Don’t Tell Your iPhone That It’s 1970

man angry at phone

Taking your iPhone back to the future will brick it, unfortunate users find

IPhone users are being warned to take care when setting the date on their devices after a number of customers found that inadvertently changing the year rendered their phone useless.

A bug affecting iOS devices has been discovered that will ‘brick’ any iPhone whose date is changed to January 1 1970, making the phone impossible to operate, and leaving users without a working device.

Several users who have tried out the date change report that their device only displays the initial Apple logo screen, before crashing and refusing to turn on.

Any device running iOS 8.0 or above and with a 64-bit processor appears to be open to the defect, meaning that the iPhone 5S, 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus, the iPad Air 2, the iPad Mini 3 and 4, and the sixth-generation iPod Touch are all at risk.


iPhone ^SSeveral reasons for the bug have been put forward, with one of the most likely explaining that having the phone set to that time makes the clock less than zero, which the device is unable to process and then suffers a fault.

This has led users to question why iPhones, which were first launched in 2007, even have the option to turn the clock back all the way to the 1970’s, especially when the devices set the time automatically.

There does not appear to be any sure fix for the problem, which was first noted overnight, and users are being warned not to try out the date change for fear that they will not be able to recover their data.

Some users have said that devices affected by the bug are revived again after five hours, with others on Reddit reporting that changing the phone’s SIM card will fix the issue. However, some others have said that neither work, and are recommending contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store.

The news is the latest odd bug to affect iPhones in recent times, as users probe for any secret hidden within their device.

Earlier this week, users were warned about an update to iOS which is disabling iPhones that have had a replacement TouchID sensor installed by third party, rendering them completely useless.

Thousands of iPhone owners are thought to have suffered from an ‘Error 53’ message after installing an iOS upgrade and there is no known way of restoring functionality.

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Author: Mike Moore
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