Apple Offers Temporary Fix for iOS Text Bug, Says Update's Coming Soon

A couple days after a new iOS bug was discovered, allowing a select string of characters sent in an iMessage or text to reset iPhones and crash the Messages app, Apple has created a new support document to address the problem. The Cupertino company acknowledges the problem and says that it's working on a fix, offering temporary solutions in the mean time.

messagescrashingbug

Apple is aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update. Until the update is available, you can use these steps to re-open the Messages app.

1. Ask Siri to "read unread messages."

2. Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you'll be able to open Messages again

3. In Messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Or tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread.

In addition to Apple's suggestions, there are other possible fixes that have worked for MacRumors in other scenarios. For instance, if Messages was opened in conversation list view you can fix the issue by having someone send you a message or sending yourself a message via Siri or through the Share sheet in any app.

Top Rated Comments

foobarbaz Avatar
74 months ago

I've been having fun messing with people the past few days with this.


I'm glad I don't know you.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
74 months ago
I've found cutting a potato in half, rubbing one half all over my phone, and then burying the rest in my front lawn at night to be a fairly reliable fix.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zachari Avatar
74 months ago
But it was so useful...
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stulowe2009 Avatar
74 months ago
But as mentioned before it can do more than just an SMS or imessage crash.

Save the shorter version of the Unicode string as a contact card and send it over WhatsApp and it will kill WhatsApp and need you to uninstall the app and lose all conversations. Send the contact card over SMS and it screws up contacts and crashes the app.

Set the short version as a WiFi hotspot name and it causes all iOS devices nearby searching for WiFi to crash the settings app.

This does not solve the problem and is a worry that it could somehow be sent at a more system level app and cause more serious problems.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Junipr Avatar
74 months ago
"Hey Siri, fix this bug please" -Apple
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
74 months ago

I've found cutting a potato in half, rubbing one half all over my phone, and then burying the rest in my front lawn at night to be a fairly reliable fix.


Offering this as advice is really dangerous, because somebody might try it. Everybody knows it's an onion you have to cut in half, not a potato. :p
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...