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Apple’s new software won’t let you brick your iPhone with the date change bug

iPhone Date Change Problem

People can be so cruel at times. For no reason other than to trick people into rendering their iPhones useless, someone recently put together an elaborate hoax. It was discovered that if an iPhone’s date was manually set to any day earlier than a certain point in the past and reset, the phone would enter an endless reboot cycle and become completely unusable. So naturally, someone created a graphic that looked like a page from Apple’s website and explained that by setting the date on your iPhone to January 1, 1970 and rebooting the device, a special retro Mac theme would appear.

Needless to say, a whole lot of people fell for it and bricked their phones.

UP NEXT: 10 hidden iPhone features that’ll help you get the most out of your phone

We told you how to fix your phone in a subsequent post, though the quickest fix required a special tool. The trick is to open your iPhone’s housing and briefly disconnect the battery, which will force the phone to reset the time and date when powering back on. Apple seals its iPhone cases with special screws though, so a normal screwdriver won’t get the job done.

Word that this was a hoax has hopefully reached far and wide enough now that people are no longer falling for the trick. Just in case, it has been confirmed that the latest beta version of Apple’s iOS 9.3 software no longer allows the user to set a date earlier than January 1, 2001.

Apple’s iOS 9.3 software hasn’t yet been released to the public, but it is expected to exit the current beta phase in the coming weeks.

Zach Epstein

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.