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ios 6.1

Sure, the iOS passcode lock screen might make you feel a bit safer than not having it standing in the way of strangers’ access to your phone. However, if you find it a little annoying to type in a password after every time your screen powers down, you’re in luck: It’s currently so easy to bypass the lock screen that you might as well not bother using it.

In iOS 6.1, a perpetrator simply needs to adhere to the follow few steps.

  • Choose emergency call from the passcode lock screen
  • Hold the power button as if you’re powering down the phone, but then hit cancel to abort
  • Dial an emergency number like 911 (or 112 if you’re in the UK), then as quickly as you can, hit call (green button) then disconnect (red button)
  • Go back to the lock screen by tapping the phone’s power button, then hitting the home button or power button again

Passcode screen

  • Now, the tricky part: Hold down the power button for around three seconds, and before the “slide to turn off” option comes up, quickly hit the Emergency Call button
  • Then quickly hit the home button to prevent the phone from powering down

I tried this on an iPhone 4S with iOS 6.1 and just couldn’t get it to work. User reports around the web say that the timing is extremely tricky, and if you mess up, you have to begin the whole (albeit quick) process again. Along with the above video, a video from The Verge shows the precise timing required for the trick, but a few of us around Geek HQ couldn’t get it to work even though we were mimicking the videos’ timing.

Something, however, is happening when I perform the trick — just not what the videos say should happen. Rather than access to the full phone app, my 4S stays powered on, but only displays a black screen with the status bar still visible at the top — something the phone doesn’t normally do. So, something is working, just not what is supposed to be.

The trick doesn’t give you unfettered access to the whole phone either, but it does give you access to the phone app, and anything that can be accessed from that, which includes the phone’s photo library.

Even though we couldn’t get the trick to work properly, it does say something about the person who found it, as the combination of steps are fairly random, and we’re wondering what the thought process behind finding them was like. If you’ve tried the bypass, let us know if it worked or not!

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