Let’s just call this reason No. 580 not to leave your kids alone with technology: They might lock you out of it.
That’s what happened over the weekend to Evan Osnos, a staff writer at The New Yorker and a fellow at the Brookings Institution.
He put out a tweet — or a cry for help — letting the world know of the little situation his toddler put him in.
“Uh, this looks fake but, alas, it’s our iPad today after 3-year-old tried (repeatedly) to unlock. Ideas?” Osnos tweeted. A photo of the iPad’s screen noted the device was disabled. It also had this mind-blowing message: “Try again in 25,536,442 minutes.”
That’s more than 48 years, for those of you who don’t want to do the math. So Osnos’ iPad will be available to him again sometime in 2067. Great, he’ll have something to keep him occupied in the retirement home.
The iPad lockout is a security feature of Apple devices that kicks in whenever someone repeatedly types the wrong password. The more times an incorrect password is entered, the longer the lock-out time grows.
Thankfully Osnos’ Twitter followers gave all kinds of help in the comments, because there’s nothing but good things in the comments, right?
People offered hundreds of suggestions. Some were practical: “Just connect it to the computer you originally synced it to iTunes on, let it sync and it’ll be fine.”
Others were nonsensical: “Put it in a bag of rice.”
One commenter had a novel idea: “Time travel seems to be your best bet.”
Another person suggested Osnos should “reboot” the 3-year-old, but that seems a tad bit unnecessary.
Ready for a restore
Several others said no worries — just wait out the 48 years. Because you know folks on social media are known for their patience.
So what does Apple suggest? Apple says you would need to perform a restore to use the device again (but you would lose the data on the device if you’ve never backed it up).
Osnos told the New York Daily News on Monday he was still locked out of the device.
“It’s down a few hundred minutes from yesterday, but it looks like we’ve still got 25 million minutes to go,” he told the newspaper. “The consensus seems to be that we’re using an old operating system that won’t let us restart fresh from iTunes.”
CNN reached out to Osnos for comment and is waiting to hear back.
Later on Monday Osnos tweeted that he’d managed to get the iPad into DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode and is in the process of restoring the tablet.
“Thanks to those who shared advice!” he said.
Assuming Osnos gets back into the iPad, maybe he should just give his kid the password.