iPhone Bricked? Don’t Fall Prey to the Date Bug!
There are harmless iPhone pranks, such as the CrashSafari prank, which do not cause any actual harm to an iPhone or the date stored on it. But then there are a few bugs which shouldn’t be used as a prank, unless you want to be sued. The iPhone date bug causes the device to be bricked, which means that there is actual damage and it is impossible to recover from this issue without the aid of Apple Support.
Some prank guides on fun websites such as 9GAG encourage users to set their date to the 1st of January 1970 to unlock a retro design or some other feature – please do not fall prey to this dangerous joke! If you happen to set your date to 01/01/1970, your iPhone won’t boot up anymore and will probably require repairs. If you have been affected by this issue, you might find help in the below guide. We’ve compiled a number of solutions that have worked for other users.
Do NOT set your date to 01/01/1970!
Have you been affected by the date bug? Try these fixes
Unfortunately, neither DFU Mode nor restoring from an iTunes or iCloud backup will help in this case. If your iPhone refuses to turn on or boot after someone has set the buggy date on your device, these are your current options:
1. Wait for 5 hours
Twitter user @Liamhanmore6 claims that waiting for approximately 5 hours sort of fixed his problem. The iPhone was able to boot after this duration, but was acting very laggy and slow. At least he was able to set another date in the Settings app by going to General and then Date & Time. The issue was then solved for him, apart from a very slow iPhone.
It is probably a good idea to reset your iPhone to factory settings if this method worked for you, just in order to make sure that you get your original performance back.
2. Try a different SIM card
Switching out the SIM card for a different one also works for some users. Use a paper clip or the designated SIM card tool to open up the slot of your device and put in another card, if available. Then try booting up your iPhone and set the date back.
3. Send in your iPhone for a repair
If all of the above fails, you will probably need to order a repair on the Apple Support website. Your iPhone needs to be picked up and looked at by Apple, who can hopefully get it back up and running again. Make sure to check if any costs are associated with this process for your specific case, depending on warranty status and other factors.
How to prevent the date bug from bricking your device
The only way to prevent the bug from occurring on regular devices is to make sure that no one sets the date to 01/01/1970. Jailbreakers can install a free cydia tweak called BrickingDate, which will effectively block the bug by not allowing this problematic date to be set on your iPhone.