iPhone is disabled. Try again in 23 MILLION minutes.

This is the message a mum got after letting her toddler play with her phone. And it’s a message countless mums can relate to, not because it’s happened to them. But because #toddlers.

Whether you choose to admit it or not, we all sometimes reach for our phones to try and keep our children entertained. Phones hold fun things. Like YouTube videos. And songs. And cameras that allow kids to take 15 million close ups of their noses.

But many toddlers don’t have the mental capacity to remember passcodes. And thus, after attempting to break into a phone, a toddler may unwittingly lock it. For nearly half a century.

This is exactly what recently happened to a mum in Shanghai. After letting her son watch “educational videos” on her iPhone, her toddler accidentally locked the thing. Instead of the standard “iPhone disabled, try again in one minute” message we’re all used to, her iPhone requested that she try again in 23,810,416 terrifying minutes. Which equates to 44 years, give or take.

Turns out, having to wait 44 years to unlock your iPhone is actually kinda common

Think this cannot possibly happen to you? Oh yes, it can!

It also happened to American mum Beck Castillo after letting her daughter play with her phone.

“I turned it off and back on. [The message] was still there. I had to follow some computer geek instructions of how to get into it and bypass the code to reset it,” Becky explains.

And it’s not just Becky either! A toddler locked iPhone also happened to mum Yudith Angeline from Indonesia, although the exact minutes varied slightly.

How to fix a toddler locked iPhone

According to LifeWire, this type of daunting iPhone message isn’t as bad as you may think. And you won’t have to wait 23 million minutes to check your messages again.

“This isn’t actually the real amount of time you need to wait. That message just represents a really, really long time and is designed to get you to just take a break from trying passcodes.”

To fix the problem of a toddler locked iPhone you can try the following:
    1. Wait it out.
    2. Reset the iPhone. Use a paper clip to take out the SIM card and try again.
    3. Restore the device from backup: Connect your iOS device to the computer you sync it to. In iTunes, click the Restore button. Follow the onscreen instructions and in a few minutes, your device should be usable again. 
    4. Switch to Recovery Mode: Try turning your phone to Recovery Mode or DFU Mode.
    5. Admit defeat with a Factory Reset. If all else fails, connect your iOS device to the computer and perform a Factory Reset to restore the phone to brand new settings. This means you will lose all your data, but, hopefully you backed it up recently!

Moral of the story? If you happen to have a toddler, always carry something OTHER THAN YOUR IPHONE to give them to play with. Crayons and paper work. You can’t lock either of them.

Oh. And don’t forget to back up your phone! Often. Looking for more parenting perils? Check out what happened when this mum discovered an epidural needle in her spine, 14 years after giving birth.


Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

1 Comment

  1. Allannah Glennister Reply

    How amazing! I love reading all these amazing ideas and tips!

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.