Setting Your iPhone to a Certain Date Can Kill It
Cernescu Andrei / 4 years ago
Well, this is certainly one of the strangest iOS bugs that I’ve ever come across, and it’s also one of the most dangerous as it has the potential to kill off your device. Apparently, setting your iPhone to a certain date, namely January 1, 1970, will cause it to shut down and become unable to boot. Naturally, some “pranksters” have already begun encouraging people to set this date in order to “see a special retro Apple start-up screen,” and quite a few users have already fallen for it. The bad news is that phones killed this way are incredibly difficult to bring back to working order, even through an iTunes restore.
Even entering DFU mode and swapping the phone’s firmware doesn’t do the trick, which is why plenty of customers have opted to replace their devices completely at Apple stores. What we know so far is that the bug affects devices based on 64-bit chips, including the iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPod Touch 2015, iPhone 5S and newer models. Some experts believe that the bug is related to Unix time, and since January 1, 1970 is the first date of Unix, setting it to 0 causes some serious damage to Apple’s devices. Draining the power completely from these gadgets might restore them, but it’s probably a good idea to just have your phone replaced if you are affected by this bug.