Microsoft Return Policy Guide

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Microsoft is one of the most well-known product manufacturers in the Information Technology sphere. Their products range from hardware and software, like laptops, gaming consoles, and the Windows operating system, to virtual products like movies and gift cards. Their products are great, but what if you’re unhappy with your purchase? Here’s an easy Microsoft return policy guide!


Microsoft’s return policy states that items purchased from a reseller must be returned to the reseller. Products must be in their original condition, meaning seals on all software must be intact, everything included in the package must be present, and software must be uninstalled before returning.

After nearly half a century in the business, Microsoft has had the time to establish one of the most complete and fair return policies of any company on earth. The full policy is available online, and it is crucial not to try and manipulate the return policy. Microsoft worked out the policy with as much fairness as possible towards the consumer. Let’s look at the details of the Microsoft return policy.

Abusing The Microsoft Return Policy

Microsoft is very strict in holding to their return and refund policy. Keep in mind that the policy is not to be abused. It’s not an automated system that approves or denies your requests, there are actual people evaluating the case and determining the result.

If you abuse the return policy, it could lead to your request being denied or, in extreme cases, your account with Microsoft being closed. Don’t abuse the policy, since it is there to protect the consumer and ensure fair business practices on both sides.


The Basics Of Returning A Microsoft Product

Since Microsoft has such a wide range of product types, different policies apply. Policies may also change from time to time, so we recommend that you check the specific policies for your product before you attempt a return. In general terms, though, if you either bought a product by accident, or the product doesn’t meet your expectations, the return policy will provide an option for you.

What If I Bought My Product From A Third Party?

Many companies act as resellers and distributors of Microsoft products. Whenever you purchase a Microsoft product from one of these third parties, Microsoft requires that you return it directly to them and not through Microsoft’s formal return channels.

In cases where these companies may have gone out of business, it is possible to contact Microsoft to request a return, which may or may not be processed at Microsoft’s sole discretion.

Are There Any Product Types I Can’t Return At Microsoft?

Microsoft refuses to accept returns of certain products, including:

  • Apps bought on the Windows Store or any other app store
  • Books, including eBooks
  • Movies or TV shows
  • Subscription services, like Microsoft 365
  • RAM (Random Access Memory)
  • Add-on content
  • Items sold during a clearance
  • Gift cards
  • Subscription cards
  • Personalized or customized products

What Condition Should I Return Products In To Microsoft?

You must ensure that any product you are returning must be as close to its original condition as possible. This includes the physical condition of all tangible parts of the product, which must be like new.

Everything that was included in the original packaging must be present. This even includes manuals and warranty documents. It should all be packed precisely as you received it in the original packaging.


Returning Software Products At Microsoft

Software products always come with a seal. This seal must be unbroken, indicating that the package is unopened. Just sticking a seal back together is not good enough since Microsoft’s staff have ways to detect this kind of tampering.

If you have a Customer Satisfaction Warranty on any software product, the seal may be broken. However, in this case, Microsoft requires that everything you received in the packaging with the software be returned, including any software activation keys and warranty cards. Microsoft may also need evidence that you uninstalled the software before they will accept and process the return.

Microsoft will refund Xbox games within 14 days after you purchase them, but only if you have not redeemed the software key. Once the key has been redeemed, no further returns or refunds are allowed.

Pre-orders for Xbox games may be canceled before the game’s launch for a full refund without having to process any return forms.

Returning Hardware Products At Microsoft

There’s a wide range of Microsoft hardware products, ranging from simple PC keyboards and pointing devices all the way to Surface laptops and Xbox gaming consoles and equipment.

Peripheral Devices

Peripherals like the Microsoft Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse have varying return policies. Some models qualify for a return while others don’t. If you bought it from a reseller (as most people do), you have to return it to them as with anything else. Otherwise, you will have to check eligibility on the Microsoft Return website, which we will discuss later.

Microsoft Surface Devices

The Surface range of tablets and laptops can be returned to Microsoft for a full refund no later than 60 days after purchase if you are not satisfied with the product. There are a few conditions, though:


  • The product must be in a like-new condition, with no scratches or other damage.
  • All manuals and accessories must be included, precisely as it was provided to you.
  • The product must be in its original packaging with no damage to the packaging.

Xbox Consoles, Equipment, And Games

The same principles apply to Xbox consoles and equipment as to Microsoft Surface devices. You may return the product within 60 days of purchase if it is in a like-new condition, if all manuals and accessories are included, and if it is in its original packaging.

The complicated part comes in if you purchased an Xbox bundle that included games. For the games, the following policies apply:

  • If the games are unclaimed, you may return them within 14 days after purchase.
  • No game return or refund will be approved within the first 24 hours after the game is launched.
  • A game will not be refunded if you have more than two hours of playtime on record for that game.

How To Request A Return With Microsoft

As mentioned before, you may only process a return with Microsoft directly if the product was purchased directly from Microsoft and not from a third-party reseller. If you bought the product from Microsoft, there are still a few things to be sure of before processing the return.

What Are The Conditions Of A Return?

Microsoft will consider your return or refund request in any of the following cases:

  1. If you purchased a product, or the wrong product version, by mistake. This could happen if you bought a version of Microsoft software that is not supported by your operating system, for example.
  2. If you lost access to the account, you used to purchase the product. In this case, you will have to provide evidence that you are the rightful owner of the product or the account.
  3. If you suspect that Microsoft may have made unauthorized charges.
  4. If you bought some software or content that you already owned. Microsoft will detect this in most cases if you use the same account to process the purchase and warn you about the fact.
  5. If you used the wrong account to make the purchase. For example, many people have both a personal and professional or work account with Microsoft. If you accidentally purchased a product on your work account, but it’s for personal use, Microsoft will consider the return or refund.

Requesting A Return

Submitting a return request is easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Microsoft website at by clicking on the little profile image in the top right corner of the screen. Make sure that you’re logging in with the correct account.
  2. After logging in, click on the Profile image again and go to your Account page.
  3. Select the Order History button.
  4. Search for the product you wish to return.
  5. There should be a link or button labeled “Request a Return.” Click it. If you can’t find that link, your product may no longer qualify for a return.
  6. You have to specify the reason for the return. A clear and properly-motivated reason will help Microsoft to determine if your return request is valid and worth considering.

Options For Requesting A Return:

In-storeOnly if the product was purchased in-store

Will Microsoft Give Me A Refund For Services I No Longer Use?

If you’re using a service like Microsoft 365 or Xbox Game Pass, you will have to cancel your subscription if you’re no longer using it. If you do not cancel your subscription or payment before the due date, that money will not be refunded.

Can I Get A Refund For Game Vouchers At Microsoft?

If a voucher is unclaimed and unused, you can usually return it to Microsoft for a full refund. If the voucher was a gift, though, you may have some difficulty since the refund must be processed from the account that purchased it, so you will have to ask the person who bought you the voucher to request the return.

The Policy Is There To Protect The Consumer

As you can see, Microsoft has a very complete and well-compiled return policy. This is because of decades of experiencing working with the public and facing lawsuit after lawsuit. Returning a product means someone else will probably get it, and it must be fair to them too. So keep that in mind; don’t manipulate the policy, but use it fairly. It is there to protect everyone involved.

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