This iPhone date bug will permanently brick your device

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Apple is investigating battery issues for the iPhone 6s.
Do not wind back the clock to the 70's on your iPhone.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

There are many ways iPhone users can unintentionally brick their devices, but YouTuber Zach Straley may have just discovered the quickest way to turn your beautiful iPhone into a worthless slab of metal, glass, and silicone.

Simply set your iPhone’s date to January 1, 1970 and your device will become nothing better than a paperweight. The bug was supposedly found by a Chinese iPhone users who was trying to solve a date issue with iOS 9.3 beta 3. Not even a DFU restore will bring the device back to life once you set the time back to 1970 and reboot.

Straley posted a video of the bug in action. Needless to say, don’t try this at home:

It appears that the bug effects all iPhones with a 64-bit CPU — A7, A8, A8X, A9 and A9X chips — but it doesn’t matter which version of iOS is running. We’ve reached out to Apple to see if a fix is on the way.

Via: Reddit

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  • AaronD12

    Solution: Allow your battery to completely discharge or open your phone and disconnect the battery for a few minutes. It does NOT permanently brick your phone.

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      I wonder how many people, after reading this article, are going to try it? You know how some people are, the minute you tell them NOT to do something, they go out and DO IT out of curiosity. Kids will be kids.

    • Subhay Manandhar

      have you tried it after discharging it completely?

    • Berper Nova

      it doesn’t work for me, do you have a more detailed steps

    • Mewt

      Solution: Don’t use a fucking iPhone

      • Galaxy_Surfer_007

        Real mature posting, that!

      • Megolon

        Solution: Dont do it.

      • louis

        works on android too

    • Charly

      My friend actually did this to my phone today, does letting the battery discharge actually work?

      • jonen

        Should do. i believe changes to the time are stored in RAM and runs off the phone`s main battery. if the battery dies. i believe time should be reset

    • Lea Leyva

      if i were to do disconnect my battery by myself would lifting the screen up bust the lcd?

  • Patchy

    I can’t figure out why anyone would be setting their clock to Jan 1, 1970 in order for this to happen. What exactly were these people testing out when they discovered the bug and why would anyone ever have a legitimate need to set their clock back that far?

    • Mike Roth

      it was on 9gag as an easter egg. If you reset the time to the 1st Jan. 1070 you would get the retro Apple Logo and fonts rather than the standard ones when the system is restarting. Quite clever though.

      • Erik

        Yeah I just fell for it, feel really stupid now. Does letting it discharge completely fix it?

      • Mike Cauchon

        As did I. Any luck?

      • Texas

        Visit Apple if you’re under warranty for a replacement.

      • Daisy

        I saw it on my school yik yak and fell for it. I tried a guy’s suggestion on /r/jailbreak by taking out the sim card, doing a recovery mode restore and plugging in the sim card again and it worked.

    • Romonaga Wowshister

      Programmers will often times test software by using boundary testing. Based on the story, I suspect this was the case.

  • Nuno

    1. connect the cellphone into your pc
    2. open the Itunes
    3. make a manual reebok
    4. wen the screen got black do it again
    5. Going to appear the icon to connect you iphone to the itunes
    6. If you have a back up make the backup / or restor celphone

    6.ATTENCION Probably you can lost all the things in your cellphone

    (srry for the bad English ).

  • DrMuggg

    Thank you a bunch you ass*oles for sharing this. In every elementary school and kindergarten kids will set other kids devices to the brick-date…
    So funny when you can’t use the iPad for a week.

    I have an idea why: by resetting it you start the timecount at “0”, and there is probably a division made somewhere….Anything divideed by Zero generates an error…

    • Romonaga Wowshister

      Yes, this is true, any any programmer who does not code to protect this type of bug should be fired. I also question the QA department at Apple.

  • Stetch

    Thats weird … sometimes when a mail is acting up it says the mail arrived on just that date. Had it a few times and it took weeks before it vanished by itself. Also had some photos transfered from computer with that date. This could be a good Creepypasta. “Date: 1/1-1970”

  • Gindy

    Why on earth would anyone do this after being told it buggers the phone?

    And why does this bug even exist?

    • Terah

      I guess the short answer is, since it affects 64-bit CPU based models as well, that was Apple deciding for everyone else that no one would try to set 1-1-1970 as a date, so they didn’t feel the need to implement some simple code that would prevent setting this date. In other words, it’s usual arrogance toward it’s end users.

  • Galaxy_Surfer_007

    This sounds like the “Don’t stick your tongue on a frozen, metal utility pole as it will get stuck!”

    Then kids, youth, people go out and try it!

    The scary observation is that kids or others pulling pranks will do this to someone else’s phone– e.g., the punished kid seeks revenge on Mom or Dad! Does it, and doesn’t even say that they’ve done it– just smiles knowingly in their bedroom, in purgatory!

  • This just in: Attempting to make a phone call with your finger will brick your iPhone. Use Siri as a workaround.

  • This just in: Setting Siri to Russian and then asking “What time is it?” in French will brick your iPhone. Learn Russian as a workaround.

  • riposter

    So is no one going to mention that background? Is it the chest of a recent drowning victim? Or someone who suffocated in bed full of cookie crumbs? I can’t quite figure it out.

  • Paul

    Solution to unbrick your phone.
    1. Connect your iPhone to your computer that has iTunes.
    2. Hold your power button and your home button for your phone to be recognized by iTunes.
    3. Reset your phone to factory settings.
    4. After resetting, your phone will turn on normally within an hour.

  • OutaJobs

    Hahahahaha omg

  • Clayton James

    I fixed my kids iPhone 6! First thing to do is put it in reset mode. hold the power and home at the same time for 10 seconds then only hold the home screen. this places the phone in reset mode. I left it on with the black screen and Apple logo. the phone gets very hot, so I laid it in a cold wrap and left it to die. Once the battery was completely dead, I plugged it into a wall charger until full. Then went to turn it on and it works. It starts up as a new phone, with the Hello screen. Good luck!

  • jonen

    People need to stop falling for these things. next time somebody says something like “do this arbitrary thing and get cool stuff” google it first

  • Matt

    Hey I did this due to skepticism, and obviously you can guess the results. I got mine “fixed” through Apple by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. However, it has gotten a new problem now and I have no idea why. It died after I had gotten it fixed (and corrected the date & time) and now whenever I charge it it will come on and immediately die, restart and die again over and over. There is no way to keep it on for more than a brief second and I know it’s not a problem with the charger. Any help? Do you think they didn’t reconnect the battery properly at Apple?