Home / News / Mobile Phone News / Warning! iPhones ‘permanently’ bricked by changing Time & Date to this

Warning! iPhones ‘permanently’ bricked by changing Time & Date to this


iOS 9

Another day, another potentially catastrophic iOS flaw…

A new iPhone bug could completely break your handset, with little hope for a fix.

It’s all to do with how your phone calculates the time and date, which (thankfully) means it’s avoidable.

According to a number of online bug reports, setting your iPhone to January 1, 1970 and trying to reboot will “permanently brick” your phone.

Most of the reports emerged after a Reddit user posted about the issue online with the warning “beware: do not try”.

iPhone 6SApple's new iPhone 6S

When the date of a 64-bit iOS device is set to January 1, 1970, the device will fail to boot,” writes /u/vista980622.

“Connecting the device to iTunes and restoring the device to factory defaults will not put the device back in working order,” the user continues, adding: “Instead, a physical repair is required.”

However, despite the extensive cautioning another user – /u/Brohdr – posted:

“I just tried on a 6S Plus. Can Confirm. iPhone does not start.”

The user even turned to Apple for help, but the technology giant was stumped.

“Just went to the Apple store, they could not repair it,” writes /u/Brohdr. “They tried several different restore and factory reset methods, nothing worked. The Genius was stumped.”

What’s more, the user claims Apple offered a brand new phone instead of a fix.

Check out our smartphone buyer's guide:

Related: iPhone 6C release date

But why is it just one specific date that seems to be affecting iPhones so dramatically?

Well Thurdsay, January 1, 1970, is known as ‘Epoch time’. Many computer systems – including phones – count away from that time to work out what the date is.

However, it’s not exactly clear why changing an iPhone to ‘Epoch time’ is bricking devices.

We’ve contacted Apple and we’ll update this article with any response.


February 12, 2016, 12:04 pm

Just shows just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. I have to wonder as to the why he tried it? :D


February 12, 2016, 12:15 pm

I'd do it for the new phone. Not exactly breaking the law by changing the date

Dead Words

February 12, 2016, 12:28 pm

I'm just wondering why somebody tried to change their iPhone to that time.


February 12, 2016, 1:06 pm

Not its not but still wondering why unless there was some developmental reason.

Darmok N. Jalad

February 12, 2016, 2:37 pm

It's reasoning like this that results in anti-consumer policy from corporations. If people try this in order to get a new phone, then Apple will start rejecting this error for replacement. Then everyone better hope no other software bug causes this problem, because then honest people get screwed.

Alex Walsh

February 12, 2016, 3:19 pm

I can just picture the Hotukdeals forums when this hits- you'll have people bragging about getting new phones, others saying they've bought phones off of ebay purely to brick and get brand new replacements. Honestly, it can be like Mos Esiely spaceport in there at times :)


February 12, 2016, 5:47 pm

Someone told me that if I pointed a gun at my head and pulled the trigger it would kill me, so I tried and ... Oh ...

Dead Words

February 13, 2016, 3:00 pm

This wasn't some pre-defined condition that altered the clock, it appeared to be manual.


February 14, 2016, 4:13 am

It's Error 1953, I tells ya.


February 17, 2016, 9:59 am

Guess what? That isn't what they were told.

A story was maliciously circulated that changing the date, etc, unlocked a 1970s themed Easter Egg.


February 17, 2016, 10:03 am

I understand that a story was circulated about accessing a 1970s themed Easter Egg. Inevitably the story initially propagates faster than its consequences.

Dead Words

February 17, 2016, 12:24 pm

Ah, I see.

comments powered by Disqus