Curious toddler locks mum’s iPhone for 47 years. Not even joking.

Posted in Behaviour and Discipline.

Give your toddler your iPhone, they said. It’ll keep ’em busy, they reasoned. They. Were. Wrong!

Computer says “NO!”

A Shanghai mum faced a relatable, dire yet extremely impressive (in chronological terms, at least) dilemma after someone handed her iPhone to her 2-year-old son to keep him busy.

The idea was that he’d watch some educational programming on the device. Instead, the toddler found his way to the passcode screen and began repeatedly inputting digits in a bid to bust back in.

Of course, his efforts had the opposite effect. The incorrect passcodes, inputted on repeat for gosh knows how long, locked the phone down for a very, very, very amazing 25 million minutes. The more passcodes, the more minutes locked out. Gulp.

The South China Morning Post reports that a technician at the Shanghai Apple Store advised the frustrated mum to wait a few years because the screen may unlock, then try her passcode again – or alternatively reset the phone, wiping the entire contents. Dilemma indeed.

Wait time? 80 years!

The technician, Wei Chunlong, noted that a 47 year lockout was nothing. He’d encountered or heard of phones that had been locked for more than 80 years by toddlers keen to bust back into The Wiggles or whatever.

“In this woman’s case, the only way out [without waiting] is to erase all the phone data and do a factory reset,” Wei said.

Apparently the woman in question has been waiting for 2 months to see if the phone will unlock itself and accept her password. So far, no good. 

“I couldn’t really wait for 47 years and tell my grandchild it was your father’s mistake,” the woman apparently quipped.

Mum and toddler with iPhone

Back up your phone!

So what’s the lesson here, we hear you asking?

It could be “don’t let your toddler play with your phone” or even “avoid passcodes if you have kids” but we prefer “lobby Apple to develop a simple way for parents to break back into their kid-locked phones without losing everything”. One that isn’t “wait a few years” or “lose everything on your phone”. How about that?!

The other big lesson here is – back up your iPhones, mums and dads! Here’s how to do that, so if you do have to wipe and reset your phone – or if you lose or break your phone – you can restore your data safely.


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