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Don’t Set Your iPhone To This Date, Or Else…

By March 26, 2016March 6th, 2023Blog, Technology News

File this one away under things not to do. Not that you’d ever have a need to do this, but whatever you do, do not set your iPhone’s date to January 1, 1970. If you do, you stand a good chance of turning your cherished smartphone into a very expensive paperweight.

News of this “bug” began circulating on Reddit recently, although what, exactly, prompted people to begin experimenting with changing their date settings to something so far back in time is a bit of a mystery. In any case, you should know that a number of iPhone owners have experimented with the bug, and documented their results via video online. In many, but not all cases, it results in a total shutdown of the device, which can only be remedied by a trip into your nearest Apple Store.

Apple has offered no comment on the bug, and as far as we know, there’s no plan on the books to fix it. Literally the only way this bug can impact a user is if they make the decision to manually set their phone’s date to January 1, 1970. In cases where doing this has not resulted in a total shutdown, there are no firm answers, only theories. Best guess is that when you change the date, the date is converted into a numeric value. Depending on your local time zone, setting your phone to this date (or earlier) will result in a negative date value, which the phone’s OS doesn’t know what to do with, resulting in turning the device into a brick.

Again, two things cannot be stressed enough. First, this isn’t a bug you should be especially concerned about, because second, the only way it can manifest is if you make the decision to set your phone’s date, which is a thing you simply would never have a reason to do. Still, it’s a curiosity, and an odd fact worth knowing!

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.