February 25, 2016 11:40 am
Updated: February 25, 2016 3:19 pm

Tricked into disabling your iPhone by setting its date to 1970? There’s now a fix

WATCH ABOVE: Tricked into setting your phone's date to 1970? Global's Nicole Bogart tells you how to fix it.


Apple will soon release a software fix for iPhone users who disabled their phones after falling for a prank.

The hoax, which was widely circulated on social media earlier this month, tricked users into believing if they changed the date on their iPhone to 1970 they would unlock a special Easter Egg hidden by Apple software developers. Instead, hundreds of people were left with iPhone’s that were rendered useless thanks to an error that prevented them from restarting after the date change.

The prank claimed that by setting an iPhone’s date to Jan. 1, 1970, the device would restart with the retro rainbow coloured Apple logo the company first used when it introduced the Macintosh computer.

An example of the prank that has been circulating on websites like 4Chan.


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The bug appeared to affect 64-bit iOS devices, including the iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus, iPad Air and iPad Mini 2.

For the record, the prank didn’t make that much sense – Apple didn’t even exist as a company until 1976 and the multi-coloured logo wasn’t unveiled until 1977.

According to reports, the most recent beta version of iOS – iOS 9.3 fixes the bug by preventing users from setting the time back before December 2000.

The tech giant has not officially commented on what caused the issue, though many have speculated it could be related to the same one that caused Facebook to wish people a happy 46 years of friendship – the UNIX Epoch bug. Epoch time is the way the Unix operating system records time, by measuring the number of seconds that have elapsed since midnight on Jan. 1, 1970.

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