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Brick your iPhone, iPad or iPod by setting the date to 1/1/70? Here's a way to fix your device

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Brick your iPhone, iPad or iPod by setting the date to 1/1/70? Here's a way to fix your device
Are you the type with a personality that forces you to do things that you're not supposed to? In other words, when your parents told you not to talk with your mouth full, did you start talking as soon as you took a bite of food? When your teacher told you to stop running in the hallways, did you speed off like Usain Bolt as soon as she walked away?

Then you most likely decided to set your iPhone or iPad to January 1st, 1970 even through we told you that by doing so, you would brick your device. So there you sit with your bricked iOS device, kicking yourself for not listening. But the good news is that there is a way to bring your iPhone or iPad back to life.

Before we tell you what to do, we should point out that according to a report published today, the reason why this date bricks 64-bit iOS devices has to do with January 1, 1970 being the first day of the Unix epoch. Unix machines keep track of time based on the number of seconds since that date; the time is stored as a 32-bit number and 64-bit iOS devices act a bit squirrely near the zero mark.

O.K., let's say your iPhone or iPad is bricked because you changed the date back. How can you fix your iOS device? All you need to do, according to a published report, is run the battery down all the way. Discharging the battery completely will return the device to the current date. 

Just to refresh your memory, the devices affected are all iPhones starting with the Apple iPhone 5s, all iPads starting with the Apple iPad Air, the Apple iPad mini 2 and later, and the Apple iPod touch sixth generation.


source: ArsTechnica

21 Comments
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posted on 13 Feb 2016, 19:49 6

1. carlemillward (unregistered)


i do not think someone who is foolish enough to do this intentionally deserves the solution.

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 21:55 6

6. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 502; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


Why? It's their device to do what ever with. Why should something simple as changing a date brick a device? The fact it gets bricked is asinine. This the reason why Apple devices couldn't handle day light savings time, and alarms not go off.

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 22:23 1

8. ThePython (Posts: 865; Member since: 08 May 2013)


Well, there's no solution for being stupid.

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 19:50 7

2. darkkjedii (Posts: 19428; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


How about, just not being a dumb ass and doing it. All the steps you have to take to it, makes it pretty easy to just not.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 03:35 1

12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 10544; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You can't fix stupid bro. There's no helping some people.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 07:03

17. darkkjedii (Posts: 19428; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


How true that is bro.

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 20:08 8

3. ThePython (Posts: 865; Member since: 08 May 2013)


I have a better solution:

Don't do it in the first place.

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 21:12

4. AlikMalix (Posts: 4837; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


I hope this solution works out for that ONE guy that stubled on to this glitch.

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 21:24

5. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1932; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


What the hell was he doing anyway, what reason could someone have for setting their date to 1/1/1970, makes zero sense.

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 22:06 1

7. cncrim (Posts: 790; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


That's how Jailbreak and hacker do, find the flaw in the system to exploit. To us it make no sense but to them is treasure trove. some exploit is usable penetrate the system and some exploit like this one have no use.... etc

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 23:29

9. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1932; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


I know people do that but still its crazy.
I couldn't just set there and go through phone trying to find something wrong with it Because i would be pissed once I did.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 00:12 1

11. xondk (Posts: 1132; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


I heard of some that did it to their friends as a "prank", no clue if true or not, but it sounds like something some people could do, so good that there is a fix.
Not sure how exactly it is executed, guessing either they set it, or tell the person to do it.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 04:11

14. tacarat (Posts: 721; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)


I can see this happening. "Let me check something". We all have sometimes foolish friends... Or a-hole friends. I have friends at a store with demo units. I'd be surprised if this didn't happen to one iPad.

posted on 13 Feb 2016, 23:59

10. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


Or better yet, stop trying to hack a device that's garbage anyway, and get one that isn't locked down by thieves. In all seriousness though, this is the same as reseting the CMOS on your computer, if you're one of these "hacker" types looking for a vulnerability, it's not rocket science, just open the device, pop the battery (if you know how) or discharge it with a simple wire (slowly or you'll blow it up) and then charge it and turn it on.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 03:48

13. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


Also, to the people who wonder why someone would do this, I have an answer. 4chanhttp://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Iphone.jpg just like with "wave" with the "microwave trick" that they made a fake ad for this, this is how it spread.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 05:34 1

15. skips (Posts: 140; Member since: 04 Oct 2015)


"prepare for a wild ride"
you're damn right about it son

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 05:44

16. Trakker (Posts: 283; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


I knew the millennium bug would attack in some form.

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 13:19

18. adamvzwez (Posts: 51; Member since: 29 Mar 2015)


its cool that someone has found a fix for this. i work at a verizon store and the only problem i see with this solution is that when the phone goes into boot loop the handset also gets very hot which im sure is not good for the phone itself. It is dumb that some people are gullible enough to try this but you gotta remember not every person is as tech savvy as those of us who frequent this website. At least these people are not as dumb as the people who tried microwaving their iphone in order to charge it in under five minutes XD

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 13:46

19. DmitrLP (Posts: 183; Member since: 18 Sep 2015)


ahahahah

posted on 14 Feb 2016, 23:39

20. eldyagustius (Posts: 177; Member since: 30 Oct 2013)


I did not agree neither with article writer or the most of the comment here. First, the article writer. Who are you? Apple spokeperson? Not all iOs users read your previous article about this bug. Not all iOs users are your reader, PA. From the first and second paragraph, seems like you assumed all of the iOs users read your previous article and it was their mistakes that they bricked their devices.

And for the most of comments here, who are you to judge someone? The users who bricked their device because of this bug are not fool. Whatever the reason is, the fact is user could change the date to that date because the system give their users the option. It's up to the user what to do with their phone as long as the system supports to do it. You can worship your lovely iOs, but don't live in denial, please. Which is called bug should be fixed by the ROM/OS developer.

posted on 15 Feb 2016, 11:11

21. Brewski (Posts: 308; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)


How do you run the battery down if it's turned off?

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