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iPhone is disabled for 22 million minutes

ipod_disabledThis problem where the iPhone is disabled for 22 million minutes seems to be quite a common occurrence and is frustrating many people who just want to get their iPhone back working again!  It seems bizarre, right?  How can one possibly wait 22 million minutes to try again?  Well, this is somewhat of a glitch in the iOS software.  This is what's happening:

If you have a passcode set on your iDevice, the device will be disabled for a short time if the passcode is entered too many times incorrectly.  This is a security feature, to stop someone from trying passcodes over and over until they finally (maybe) hit the right one.   After entering the passcode incorrectly a number of times, you will have to wait 1 minute before trying again.  Then, maybe 2 minutes the next time.  Then 5 minutes, then an hour and so on.

The reason the message appears with 22 million(ish) minutes is that the above mentioned passcode delay has been triggered by someone entering the passcode too many times and the phone has stored a date and time after which you can try to enter more passcodes.  However, before that date and time has been reached, something has caused the iDevice's internal clock to reset to its factory setting.  In this case, January 1st 1970.  If you calculate the number of minutes displayed in terms of years, months, days, hours and minutes, you'll find that it always takes you to the same date.  The factory default date for the iDevice.  January 1st, 1970.  This is the same date that appears when you switch on an iDevice after changing (or disconnecting) the internal battery.  It has no way to remember what date and time it was, so it reverts to its default.

This leaves you in a bit of a mess, because no one wants to wait 40 odd years to be able to re-activate their iDevice.  One way to achieve this is to connect it to the iTunes, but it has to be on the computer that is the "controller" of that iPhone.  That is, the computer that you sync it with.  If you have never synced it, or it was synced with a computer that you don't have access to anymore, you will have to resort to a full restore.  That's fine, except that you will lose all your data.  That means contacts, calendars, photos and videos, SMS messages etc.  Now that can be a bit of a pain and it's a very good reason to always make sure that you back up your iDevice regularly.  To iCloud, or a computer, it doesn't matter - just make sure you do it!

So, here are the steps you can take.  If you have synced your iPhone with your computer in the past and you are getting the above message, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed and then connect your iPhone.  If all goes well, you should be prompted to enter the passcode and the phone should no longer be disabled.

If this does not work, you will have to resort to restoring the iPhone.  Please be aware that this will remove all data from the iPhone.  However, in this case, there is no option.  So this is what you should try next:

connect_to_itunesFirst, switch off your iDevice.  If you can't switch it off for some reason, hold the Power button and the Home button at the same time for 10 seconds.  This will force the device to reset itself.  The important thing at this stage is that the device must not be connected to the computer using the USB cable.  You must start with the device switched off and not connected to anything.

Once you have the device switched off, simply hold the Home Button (the round button at the bottom of the screen) and at the same time connect the USB-Dock cable to connect the device to the computer.  Don't let go of the home button! You need to continue holding the home button until the Connect To iTunes logo appears on the screen.   At this stage, when you open iTunes, you will see a message saying that iTunes has detected a device in Recovery Mode.  The only option you will have is the Restore option, which is exactly what you want.

Once again, clicking the Restore button will remove all your data and will update the device to the latest version of the iOS software.  If you had a backup of the device, you will be able to use that to Restore From Backup in iTunes once the restore process completes.  Restore from Backup in iTunes is a different process, which restores your own data from an iTunes backup and is not to be confused with the Restore option which restores the actual software of the iDevice.

We have some advanced procedures that are guaranteed to fix this iPhone/iPad disabled problem.  For the quickest and easiest solution, download our PDF guide to restoring your disabled iPhone/iPad now for only $12.95 $4.95 (specially reduced price for 1 day only!) :

You can also contact our Live Support team who can assist you in restoring your iPhone or iPad, however we recommend using our PDF guide first as it's a cheaper and quicker option. If you wish to contact our Live Support team, you can do so by clicking the link below.

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