Going Back In Time On Your iPhone Will Brick It – Don’t Set It To This Specific Date

A lot of people have found glitches or issues with the iOs devices, mostly iPhones, that end up disabling a number of apps and features. Recently, there was one that made an iPhone disabled if it was corrected by a non-Apple technician. Well, this latest one may be the strangest of all. If you go back in time and set your iPhone’s date to a specific date, then it will completely and totally shut down your device and make it a brick.

Setting the date (don’t do it) and time on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod back to January 1, 1970 will crash your device and brick it completely. It will prevent the device from being able to boot up, the battery will eventually die, and you won’t be able to do anything with it at all.

It seems though, that just about any date in the first half of 1970 is a bad thing for Apple products.

Seriously, don’t try this to see if it will work. It will work, and Apple has even released a short statement on the situation, but it doesn’t say a whole lot.

“If you changed the date to May 1970 or earlier and can’t restart your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch:”

“Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart.”

It may sound weird and odd and bizarre, but it really does happen and you don’t want to do it. Gizmodo has gone forth to research this a little bit more and figure out why going back in time on your iPhone will cause it to become useless.

iphone 1970 date glitch unix brick

It’s believed that since the time on an iPhone is based on a Unix system and displayed as one single integer, it represents the number of seconds to have passed since 1970. Upon setting the date back to Jan. 1, 1970 (don’t do it), the value goes to 0.

Going from that point forward, it’s not a huge deal. Looking at anything that has happened before that point, though, is the problem.

For any phone calls or texts that you had received previously, the iPhone will attempt to display a time for them. That numeric time will be a negative number and cause it to crash and essentially brick so that you can’t use it at all.

Again, this is a theory and not the confirmed reason for the crash, but it makes sense. Apple hasn’t revealed the actual cause of the problem and likely won’t give that info, but no matter what it is, it’s happening.

apple iphone brick 1970 date glitch

Anyone contact that has come across this date problem with their affected iOs devices, Apple is advising them to contact support.

Apple Store employees have had to deal with a lot of problems in the past week once this January 1970 glitch/bug came to be known. Not only are they having to deal with customers coming in with problems, but it’s an issue right in the stores as well.

Many Apple Stores have items on display and some have been coming in, setting the date back to earlier months in 1970, and bricking the display iPhones and devices. It’s essentially leaving Apple Stores with whole displays of broken devices.

Apple has said that an “upcoming software update” will be released soon to prevent this back-in-time date issue from affecting iOs devices in the future. It isn’t known exactly when this update is coming, but the iOs 9.3 update is dropping in March.

Your iPhone or other iOs device is great and a lot of fun, and sometimes it is hard to resist temptation when you find out you can do something. Setting your date back to January 1970 (don’t do it) is a huge problem and the temptation should be resisted at all costs or you’ll have nothing but a light-weight and expensive brick on your hands.

[Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]