Changing your iOS device's settings to this date will kill it

By midian182
Feb 12, 2016
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  1. A bug has been discovered that causes some recent iOS devices to be permanently bricked if the user changes the date to January 1st, 1970, and reboots. So please, don’t try this at home, although it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to.

    Some Reddit users have reported that a device will come back on after about 5 hours but can be very laggy. Others who have tried this hack noted that changing the SIM card or draining the battery sometimes fixes the problem, but most people are finding that a journey to the Apple store is their only option.

    The most likely cause is thought to relate to the fact that many computers use January 1, 1970, as the epoch time – a reference point that devices count away from so they can work out the date.

    Changing the clock to January 1, 1970, causes the device’s internal clock to be set to less than zero, which confuses it and causes the crash.

    Any iOS device sporting a 64-bit processor – A7, A8, A8X, A9 and A9X - and running iOS 8 or newer can be affected; this makes the iPhone 5S and later models susceptible.

    We’re waiting to see if Apple rolls out an update that fixes the problem, but the obvious way to avoid potentially bricking your device is not to set it to this date!

    If you want to see just how the bug destroys an iPhone, check out the step-by-step video below.

    Image credit: Vitabello1 / Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,341   +1,939

    Why anybody would do this is way beyond me. And why would anybody try find glitches like this, don't they have better things to do with their time?
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  3. Adorerai

    Adorerai TS Rookie

    Test it at an Apple Store or other retailer?
  4. trparky

    trparky TS Booster Posts: 151   +54

    This "issue" (and by that I mean it's a non-issue) involves something called UNIX time, specifically the fact that all UNIX-like operating systems track time by counting the seconds from midnight GMT on Thursday, January 1st, 1970. It stores the time in an Unsigned 64-bit Integer. I figure that this "issue" is being caused by the fact that the OS can't deal with a value of that Integer being a 0 (zero).

    If you live in a different time zone then simply setting it to midnight on that date won't trigger the bug. For me, since I live in the Eastern Time Zone, I would have to set the time to Wednesday, December 31st, 1969 at 7 PM to equal a UNIX timestamp of 0 (zero).
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  5. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 862   +353

    5 bucks says after this got out, dozens of *****s tried it, just to see if it really did brick their phone, and then COMPLAINED to Apple.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 807   +270

    Already saw posts of how this is an Apple feature like the one with the microwave. You have to be an ***** to fall for that. Means a lot of Apple users will try it.
  7. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 217   +72

    Someone posted that this "trick" unlocks retro wallpaper and average iusers started biting :D
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,341   +1,939

    That explains it. People in general are very naive and gullible. I guess we all can be. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Apple started it themselves to con people into tossing away their bricks and by a new one. A great way to move stock.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    Wouldn't this be ever so much richer and wildly ironic, if Apple set the "epoch date", to 04-01-1970?

    Although, it would ward off some of the Apple users who are almost sentient.
  10. TS-56336

    TS-56336 TS Addict Posts: 609   +109

    Do you need more tinfoil?
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    Listen, tinfoil isn't the issue. If your iPhone bricks when you set it to that date, you're holding it wrong....:oops:

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