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. [intro] iBUYPOWER and MSI’s new lineup of gaming laptops feature Intel’s 7th generation Core i7 processors. Check them out at the link below. 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. [scream] 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? WRONG. 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… “10 out of 10. Highly recommended” – IGN 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. FreshBooks is the cloud-based accounting solution for small business owners and freelancers. In a nutshell it takes everything that you “love” about accounting… Which is nothing, and makes it easier and faster. It also takes the stuff you don’t love about it and makes that easier and faster too. It works on your computer, it works on your phone, and it allows you to do all that boring stuff throughout the day and on the go instead of being stuck at the end of a long workday staring at your accounting software. So whether it’s snapping a picture of an expense report or whether it’s firing off a professional looking invoice in less than thirty seconds to a client, you can get it done quickly with FreshBooks. They’ve also got the ability to take payments through the platform and even see when your client has seen your… And even see when your client has seen your invoice so you can put an end to the guessing games. For a thirty day free trial head to freshbooks.com/techtips and enter “linus tech tips” in the ‘how did you hear about us’ section. So, thanks for watching. If this video sucked, you know what to do. But if it was great, hit the like button, get subscribed. Maybe consider checking out where to buy the stuff we featured at the link in the video description. 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