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This single text message is crashing people's iPhones - here's the fix

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Apple's iMessage platform has been subject to a new bug that shuts down your entire iPhone after receiving the message "effective. Power لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ 冗".

The second half is Arabic and if you're not currently in the iMessage with a person it'll send your phone into a reboot no matter what it's doing – it's proved very frustrating for some users and it's not certain what the long term effects are.

Here's the fix: head into your Settings app, then the Notifications tab, Messages and then switch off the slider called "show on local screen and under "alert style when unlocked" choose "none."

It's a pretty simple fix but it means if you're sent any more pesky iMessages you won't be sent into the reboot again.

Over and over

When we initially contacted Apple for comment the response suggested Apple couldn't see it on their end.

An Apple spokesperson later responded with: "We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update."

Now Apple has also released a temporary fix whilst we wait for that software update. It's a little complicated to put in this article but you'll find the fix here.

We initially heard of the issue from forums posts such as JoeyTheBoey on Reddit who said, "I have an unjailbroken iPhone 6 and it resprings my phone, but only if I'm not in the messages app, then it will show the message notification badge when I get back in."

Some have even reported the reboot working on text messages as well, suggesting the problem isn't exclusive to iMessage.

Jjc123cj on Reddit said, "Don't test this on your iPhone 6! I sent it to myself and now my messaging app crashes when I try to open it ):"

Apple News on Twitter has spoken to Apple's Senior Engineers who admitted they know there is a problem and are hard at work to fix it.

James Peckham

James is Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He has also worked on other leading tech brands, such as T3 and Gizmodo UK, as well as appearing as an expert on TV and radio for the BBC and other publications. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest smartphone news.


James is currently most excited about the Samsung Galaxy S22, God of War: Ragnarok and the rumored foldable iPhone