We’re all guilty of handing our children phones or tablets in exchange for a few minutes of peace and quiet, but here’s a story that will probably make you think twice before doing it again.
Evan Osnos, a dad from Washington, DC, and a staff writer at The New Yorker, found himself in quite the predicament when his 3-year-old accidentally disabled his iPad after repeatedly entering the wrong password.
On April 6, 2019, Evan asked the Internet for help by tweeting a photo of his locked iPad.
“Uh, this looks fake but, alas, it’s our iPad today after 3-year-old tried (repeatedly) to unlock. Ideas?” he wrote in the tweet.
In the photo, it says, “iPad is disabled. Try again in 25,536,442 minutes.” A quick calculation, and that’s more than 48 years, meaning Evan can use his iPad again in 2067.
Now, we’ve seen toddlers make a mess, send random photos to your contact list, but apparently, they can also hack your phone like nobody's business.
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The iPad lock is a security feature of Apple devices that’s activated whenever someone repeatedly types the wrong password. The more times the user enters an incorrect password, the longer the time it becomes disabled. In Evan’s case, it looks like he is using an old version of iOS, which is why the iPad became disabled for a long, long period.
Unsurprisingly, most users found this cry for help amusing and offered cheeky solutions and questions of their own.
One user replied, “Reboot your 3-year-old.” Another said, “Do you still have the receipt for your 3-year-old?” while someone said, “Time travel is your best bet.”
Someone also suggested to just wait for 48 years, but thankfully, there seemed to be an easy fix.
According to Apple Support, Evan needs to perform a "restore" function to use the device again. However, it will wipe out all the iPad's data, and you won’t be able to get it back if you don’t have previous backups.
In a tweet three days later, on April 9, Evan gave an update about his situation: “Update on toddler-iPad-lock-out: Got it into DFU mode (don’t hold down the sleep/power button too long or you end up in recovery). Now restoring. Thanks to those who shared advice!”
DFU mode stands for Device Firmware Update. According to iMore.com, it is your “last, best hope for success” to get your iPad back into working order. The process varies for the kind of Apple device you have, but it all involves connecting the phone or tablet to a computer.
Fortunately for Evan, “all’s well that ends well,” but parents can all glean a lesson from his experience: beware of the innocent-looking toddler.