A Toddler Accidentally Locked His Mom's iPhone for 48 Years & It's Way Too Easy to Do

toddler playing with cell phone on bed

We all love our kids, but there's no denying the fact that they can wreak some serious havoc. For those of us who have gadget-obsessed toddlers, we're constantly worrying that they're going to destroy our most expensive -- and let's be real, beloved -- devices. Well, one kid has confirmed the fears of every parent ever and managed to render his mom's iPhone completely useless after accidentally disabling it for 48 years -- seriously! -- and we don't know whether to laugh or be horrified.


According to the South China Morning Post, the mom, who goes by Lu, let her 2-year-old son use her iPhone to watch some "educational videos" earlier this year. When she got the phone back she discovered that the toddler had somehow gotten locked out of the phone and gone a little crazy trying to get her passcode right to get back in. As a result, the iPhone was disabled for 25 million minutes -- or about 47.7 years, for any folks who aren't doing that conversion in their heads.

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"iPhone is disabled, try again in 25,114,984 minutes," read the notification on Lu's phone.

kid locks mom's iphone for 47 years

The mom, who's from Shanghai, China, took her iPhone to a nearby Apple store to try to fix her kid's hilariously catastrophic mistake. But unfortunately, an Apple store employee told her she was pretty much sh*t out of luck. She could either wait a few years and attempt to re-enter the passcode again, or she could do a factory reset on the device and lose everything -- pictures, notes, app data -- that wasn't already backed up to the cloud.

Understandably, Lu wasn't too into the idea of completely wiping her phone clean, so she chose to wait it out. But two months after the incident, her iPhone still isn't letting her back in. She seems to be handling the situation a lot better than the rest of us would, though. Instead of getting mad at her son, she's just looking forward to throwing the situation in his face down the road. "I couldn't really wait for 47 years [to] tell my grandchild, 'it was your father's mistake,'" Lu told a Chinese news outlet. 

woman's phone locked for 47 years

Accidentally disabling an iPhone is a whole lot easier than you'd think, especially if you have curious little kids with too much time on their hands. Apple guidelines state that its devices will lock after six unsuccessful login attempts. Thankfully, the lockouts usually only last a few minutes, but the time increases if you keep punching in the incorrect password. There have been reports of people being locked out for insane amounts of time, like 25 years and 45 years at a time. There have even been a few truly unlucky parents in the same boat as Lu, who've claimed their kids caused multi-decade iPhone lockouts.

iphone lockout message
Aaron Pedrick/Facebook

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Unfortunately, these instances are still considered to be pretty rare, so Apple doesn't have a failsafe method for fixing the problem. If an Apple passcode is forgotten -- or you've been locked out of your phone for decades at a time because your toddler got button-happy -- your options are the same as Lu's: Wait it out or erase your device completely. And unless there's a backup of the phone's data before the device got catastrophically disabled, there's no way anything on the phone will be saved.

We feel for Lu, we really do. But that doesn't stop this story from being hilarious. Causing a phone to meltdown for 48 years is exactly something a toddler would do. We're still going to be keeping our fingers crossed that our kids don't put us through something like this, though.

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