Latest iOS 9.3 Beta Unbricks iPhones Affected by 'January 1, 1970' Date Bug

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The most recent beta of iOS 9.3, provided to developers and public beta testers earlier this week, fixes a bug that caused 64-bit iPhones and iPads to be disabled or "bricked" when the date was set to January 1, 1970.

    Discovered in mid-February, the "1970" bug occurs whenever an iOS device's date is manually set to 1970, resulting in a continuous reboot cycle. Speculation has suggested the reboot loop is the result of an integer underflow that causes the iPhone to reset the date to the maximum value, a huge number that iOS devices may be unable to process.

    With iOS 9.3 beta 4, the date on the iPhone or iPad can't be set beyond December 31, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. ET, which equates to 1/1/01 at 12:00 a.m. GMT. That effectively puts an end to the 1970 bug, which was used to trick some people into bricking their devices.


    The beta also introduces a fix for devices that had been disabled by the bug. As explained on the MacRumors forums, devices stuck in boot loops were able to be restored to working order through a restore using iOS 9.3 beta 4.
    Previously, there was no clear fix for devices that had been affected by the bug aside from disconnecting the battery, requiring users to go to the Genius Bar at an Apple retail store or attempt risky self-repairs. Apple promised a fix in an "upcoming software update," which appears to be iOS 9.3.

    iOS 9.3 is currently only available to developers and public beta testers, but we may be nearing the end of the beta testing period. Apple has said the software will debut in the spring, and it's likely we will see it launch to the public following the company's rumored March 15 event where it is expected to introduce the iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, and new Apple Watch bands.

    Article Link: Latest iOS 9.3 Beta Unbricks iPhones Affected by 'January 1, 1970' Date Bug
  2. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Finally I can set my phone clock back to our year of the Lord 1107 AD.
  3. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Can't imagine how many idiots went into the Apple Stores and set the phones back just to be jerks.
  4. Adithya007 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2015
  5. naeS1Sean macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Scranton, PA
  6. joueboy macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2008
    Can somebody try it first and let me know if it work? Thanks!
  7. Rhonindk macrumors 68040


    Nice to see something fixed in a very timely fashion.
    Now... when will this make it to the release version? :D
  8. lkrupp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2004
    iMore performed an experiment to see how long it would take to scroll back to 1970. It took almost eight minutes to brick the phone. It apparently takes a good deal of work to reveal this bug but stupidity knows no bounds or time limits I suppose. I remember the specially formatted text message that would crash an iPhone. My oldest son works for a structural engineering firm and all these highly educated, type A personality types spent days sending each other the special texts just for kicks.
  9. Keirasplace macrumors 601

    Aug 6, 2014
    Unless the phone uses no power at all to boot, not likely, having it boot repeatedly until the battery died was a fix, it could take a long long time (days if it was at 100%, but it was a fix).
  10. terrapinjess macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2012
    The real fix should have been to allow users to set it back to 1970 and have that original logo pop up. Although that would've been giving credit to those jerks. Glad it's fixed though!
  11. TheRainKing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2012
    So they didn't bother to fix the bug, they just prevented users from triggering it.
  12. rstone3 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2007
    "With iOS 9.3 beta 4, the date on the iPhone or iPad can't be set beyond December 31, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. ET"

    I think/hope they meant "can't be set BACK beyond December 31, 2000" - otherwise we'll all be suddenly re-living that date groundhog-day style.
  13. svenning macrumors newbie


    Mar 13, 2015
    Los Angeles
  14. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    That is a fix ... to prevent idiots from doing this intentionally.
  15. Mizouse macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2014
    Why would you even need to set the date back that far in the first place????!

    Heck why 2000 or even setting it back to 2015?? :-/
  16. Ternary macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2015
    This makes me curious what date the iPhone would fall back to once it reaches January 19, 2038. Right now, it reverts back to January 1, 1970, but if that's no longer a selectable date, I wonder what would happen.
  17. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Another "bricked" phone that will require a fix. ;) That said, not likely anyone will have any devices with any of the current iOS versions running on them at that time.
  18. Gasu E. macrumors 601

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    No current phones will run over a 12G network.
  19. djang0 macrumors member

    May 20, 2015

    So I guess those iPhones weren't bricked to begin with... who would have thought :rolleyes:
    --- Post Merged, Feb 24, 2016 ---
  20. greyshirtguy macrumors newbie


    Feb 24, 2016
    LOL - I heard that letting it run completely flat or removing power causes it to reset back to factory default time/date - thus fixing problem......I had to try it!....Set date and rebooted....sure enough it "bricked" my iPhone6 (9.2.1).
    Opened up and unplugged battery (that reset time & date to factory default)- iPhone6 "un-bricked!"
  21. Samuel Bradshaw macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014
    Only one way to find out! :)
  22. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I guess?
    I see this more like gating off a pothole so nobody accidentally falls in. I guess the end result is the same though.
  23. Keane16 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2007
    Good to see a speedy fix.

    Also funny to see the word "pricks" used on a MacRumors article. Didn't know it was widely used outside of the UK.

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