large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

A new bug is causing iMessage to completely freeze − here’s how to fix it

You’ll be thrilled to hear that a new bug is being used to crash the iMessage app on devices running iOS 11.3 and the iOS 11.4 beta.

A message containing the black dot emoji and a leftwards-pointing hand emoji is doing the rounds and causing havoc. If you receive the message and open it, iMessage on your phone will freeze and you won’t be able to use it at all, even if you close and reopen it, or restart your mobile.

The message in question contains a long string of hidden characters, which iMessage simply can’t handle. The bug was first discovered by YouTuber EverythingApplePro, who says it was designed as a prank.

Apple is yet to release an official fix, but fortunately, anyone who’s been affected can get iMessage up and running again by taking the following steps:

  • Close the iMessage app
  • 3D Touch the iMessage app on the home screen and tap New Message
  • Hit cancel on the New Message screen
  • Delete the conversation that contains the bug message

If your iPhone doesn’t support 3D Touch, MacRumors reports that the following steps also work:

  • Close the iMessage app
  • Ask Siri to send a reply to the contact who sent you the bug message
  • Repeat until the bubble containing the message no longer appears on-screen in the conversation
  • Open iMessage and hit Back to access your conversations list
  • Delete the conversation that contains the bug message

Have you been affected by the bug? Share your experiences with us @TrustedReviews.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.