According to a report by The Guardian, iPhones that have been bricked by users setting their dates back to 1970 can now be restored via iTunes, thanks to the latest version of iOS 9.3 public beta. Using iOS 9.3 beta 4, users can restore iPhone 5s or newer devices rendered useless by the 1970 date bug to working condition through iTunes.
Those who aren’t aware, the date bug prevented 64-bit iOS devices from booting up, rendering them inoperable even through fail-safe restore methods using iTunes. Apple officially acknowledged the bug earlier this month in a support document, though it didn’t offer a fix at that time, and mentioned that it will issue a software update to address the issue.
According to Reddit user Spockers, restoring the iPhone using the beta software through iTunes will allow it to be used again. A MacRumours forum user also confirmed that the iOS 9.3 beta 4 update had restored iPhones bricked by pranksters in an Apple Store. Another Reddit user Vista980622 confirmed that the update would prevent users from setting the date beyond the 1 January 2001.
The report also notes that the update prevents hackers from deliberately bricking users’ iPhones by tricking them into setting the date to 1 January 1970 using the smartphone’s built-in automatic time adjustment function by pretending to be a time server. The update will be rolled out to all users in the near future.
To get access to the software update early, you can sign up for Apple’s beta testing programme here.