Apple on Thursday added a support document to its website listing workarounds for the iOS Messages bug that crashes the Messages app and resets iPhones when a specific text string is received by the app.
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.
- Ask Siri to “read unread messages.”
- Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you’ll be able to open Messages again.
- 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.
While Apple says a fix is on the way, they haven’t announced a specific release date.
The bug was discovered on Wednesday, where if a text or iMessage containing the text string is received by the device, and is displayed in the lock screen, or is shown as a drop-down notification, iOS eats up all of the available resources while attempting to render it. This eventually causes Springboard to crash. If the same message is received while in the conversation, problems don’t occur, indicating the issue may lie with how iOS renders notifications.
While some users have indicated they’ve had success turning off notifications for messages, others indicate that doesn’t fix the problem. In addition to Apple’s listed workarounds, users have found that receiving a new message, sending out a photo from the Photos app, or sending yourself a message via Share sheets will stop the rogue process.