Apple working on a fix for the iPhone date bug

Reseting iPhone
Reseting iPhone (Image credit: iMore/Rene Ritchie)

Apple has officially acknowledged a date bug in iOS 8 or later that could cause your iPhone or iPad to become inoperable after manually setting the date to a certain period of 1970. A fix for the bug is set to arrive in a future software update.

From Apple (opens in new tab):

Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart.An upcoming software update will prevent this issue from affecting iOS devices. If you have this issue, contact Apple Support.

The bug in question causes your iPhone or iPad to become inoperable when you preform a reboot of the device after manually setting the date to May 1970 or earlier. It also made it impossible to place your device in DFU or Recovery mode, meaning that you'd need to take it in for repairs in order to get it replaced.

Source: Apple (opens in new tab)

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

18 Comments
  • Prefer a fix for Error 53 actually, even though I do welcome this.
  • Who in their right mind would manually changing the date to May 1970 on their iPhone?
  • A good excuse to get a new phone without having to pay for anything. If I wanted a warranty replacement, this is what I would do....just saying. Posted with the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • Yea but thats a less appealing thing to do when you find out they arent new, just referb Sent from the iMore App
  • Particularly since the date is a single part of the date and time screen. That's a lot of scrolling. But I thought a fix was to simply drain the battery?
  • How do you do that if it won't turn on?
  • It would drain on its own... Would take a long time but it would get there eventually... Unplugging battery seems faster Sent from the iMore App
  • Thats right, the battery has to be either *completely* drained, or you get into it and disconnect the battery, either one resets the clock and it will boot normally again.
  • It's a great "prank" to play on your best friend, if you are that kind of "friend."
    "Hey does it really do that if I just experiment... hey it does... uh oh... my phone is bricked." It's hard to do by accident but easy to, but when dealing with the general populace who also like to do things on purpose it becomes an issue. At such large scales that Apple works, you do in fact save money on support costs by working on a fix to prevent people from doing it to themselves. I work in a support environment, and these are just two excuses possible things people do to themselves.
  • The person whoe discovered that bug did it. Have you ever been so bored that you start doing stuff just to see what happens? I have...
  • Probably a security specialist that finds bugs found it. Then they sell it to Apple. Sent from the iMore App
  • Still a vulnerability that needs to be fixed though
  • Stupid people. They aren't a myth, they're real. Many people report seeing one stare back at them through a mirror. Creepy. Sent from the iMore App
  • Futile really. There is no cure for stupidity. Sent from the iMore App
  • Have to disconnect the battery so it can resets the memory! Sent from the iMore App
  • Its because time travel was invented in 1971, so going back to 1970 creates a paradox Sent from the iMore App
  • Haven't you seen Interstellar? They show that the once time travel is invented it means it's always been invented. Sent from the iMore App
  • What do you want to do that in the first place, are you that bored, that you would actually find that interesting? Sent from the iMore App