Simple text message crashes almost any iPhone

Simple text message crashes almost any iPhone


Three characters is all it takes to freeze your iPhone.
Photo: EverythingApplePro

Apple makes iOS more secure with almost every update it rolls out, but there’s always a glitch somewhere that slips through the net.

The latest is a bug in iMessage that allows any iPhone running iOS 10 to iOS 10.1.1 to be crashed with a simple text message.

This may sound familiar; we’ve seen numerous glitches like this before. But the latest could be the simplest and most frustrating yet, because a text message with just three characters — two of which are emojis — is all that’s required.

What makes it so frustrating is that you don’t even need to open the message. As soon as your iPhone receives it, it will freeze and become completely unresponsive before eventually restarting itself. And then you might not be able to get back into the Messages app.

YouTube channel EverythingApplePro explains the glitch — and the text message that triggers it — in the video below.

If you do happen to receive this text and you get locked out of the Messages app, you’ll be pleased to know it’s easy to recover from it. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Open Safari on your iPhone
  2. Visit
  3. You will be prompted to “Open this page in Messages” — tap Open
  4. Once inside the Messages app, delete the conversation that contains the malicious text by swiping left on the thread, then tapping Delete

It’s a glitch that’s easy to recover from, then, but still incredibly annoying — especially if you have a number of friends who think it’s funny to keep sending you the offending text. Here’s to hoping Apple fixes the issue in its next iOS update.

This particular glitch is “method 1” in the video above; “method 2” is an older hack we’ve covered before, but it still seems to work. This one’s worse because it can continue to crash your device, and works on all versions of iOS 10. However, it isn’t as easy to to execute.