-in sale is
when the warranty says that you can only get your device repaired at an authorized dealer
or use authorized replacement parts.
So this means, if you decide to repair your device on your own
or use an aftermarket part, they can’t void your warranty just based on that.
And that includes breaking those little “warranty void if remove” stickers.
So if the law covers these stickers, why do manufacturers keep putting them on their products?
Well, the manufacturers know that the only way that they can be forced to provide warranty service
is if somebody takes them to court and sue’s them over the sticker.
Unfortunately, the companies also know that the cost of hiring a lawyer and actually going through with this
is usually going to be a lot higher than just getting the product repaired in the first place.
Meaning these companies are more or less getting away with this and it will probably take something like a class-action lawsuit
which is essentially a bunch of people suing one or more companies to end this behavior.
The only time that either opening your device or performing a self repair
or taking it to a third-party repair shop can actually void your warranty
is if they do an improper repair or an improper upgrade that actually causes the device to malfunction or break.
This simply means: don’t break your own stuff, and you’ll still be covered under a warranty.
It’s against the law for these Manufacturers to tell you that you don’t have a right to try to repair your product on your own terms.
Thanks, John. Now let’s get to what you all came to see.
Legality aside,
what is the best way to remove and replace a warranty sticker
so that an apathetic minimum-wage employee can’t tell you did it?
There are tons of tips online about this, but we felt the need to test them for ourselves, because…
As you guys know very well, just because someone posts something online
doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. And you wouldn’t believe the number of unqualified people
posting up disreputable tech advice these days.
The electrostatic bag and heat gun combo method wasn’t a runaway success
It actually did work modestly well on stickers that were already fairly loose
or poorly applied in the first place. But in tougher situations, we often ended up tearing the sticker.
While the materials you need are very likely to be lying around, and the nonstick properties of the bag are helpful.
It’s also extremely unwieldly and hard to control.
So, this one’s a bit like using a medical glove as a condom. Sure it might work in certain situations,
but it should never be your go-to solution.
Steam. It works for letters, so it should work for stickers. Right?
Your reservations about exposing your electronics to a jet of gaseous water aside
the steam just ended up being far harder on the sticker itself than it was on the glue holding it.
While it did weaken the bond somewhat, it also caused the sticker to fall apart like a twice used tissue. So…
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A straight utility or hobby knife, probably seems like a bit of a dicey proposition.
And it is. Yes.
With sufficient care, patience and luck,
it is possible to remove a sticker with minimal to no damage by this method.
But a simple slip of the hand,
or a little too much pressure at the wrong moment,
can easily lead to a cut or a tear that will give the game away
or worse, put an unsightly scratch or scuff on your precious device.
Next, we found a guide online in which a fellow canuck, actually, went through this process
for building a teflon knife for exactly this purpose.
But unfortunately, sourcing the materials and manufacturing this kind of tool
is both costly and potentially dangerous without sufficient tools and training.
So, our journey for a low-cost easy solution continued.
We eventually found ourselves deep in the darkest dankest and most dangerous parts of the Internet.
A community of competitive Rubik’s Cube enthusiasts. And it was actually there that we found our holy grail:
A plastic razor, specifically designed for peeling the stickers off toy puzzle cubes.
It removes warranty stickers just as easily as a metal razor
but is a lot more forgiving in terms of avoiding damage to the product.
It was not only able to lift the warranty protection off a PS4,
but it also managed to peel back the entire warranty label on a hard drive, intact.
Now, both metal and plastic razors work much better with a little solvent to help them.
But you need to be careful about what you use.
You can find an almost inexhaustible list of household products
that people claim will work to help remove adhesives.
But it’s not always necessary or even advisable to encase your sticker in peanut butter,
freeze it overnight, sprinkle it with ginger or rub it with the dew of North Facing leaves.
So we tried out the three most reasonable and easily accessible solvents that you’re likely to have kicking around:
nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol and vinegar.
Nail polish remover was very effective at immediately removing the glue
and dissolving most of the sticker as well.
Vinegar fell on the opposite end of the spectrum
Even after leaving it to soak it barely made a dent in the adhesive
and when we attempted to pry the sticker off, there was significant tearing.
Isopropyl alcohol hits the perfect sweet spot.
In terms of loosening the sticker enough that we could get a prying tool in, without damaging it in the process.
Now, it is important to note that some stickers are designed to peel back and leave residue on the surface
changing the appearance of the sticker to read “VOID” and prevent replacement.
If you come across this, use a marker or a rollerball pen to color the reverse of the sticker as you lift it.
That should allow you to press the sticker back down and maintain the appearance that it hasn’t been moved.
Though, it should be noted that this won’t help in cases where the manufacturer
would have to remove that sticker in order to perform whatever warranty repair is required.
Now, in a perfect world, none of this would matter.
Bacause… Consumer protection laws.
But on Planet Earth, where I live
Any time you open your device, there’s a very strong chance that if your manufacturer realizes it,
they will refuse to honor your warranty without a costly and potentially very time-consuming legal battle.
So, whether you want to make an upgrade to a pre-built computer,
change out a cooler on a graphics card, or just
poke around inside your gadgets, because they belong to you, out of principle.
Do it carefully and we hope you guys found this guide helpful.
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100 thoughts on “Safely Remove Warranty Stickers”

