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How to fix iOS Messages bug that crashes the iPhone

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Have you been affected by Apple's Messages bug? Trust us, you'd know if you had been.

It would have entailed you receiving a text on your iPhone comprised of various strange symbols and a smattering of Arabic text. For some reason, this unique combination of characters is sufficient to crash the Messages app and even reboot your iPhone if you receive the message on your phone's lock screen.

It was initially thought that this was an iMessage bug - so only iPhone to iPhone. However, it's since emerged that the bug can be sent from an Android phone too.

Whatever the source, in order for the bug to affect you, it requires you to have the kind of idiot friends who would find sending such a message humorous. Sadly, there are quite a few such people out there.

At least Apple has acknowledged the bug's existence. "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," it has said.

But what do you do if you fall victim to such a jape in the meantime?

There are a couple of workarounds out there, but Apple has provided its own official temporary fix for people to use until it manages to issue a proper iOS update fix.

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iMessage Apple

Here's how to fix the damage done by the iMessage crash bug:

  • Boot up Siri by pressing and holding your iPhone's home key
  • Say "read unread messages" into your iPhone
  • Use Siri to send a reply to the message (it doesn't matter what you say!)
  • You'll now be able to open Messages again
  • Now, for good measure, go into the offending thread, tap and hold the message, select More, and delete it
Further optional steps include blocking the 'friend' who sent the message, unfriending them from all your social networks, and tipping a drink over their head the next time you see them out and about.

There are alternative fixes out there, if Siri's not your bag. If you've managed to catch up with the sender of the message and take them to task, they can make reparations simply by sending another iMessage.

Another method is to send yourself a message through the Share option in any app, or even from your Mac.

Are you still having problems with your iPhone? Let us know in the comments below and we'll see if we can help

Saif Shah

June 5, 2015, 5:59 am

still having a problem with the message app crashing

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