This prank will brick your iPhone — and it's not easy to fix

Posted at 2:43 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 14:52:21-05

A meme making the rounds on social media that claims to be an iPhone “Easter Egg” is actually a prank that shuts down your device.

The picture shows a iPhone displaying a retro Apple logo and slogan. The accompanying text claims that setting your iPhone’s date to January 1, 1970 and resetting your phone will unlock a classic 1970s Macintosh theme. to brick your iPhone 5 and up:Go to Settings -> General -> Date & Time -> “Set Automatically” off. Change date to Jan 1, 1970 (Scroll up to get to year 2000, then go back, into date settings again, repeat until it reaches 1970) -> Reboot.


However, these actions actually unlock a bug that will prevent your phone from restarting, rendering it completely useless.

Apple has said that it is planning to release a software update to prevent the issue from happening in the future. But for those who have already fallen for the trick, all you need to do is take your phone to the Apple store.

There is a way to resurrect your iPhone yourself — but it’s a bit of a hassle.

According to YouTube user JerryRigEverything, removing the phone’s battery will force the iPhone to reset its date and time and fix the issue. But it’s a pretty delicate process that requires you to buy special screw drivers.For step-by-step instructions on how to fix the issue, watch the YouTube video above.

Bottom line: Don't fall for the 1970 trick.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.