How to Fix the 'Black Dot' Unicode Bug Crashing iMessage

Yet another Unicode bug has been discovered that is capable of crashing apps and operating systems, ranging from WhatsApp on Android to iMessage on iOS. We won't share the exact string, to prevent it from spreading further, but it includes black dot (⚫️) and pointing left (👈) emojis plus other hidden characters.

imessage unicode bug
Simply put, this particular Unicode string cannot be rendered properly and leads to system crashing. In general, when the bug affects iMessage, the issue can be resolved by deleting the conversation containing the problematic message. The following steps work on iPhone 6s and newer, excluding the iPhone SE:

  • Force close the Messages app.

  • Ask Siri to send a reply to the sender of the message so that the Unicode string is no longer the most recent bubble in the conversation.

  • 3D Touch on the Messages app icon from the home screen and tap New Message in the menu that pops open.

  • Tap on Cancel in the top-right corner of the New Message screen.

  • Tap on Edit in the top-left corner of the conversation list.

  • Tap the circle to the left of the conversation containing the problematic message. A blue checkmark will appear.

  • Tap on Delete in the bottom-right corner.

If you have an iPhone with Siri but not 3D Touch, ranging from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone SE, the steps are slightly different:

  • Force close the Messages app.

  • Ask Siri to send a reply to the sender of the message as many times as necessary until the bubble containing the Unicode string is bumped off the visible part of the conversation.

  • Open the Messages app.

  • Tap on the back arrow in the top-left corner to return to the conversation list.

  • Tap on Edit in the top-left corner of the conversation list.

  • Tap the circle to the left of the conversation containing the problematic message. A blue checkmark will appear.

  • Tap on Delete in the bottom-right corner.

It may also be possible to delete the problematic message on another device running the iOS 11.4 or macOS 10.13.5 betas via Messages on iCloud.

While this latest Unicode bug was discovered last week, it is only now beginning to receive widespread attention in the Apple community, after it was highlighted on a few popular YouTube channels. We've elected not to provide any links, but the specific string is easily Google-able for those interested.

The bug affects both iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.4 beta, and many other software versions, platforms, and devices. Apple has yet to issue a fix, but it will likely release software updates to address the problem soon.

Top Rated Comments

Arty6 Avatar
41 months ago
Or just use another messaging app.
At this point, just throw the whole iOS 11 out the window! It was a compete dumpster fire.
Yet another Unicode bug has been discovered that is capable of crashing apps and operating systems, ranging from WhatsApp on Android to iMessage on iOS. We won't share the exact string, to prevent it from spreading further, but it includes "black dot" and "pointing left" emojis and other characters.
Literally the first paragraph in the article people. Take the time to read the article before posting your hate messages.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
err404 Avatar
41 months ago
At this point, just throw the whole iOS 11 out the window! It was a compete dumpster fire.
The article says that Android is also impacted…
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nfl46 Avatar
41 months ago
At this point, just throw the whole iOS 11 out the window! It was a compete dumpster fire.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TimUSCA Avatar
41 months ago
Or just use another messaging app.
iMessage is the best messaging platform though, especially from a security standpoint. Glitches happen sometimes. The better solution is to wait for the fix (which is usually fast) and not have terrible friends who would send this to you to begin with.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yvan256 Avatar
41 months ago
iPhone 4 with iOS 7 here, immune to this problem. ;)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PBG4 Dude Avatar
41 months ago
It's like no one at Apple or Google has ever met Little Bobby Tables.

Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
maxresdefault

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Sideloading Apps Would 'Destroy the Security' of the iPhone

Wednesday June 16, 2021 10:49 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook this morning participated in a virtual interview at the VivaTech conference, which is described as Europe's biggest startup and tech event. Cook was interviewed by Guillaume Lacroix, CEO and founder of Brut, a media company that creates short-form video content. Much of the discussion centered on privacy, as it often does in interviews that Cook participates in. He...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
apple watch edition series 5 ceramic black prototype

Apple Planned Black Ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5

Wednesday June 16, 2021 5:45 am PDT by
Apple considered offering a black version of the ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5, according to newly-shared images of the prototype casing. The images, shared on Twitter by the prototype collector and leaker known as "Mr. White," show a prototype black ceramic Apple Watch casing, alongside the white ceramic version. The ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5 was never available in a...
maxresdefault

Demo: Check Out AirPlay 2 on a Mac in macOS Monterey

Tuesday June 15, 2021 11:57 am PDT by
With macOS Monterey, Apple has introduced expanded AirPlay 2 support, so you can AirPlay content from an iPhone, iPad, or even another Mac to your main Mac. We thought we'd do a quick demo of this handy new feature in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. With AirPlay to Mac, you can extend or mirror an Apple device's display to a Mac, and since ...
app store blue banner

U.S. Antitrust Legislation Would Require Users to Be Able to Delete All Pre-Installed Apple Apps [Updated]

Wednesday June 16, 2021 11:26 am PDT by
Update: Bloomberg inaccurately interpreted the original comments and has since drastically changed the wording of its article. The original Bloomberg piece said that Apple would be prohibited from pre-installing its own apps on iPhones. The updated Bloomberg article has been rewritten to clarify that the antitrust legislation prohibits Apple from preventing users from removing Apple-created...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...