How to unlock an old iPhone

(Jeremy Roussak) #1

I have an old iPhone 4s which I’d like to resurrect for my daughter to play with. it’s not been used for years. When I try to turn it on, I get a message saying that it’s locked, and continuing “Try again in 24,703,125 minutes”. I’m a busy man and I just can’t wait that long.

Any ideas?


(@lbutlr) #2

What I would do is connect the phone to iTunes and put it into DFU mode.

  1. Find a 30 pin USB cable and plug it in to your computer.
  2. hold down power and home until the phone reboots
  3. let go of the power button only when the white apple logo appears
  4. Keep holding the home button until “Connect to iPhone” appears
  5. Connect the phone to the computer

At this point you should be able to restore the phone. You will still need the password for the phone to bypass activation lock if that was turned on. If the update takes too long to download or the phone goes to sleep/locks again, you will have to do steps 2-4 above again, but this time the update should already be on your machine, so you should be good to go.

(Jeremy Roussak) #3

Thanks. I did that, resetting the phone (there was no backup, sadly) and it now works.

I was amused by the time I’d have to wait, though.


Jeremy Roussak

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(@lbutlr) #4

It is probably the number of minutes since 1970. When the phone was entirely drained it lost its date and time, and it can’t get it back without getting connected.

24 million minutes is about 48 years.

(Joseph) #5

Actually, this is a result of numerous failed passcode attempts, in general.

(@lbutlr) #6

I don’t think that is the case with the 24 million number; that is based on the device losing all concept of time. (not just the obvious 0% battery, but long term 0% battery)

(Joseph) #7

Interesting. I’m thinking that it’s a combination of the two. You get locked out, and it records the date/time that the lockout will end. Then the battery totally dies, resetting the internal clock back to 1970 or whatever. So yeah, by it’s calculation, there’s still a lot of time before you get to the middle of February, 2018 or whatever, which is when it will allow you to unlock it.