A Toddler Locked His Dad’s iPad For 48 Years – Here’s What To Do If That Happens To You

The 3-year-old disabled the device for 25 million minutes after trying, and failing, to unlock it.

this is a stock photo of an ipad
inUse Experience / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The 3-year-old disabled the device for 25 million minutes after trying, and failing, to unlock it.

A 3-year-old trying (and failing) to get into his dad’s iPad accidentally locked the device for 48 years, putting the dad into quite a pickle. Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy fix should such a thing ever happen to you.

As CNN reports, New York dad Evan Osnos learned the hard way that having a secure password may keep your kid from accessing the content on your mobile device, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t still find a way to wreak havoc.

Here’s what happened. As all users of iPads and other Apple products know, you are given a certain number of attempts to get your passcode right when trying to log in. After a set number of failed attempts, the machine will “punish” you by locking you out for a period of time. Each unsuccessful login attempt increases the length of the time-out.

It’s unclear, as of this writing, how many times Osnos’ 3-year-old son tried to log in to his dad’s iPad. What is clear is the length of time from which the New Yorker writer was locked out. In a tweet, Osnos showed a picture of his device and the message.

“Try again in 25,536,442 minutes.”

If math isn’t your strong suit, that’s roughly 48 years and six months, give or take.

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Of course, Osnos’ Twitter followers, in response, brought the snark. One suggested that time travel is his “best option,” considering that he wouldn’t be able to unlock his device until 2067. Another jokingly suggested putting it in a bag of rice, which is what you’re supposed to do, at least according to an old wives tale, when your device falls into water; a bit of advice that, not for nothing, is disputed.

Fortunately for Osnos and Apple users everywhere, miscreant children and failed login attempts won’t turn your iPad into a $400 plastic brick. There is actually a relatively quick (quicker than waiting 48 years, anyway) and relatively easy (if you know your way around technology) fix.

As CNBC reports, the quickest and easiest fix is to download and install iTunes on a PC or Mac, then use your sync cable to connect the device to your computer, and within a few minutes, the sync process will be complete and your device will disable your lockout (although you’ll still need to input the correct passcode to use it again). The process is a bit convoluted, and the exact steps and the order in which they need to be completed varies by model, so check out the CNBC report for specific instructions, should you ever find yourself locked out of your device.