A Simple Way To Brick Almost Any iPhone

iPads and iPod Touches, too
If you set the date back far enough on your iPhone, you might ruin it forever. Youtube User Zach Straley

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Apple’s products are known as devices that “just work.” Unless you set their date to January 1, 1970, that is.

The bug was discovered by Reddit user vista980622 and posted to the r/jailbreak subreddit. To replicate vista’s results on your own iDevice, head to the Date & Time section of Settings. After unchecking “Set Automatically,” you’ll want to change the date all the way back to January 1, 1970. Note that this will take you two tries–once you reach the year 2000 you’ll have to go back a screen and then re-enter date selection. After you’ve traveled back in time to the beginning of the ’70s, turn off your phone.

When you attempt to switch your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch back on, the screen will simply show an Apple logo and nothing more.

Congratulations, you’ve bricked your phone! Probably forever!

To protect yourself against this problem, the best thing you can do now is make sure your device has a passcode on it. While this was posted in the jailbreak section of Reddit, the bug can affect non-jailbroken iPhones as well. Any 64-bit iOS product making use of an A7, A8, A8X, A9 and A9X chips will have the bug. Including the new iPhone 6S. Some assume this has to do with how iOS stores dates and time. And every part of the operating system that references the current time, which is many, ends up failing. No word as to whether the upcoming rumored iPhone 5se‘s will have a similar Achilles’ heel. We’ll have to wait for the mythical March event for an answer to that.