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There’s an easy way to fix iPhones bricked by the 1970 date change bug

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:12PM EST
iPhone Date 1970 Fix

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A new iPhone prank recently made the rounds on Facebook and other social media sites, and it really wasn’t funny at all. A claim was made on a well-designed graphic that Apple snuck a cute little Easter egg into the iPhone. By changing the date on your iPhone 6s or earlier iPhone model to January 1st, 1970 and then rebooting, the phone would power back up with a new theme based on the classic look of the first Macintosh computer.

What actually happened when people actually followed those instructions? Their iPhones would no longer boot, rendering them completely useless. Apple acknowledged the issue in a new support page on its website and said that an upcoming iOS update will prevent it, but that doesn’t help the many people who have already fallen for the prank.

Don’t worry — there’s a pretty easy fix and we’ll tell you about it in this post.

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Here’s the image that was floating around the Internet:

Whatever you do, don’t fall for it; and you might even want to warn your friends about it before it’s too late. Of course, “too late” isn’t really too late anymore because there’s now a tried and tested fix for iPhones that have been impacted by the bug. It really couldn’t be easier, but you might need to put your Amazon Prime subscription to use.

As explained and demonstrated in a video posted to YouTube by “JerryRigEverything,” all you need to do to fix phones that have been bricked by the 1970 bug is disconnect the iPhone’s battery. By cutting off the power to the phone and then reconnecting the battery, the iPhone will be forced to reset the date and your phone will finally boot up again.

The first thing you’ll need is a special pentalobe screwdriver to open the iPhone. Apple uses special screws in its products and a standard driver won’t fit them. The cheapest price we’ve seen for a pentalobe screwdriver set that includes the proper size for iPhone’s screws (P2) is this one on Amazon, which is $7.99 with free Prime shipping. In fact, Prime subscribers can get free same-day shipping on this item in some areas so your iPhone can be up and running again as soon as today.

Once you’ve received the proper screwdriver, watch the video below to see the simple steps you’ll need to take. While the process is definitely easy, remember to be careful and take it slow so you don’t damage your iPhone.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.