  1. a Heat gun with digital temp adjuster and a sharp blade is all you need! If you don't have a heat-gun then use a hair dryer and works perfect as well! Oh and when peeling off stickers just have patience because that is the key to doing it right!

  2. Apple Hates him! Find out how to remove stickers without voiding warranty in 3 easy steps!
    Jessica (0.3 miles): Hey wanna remove my stickers?, baby?

  3. While msi destroyer laptops sponsor linus, destroyer laptops are shit, own a GX70 cant even play arma3 over 20fps using the incorrect drivers(installed by the msi utility). i i use the original drivers, lmao lucky to get 5

  4. I opened up my laptop one day to check a few things out.. It stopped working because of static damage. It had been with me for a few months so we sent it back saying it was a faulty product. And guess what it was fixed for free with a 1 year warranty. So yea just lie.

  5. Along the same lines, is changing thermal paste on a MacBook Pro something that is noticeable by an Apple rep?

  6. I’m not sure why making a Teflon knife would be so dangerous. All you really need is a hacksaw and some sandpaper.

  7. oh i got so excited when you spoke about Rubik's cubes (as you can tell my my channel photo I am a rubiks cubes enthusiast)

  8. Hmm… looks like Apple is consistently violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty act. They brick devices that are repaired by third parties with the T2. Hmmmmmmm

  9. The correct line should be 'disassembly at your own risk', but, anyway, are these nowhere's restaurant plugs and/or sockets really safe?! 🗨😏🔋🔌〽️

  10. The best information in this video is just simply the fact that, when a corporation denies your warranty because you opened the product… you are being bullied… I wish the US Government would take care of it's citizens more than giant Corporations. Too much corporate money in politics.

  11. I got a RROD'd Xbox 360 replaced that had a void warranty and I didn't even buy it originally. I just bought a broken Xbox 360 on eBay and sent it in and got a new one back.

  12. wait why do all this? i always just printed new ones with blank stickers and some good fonts….its pretty easy actually i print a whole sheet and i have them on hand whenever i need them.

  13. What a joke! In New Zealand, those stickers are meaningless…. your rights as a consumer can not be limited by such irrelevant and arbitrary items, they are protected by law. "Warranty void if removed" label missing? Still covered. TV only came with a three-month warranty card, but it breaks after 10 months? Still covered. You've opened the case of the broken item to look inside? So long as the manufacturer can't prove you've CAUSED a fault, you're still covered. All this, because the Law in NZ says that an item must be durable and fit for purpose …. and the definitions of these are NOT up to the manufacturer.

  14. I wonder if any court has ever awarded punitive damages in a case involving a voided warranty becuase of one of these stickers. That would be another way to discourage the practice. But now that I think about it, that's more of a tort law thing – not really applicable in contract law. Still, if a judge wanted to get really creative, it might be possible.

  15. i actually have never claimed warranty service. i prefer to fix evryting myself (its not that i dont trust people to fix my devices, i just like fixing stuff)

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