Why 1/1/1970 Bricks Your iPhone

  • Published on: 12 February 2016
  • People keep finding bugs in iPhones, and other people keep asking me to make videos about them. So here you go! Here's a tale of binary, of the Unix epoch, and a date beyond the lifespan of the universe.

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    THANK YOU SO MUCH to Michael Monteith, @mike220889 on Twitter, who was able to get me a conference room to film in on a Friday afternoon at very short notice!
  • Runtime : 5:
  • tom scott tomscott bug exploit glitch ios iphone apple unix epoch integer overflow


  • ionicafardefrica
    ionicafardefrica   9 hours ago

    that's such an easy bug fix, without even needing to find the source (if date is close to max you have underflow, then force date to 1 jan 1970; reset back to 0). I doubt this is anything but a myth, or if it was a real bug, it was alive for a very very short time

  • SethSaysHello
    SethSaysHello   1 days ago

    Was lowkey disappointed when I understood the terms and realized I actually didn’t need to watch the rest

  • The other John Smith

    Back in the day, when CD burners had less buffer than they could write out in a second, computers weren't very fast, Windows wasn't able to prioritize I/O, and CD burners weren't able to resume on an interrupted burn, you had these errors "Buffer underrun".It is from those infamous errors that I had always assumed the opposite of "overflow", to be "underrun". Apparently I was wrong and it is an underflow?

  • T Vtech
    T Vtech   2 days ago

    Dude this guy should work for Nasa

  • Quarsa
    Quarsa   2 days ago

    Came for bricks Stayed for Gandhi

  • Tree Funk Jones
    Tree Funk Jones   2 days ago

    It’s really because that’s the start of the year Jimi Hendrix died

  • Miles David
    Miles David   3 days ago

    I knew there was something fishy about Gandhi. Shame on him

  • Fish Man
    Fish Man   3 days ago

    Why does it brick my phone? My phone just turned into a brick. It was an iPhone but now it’s a Nokia...

  • Will Spanish
    Will Spanish   3 days ago

    Gonna do this to my friends phone real quick

  • Noah Peracciny
    Noah Peracciny   3 days ago

    No one: Apple users: Can I have my date be 1,000,000,000,000,000,000?

  • Super Saiyan Commenter

    I had an iPhone 5s which I did not use for a while, I came back to the power button not working, checked the date and time to see it is on 1969. Dodged a bullet there.

  • Randy Brumfiled
    Randy Brumfiled   3 days ago

    So you’re telling me 1970 is when the simulation started I’m down with that

  • Jens Raab
    Jens Raab   3 days ago

    At 4:10 you say that the result is a date "20 times longer than the expected lifespan of the universe".Uh, I don't think so. I think, you meant to say the estimated age of the universe, right?Anyway, that's just me nitpicking. Awesome video! :-)

  • AdamW151203
    AdamW151203   3 days ago

    Don’t you just hate it when you are in December 1969 and your iPhone is in 21 trillion

  • xd Embrey
    xd Embrey   4 days ago

    sets date to 1/1/1970 to see if it's real

  • Tyler Johnson
    Tyler Johnson   4 days ago

    My cars date stops in December 2017 so now I’m confused on how it says September did it just go in a loop

  • NeonDynamite18
    NeonDynamite18   4 days ago

    Think it might be having something record (like a screen recording) and then changing your date, then ending it, as I don’t know how it stores the date whether it’s the date when started, date when ended, or date when ended minute recording time

  • Twister
    Twister   4 days ago

    When your iphone can destroy the universe

  • Alina
    Alina   5 days ago

    laughs in samsung

  • Sydechick
    Sydechick   5 days ago

    i clicked on this just to look at his face 🥰🥰🥰

  • ElectroQuake
    ElectroQuake   5 days ago

    You sound exactly like Nintendo Life 😂

  • Max T
    Max T   5 days ago

    I’m still waiting for the comments “ I tried it it’s real”

  • garfeeble
    garfeeble   5 days ago

    i opened my old ipod 4 after 4 years and the notepad said i had an empty note that said 12/31/1969

  • Tina Xu
    Tina Xu   5 days ago

    When YouTube randomly recommend you a 3-year-old video and then you go down a science black hole

  • Marsel J
    Marsel J   5 days ago

    Why did you not fix the title issue

  • dueyfuckuey
    dueyfuckuey   5 days ago

    Tom Scott How can your brain wrap around these things?Did your mom drop you on your head?