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Toddler Tries So Hard To Unlock Dad’s iPad That It Ends Up Locked For Over 25 Million Minutes

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

If you have a kid at home and want to restrict access to your phone or tablet, the solution is simple — lock it up with a passcode.

That usually works… unless you have a particularly determined toddler.

This happened to writer Evan Osnos, and he shared the entire unbelievable story on Twitter.

Evan’s 3-year-old child tried to unlock his iPad. Many, many times, apparently! Every iPad and iPhone automatically disables after several incorrect passcodes. It starts at 1 minute and then gradually increases to 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 60 minutes, and so on.

Usually, people will give up after a few tries, since they don’t want their devices to end up locked for too long.

Clearly, Evan’s toddler was not giving up, because when Evan picked up his iPad, the screen reported that it was disabled for precisely 25,536,442 minutes. That’s 48 years!

Evan turned to Twitter users for advice, asking simply: “Ideas?”

“Reboot your 3 y.o.,” one user recommended.

Evan Osnos is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He’s based in Washington, DC, where he lives with his 3-year-old child.

Evan also has an iPad, and as many parents know, toddlers kind of lose their minds over iPads.

Recently, Evan’s toddler was so determined to get into his iPad that the device ended up disabled for over 25 million minutes (!!!).

Evan posted a photo of the screen on Twitter.

For reference — in case you’ve never been unlucky enough to get locked out of an Apple device — the disabled screen on an iPhone or iPad normally looks like the photo here. It shows up after an incorrect passcode has been entered one too many times.

You might end up with your device disabled for a minute or even up to an hour, depending on how many times you keep entering an incorrect passcode into the device.

But 25 million minutes?! Apple is so cruel.

People on Twitter could not believe Evan’s situation. One person recommended that he “reboot” his 3-year-old, which is a little drastic.

Some users speculated about how, exactly, the toddler managed to get himself into this situation, which honestly we’d love to know as well. Somebody, please interview the toddler.

People had all kinds of “solutions” for Evan, including traveling forward in time to the year that the iPad is finally unlocked. Or putting it in a bag of rice — that fixes, like, everything, right?!

Others recommended that he simply wait it out. This could totally be an exercise in monk-like patience.

But luckily, some Twitter users had actual advice for Evan. Believe it or not, this is not the first time that anyone has received such an outrageous error message!

And there are solutions, should you ever find yourself in this absurd situation. An iPad, iPhone, or iPod that displays this error message is effectively permanently disabled.

Per Lifewire: “This isn’t actually the real amount of time you need to wait. That message just represents a really, really long time. It’s designed to get you to take a break from entering passcodes.”

There are a few possible ways to regain access. The best options are to restore from iTunes, go into recovery mode or DFU mode, or use iCloud to remotely wipe the device.

Unfortunately, all of these solutions involve starting over and losing some or all of the data on the device. This is why it’s a good idea to back up your devices on a regular basis!

In Evan’s case, he ended up using DFU mode and restored the device. It’s functional again, though he likely lost at least some data.

Maybe next time he’ll just let his toddler use the iPad?

“Do I sense the makings of a first-person New Yorker piece?” one Twitter user asked him.

“It merits 10k words!” Evan replied.