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Nasty bug alert—Setting a specific date on your iPhone will brick it

by Brandon Russell | February 12, 2016February 12, 2016 8:00 am PST

If it’s not Error 53 that gets you, maybe this will. Reddit is going nuts right now following a report claiming setting a specific date on your iPhone will “permanently” brick it, with no apparent solution other than to bring it into an Apple Store. Basically, don’t do this to your device—or anyone you know—unless you want an expensive paperweight.

So here’s the skinny: Manually setting the date on your iPhone to Jan. 1, 1970 will forever prevent your phone from booting up once turned off. Someone can surreptitiously change the date of your device, turn it off, and royally screw you over. Reddit user Vista980622 says the only possible solution right now is to disconnect the battery and reconnect it.

“This will affect any iOS device powered by A7, A8, A8X, A9 and A9x chips,” Vista said. “The version of iOS running does not matter. 32-bit iOS devices will not be affected by this issue.”

The bug was corroborated by iClarified, which filmed a video going through the entire process until failure.

“The bug is suspected to be related to the UNIX timestamp epoch,” iClarified said. “Due to time-zone settings, the date is causing a bit-underflow, which crashes the kernel.”

I’m not about to test the theory on my phone, and I suggest you avoid the temptation to try it on yours (or someone you know). It looks like Apple can introduce a simple software update to ensure no phones are struck by the bug, but it sure seems like an easy way to play a dirty prank on a friend.

Reddit iClarified

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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