Setting your iPhone’s date to 1970 is not a good idea

iphone 6 stock 2

There’s many ways to break an iPhone. Sitting on it used to be the most popular, until repairing the home button became the worst thing you could possibly do earlier this month. But now, there’s an entirely new way to ruin your life, thanks to 4chan.

Hilariously for some, the imageboard aired a purported Easter egg hiding beneath iOS’s fragile exterior. Flipping the date back to the seventies will unlock a classic Mac theme. Sounds totally legit, right?

Nope. Resetting your iPhone date to 1 January 1970 and restarting the phone effectively bricks the device, thanks to the various methods UNIX uses to interpret date information. It’s a long, long story, but the video below published by YouTuber Tom Scott explains in beautiful detail:

While your phone isn’t gone forever, getting it back to the working world is a bit more challenging.

This issue seems to affect 64-bit iPhone devices, which includes everything newer than the iPhone 5S. We’re also not sure that this bug affects other iOS devices, like the iPad range.

While there’s no clear indication that Apple’s setting out to remedy the problem, we can give you one salient piece of advice: don’t bloody do it. If you have however, we’d love to hear your struggles in the comments section below.



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