New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

New iOS Bug Crashing iPhones Simply by Receiving a Text Message [Includes Fix]

A new bug has been discovered in the Messages app, allowing a string of characters sent to a person via iMessage or SMS to crash an iPhone and cause the Messages app to crash after being opened. The bug, which requires a specific string of symbols and Arabic characters to be sent, was first noticed on reddit earlier this afternoon and has been spreading around the Internet since then.

Sending the string of characters to an iPhone results in an immediate respring, causing an iPhone to crash and quickly reboot. From there, if the Messages app was opened at a list view, the Messages app crashes automatically when you try to open it. If it was opened to the conversation where you received the message, the app will open, but attempting to go to another conversation causes Messages to crash.

messagescrashingbugMacRumors tested the bug on iPhones running iOS 8.3, but it may also be affecting other versions of iOS.

If you receive one of these messages, there are a few possible fixes that have worked for us and for other people who have encountered the bug. If the Messages app was opened to the conversation with the person who sent the offending message, the Messages app can be reopened to this conversation. Sending a reply message fixes the problem.

If Messages was opened to the conversation list view, the app will crash when you attempt to open it. You can fix this by having someone send you a message or by sending a message to yourself. There are several options for sending a message to yourself, including sending yourself a message via Siri or through the Share sheet in any app.

To send yourself a message in Siri, tell Siri to "Send a message to myself." Siri will open up a dialogue where you can give her a quick message like "Fix" that'll be sent to your iPhone to clear away the malicious message.

Alternatively, you can open an app like Notes, craft a quick note, and use the Share option (the little document with an arrow) to message it to yourself. Sending yourself something though the share sheet of an app opens a new messages window where you can enter your own contact information.

According to a Twitter user who spoke to Apple support, Apple's engineers are aware of the problem and are working on a fix.

Update: Apple has provided a brief official statement to iMore:
We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update.


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

13 months ago
Anybody wondering how this was discovered?
Rating: 52 Votes
13 months ago
What was supposed to be a funny prank from me to my younger sister, resulted in a big family argument and my dad calling me an a--hole. :rolleyes:
Rating: 45 Votes
13 months ago
I predict a fun day ahead in the office
Rating: 28 Votes
13 months ago
Rating: 26 Votes
13 months ago

How in the world did someone figure this out?


Someone's cat walked on the keyboard?
Rating: 25 Votes
13 months ago
I didn't see "Apple Watch" in the post. Is this really MR?
Rating: 25 Votes
13 months ago

I sended this to some of my friends.
Some of them still can't open the Messages App after sending their self a picture or something. Some can open the Messages App but as soon as they're trying to delete the chat or scroll down in the app, it crashes?

Any solution?


They can find another friend that isn't a dick.
Rating: 24 Votes
13 months ago
How in the world did someone figure this out?
Rating: 24 Votes
13 months ago

I sended this to some of my friends.
Some of them still can't open the Messages App after sending their self a picture or something. Some can open the Messages App but as soon as they're trying to delete the chat or scroll down in the app, it crashes?

Any solution?


Hopefully they block you and erase you from their lives.

What an idiot.
Rating: 18 Votes
13 months ago

don't hate the messenger! Direct your rage towards: :apple:
iPhones are suppose to be more protected than condoms!

It's not really a "security" issue ... it's just a bizarre bug that nobody in their right mind would ever find themselves running into normally.
Rating: 16 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]