Father locked out of iPad for 47 years, thanks to his three-year-old

“One dad, journalist Evan Osnos from Washington DC, handing his iPad over to his son meant being locked out of it for nearly half a century,” Jeff Parsons reports for Metro.co.uk.

“Posting on Twitter, Osnos said that his three-year-old had entered the wrong passcode on the Apple gadget one too many times. The iPad locked itself and informed him that he could try again to enter the correct passcode in 25-and-a-half million minutes,” Parsons reports. “Or roughly 47 years.”

“Apple’s gadgets increase the amount of time between attempts depending on how many times an incorrect passcode has been entered,” Parsons reports. “So Evan’s son was probably hammering away at it for some time before passing it back to dad.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If something like this happens to you and you don’t feel like waiting 47 years (your iPad might be a bit out of date by then), here are the instructions for restoring your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to factory settings here.


    1. We don’t know the details. How do you know Dad did not backup his iPad?

      Let’s assume all his files are safely stored on Apple’s cloud rental (actually on a Google server). Does that excuse Big Brother Apple from making it impossible to authenticate his identity using the iPad he owns?

      If the iPad is out of warranty you know what the kids at the Apple store will do. “That is old anyway, you should just buy a new one.” That’s what they told me when I asked to have a battery replaced in an old iPhone. They will suggest he should restore from the last good backup (which Apple does not guarantee, see the user agreement) but will not lift a finger to help a device out of warranty.

      Such an expensive experience would turn me off to Apple for a very long time. 47 years or so.

      Conversely if authorities with a warrant asked to unlock your iPad, Apple would do that in a jiffy. It says so in its user agreement.

      In my experience Apple’s lost its focus on delighting the end user.

  1. Unfortunate but the solution is to restore from a backup.
    Didn’t back it up then a factory restore. There is probably an iCloud backup if the owner had iCloud account (remember 5GB is free and automatically on).

    I assume there is not any valuable information on the device since who would let a 3 year old play with it otherwise.
    Also how long does a kid have to be left alone with the unit to lock out for that long? Screentime anyone?

    Apple could modify the lock out procedure to limit the max lock out time. But this is the first time I heard that this has happened so is a pretty rare event.

  2. So this “journalist” basically is too stupid to figure out how to restore his iPad from backup and decides to write a clickbait article? Only one who did anything wrong here was him.

  3. Six failed attempts gets you a 1 minute lockout.
    Seven gives you 5 minutes.
    Eight gives 15.
    Nine is 1 hour.
    After ten failed attempts, the system will either lock you out completely or erase your data, depending on your settings.

    What was this dad doing the last hour that the 3 year old was locked out? Pay attention.

    1. This is utterly stupid design by Apple. There is no reason to stop after the 10th attempt and lock the user out forever. It is way overkill. It should just continue with 1 hour intervals. That is plenty to prevent hacks etc. This sounds like it was dreamed up by some out of touch millennial.

  4. Yeah, the ‘tar pitting’ thing would kill the device – IIRC – long before it gave some 47 year lockout. And even if it did, a “tech journalist” should have sufficient knowledge and backups available to reset then restore the device. I’m suspicious. But maybe in latter-day iOS, the tar pitting works differently.

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