Inputting a certain date on your iPhone can reportedly brick it

BY Evan Selleck

Published 11 Feb 2016

Bricked iPhone

For any particular reason that you might need to head into Settings and change the date and time on your iOS device, it’s good to keep note of the dates that could potentially brick your device.

That’s what people are discovering over the Internet, it seems. According to a video that has surfaced, and a variety of different reports from iOS-based device owners, there’s a quick trick of the iOS clock that can brick your device just by switching things around. According to reports, and as made evident in the video below, if you set your iPhone’s clock to January 1, 1970, your device will go on lockdown and you won’t be able to bring it out.

Changing the Date and Time settings on your iOS device isn’t too difficult: Head into Settings, tap General, and then head into Date & Time. You’ll need to switch off the Set Automatically function, but once you do that you’ll be able to select your date and time. Getting to 1970 takes a bit of work, though, and you can see how the iPhone owner did it in the video.

After the iOS device is set to the date mentioned above, restarting it will result in a bricked phone. A trip to the Apple Store is the only thing that will fix the issue. Some users have said they’ve been able to get to the DFU screen, and when the device is plugged into their computer iTunes even recognizes it, but it won’t get past the initial boot screen.

According to the reports, the bug affects all iOS devices that are running iOS 8 or newer, and if it’s manufactured with a 64-bit processor. It doesn’t seem to be an issue for 32-bit processors. So if you have an iPhone 5s or newer, you should definitely not try this trick out. As for A-series processors that are 64-bit, that’s the A7, A8, A8X, A9, and A9X.

There’s currently a Reddit thread with a growing number of theories as to why this is happening. The one gaining the most attention is that setting the date to January 1, 1970 is resetting the internal clock to less than zero, all based on time zones. Another user, however, said that their device bricked in the same fashion after they changed their device’s time zone from Beijing to New York City.

It’s an interesting situation, to say the least. You probably shouldn’t try this on your own handset, but if you want to see it in action, here’s a video showcasing it:

[via 9to5Mac; Reddit]