Toddler renders iPad unusable for 49 years

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A toddler till be eligible for AARP before he can unlock his dad’s iPad.
A toddler till be eligible for AARP before he can unlock his dad’s iPad.
Photo: Pexels

A New Yorker writer discovered the dangers of allowing his young child to play with his iPad. The toddler entered so many unsuccessful unlock attempts that the tablet can’t be accessed until 2068.

Many parents allow their children to play with their iPhone or iPad, but Evan Osnos ran into a problem few have to deal with. After retrieving his iPad from his three-year-old, the device says he can’t enter another unlock attempt for 25,536,442 minutes.

Osnos isn’t the first to have something like this occur. Last year, a Chinese woman was locked out of her iPhone for 47 years by her child.

It’s supposed to do that

These are extreme examples of iOS devices protecting themselves from “brute force” attempts to unlock them. This involves entering dozens or hundreds of passcode guesses hoping to eventually run across the correct one.

To prevent this, an iPhone or iPad will start inserting longer and longer delays before allowing additional passcode attempts. That said, it’s not clear how even a child managed to push the delay up to 49 years.

Or there’s another option: any iOS device can also be set to automatically erase itself if 10 unsuccessful passcode attempts are made.

What to do now

Unfortunately for Osnos, there’s no to get around this sort of lockout. As waiting 49 years is somewhat impractical, his only real option is the erase the iPad then restore the contents from a backup.

If the iOS device has automatically erased itself after 10 unsuccessful passcode attempts were made, restoring from a backup is also necessary. Obviously.

This highlights the importance of doing regular backups, either via iTunes or iCloud.