iOS Messages Arabic string bug iPhone screenshot 002

In a new support document published Thursday night, Apple acknowledges the Messages bug that was first uncovered two days ago, offering a simple workaround to temporarily circumvent the issue, while announcing a fix will be available via a software update soon.

The so-called Unicode of Death, also know as Effective Power, is an issue that stems from the way Unicode decodes characters, overloading the device’s memory, and causing resprings and reboots. Many users are reporting they are unable to open the Messages app after receiving that string of text.

Apple had previously sent statements to select media outlets acknowledging the issue, but on Thursday night, the company published an official support document recognizing the issue and offering a temporary workaround for it.

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.

Step 1: Press and hold the Home button to invoke Siri. Once activated, ask Siri to “read unread messages.”

Step 2: Siri will sort of read the message (it is impossible for it to actually speak it in proper English), and then it will ask if you want to reply to the message. Say yes.

Step 3: Say anything. The actual content of the reply doesn’t matter. What matters is sending a message.

Step 4: Once the reply has been sent, you should be able to open the Messages app. From there, swipe to delete the entire conversation containing the string of characters, or tap and hold on the malicious message, tap More, and then delete the message from the conversation.

This is not the first workaround we’ve seen for this issue. We actually published several options yesterday. Users with jailbroken devices also have the ability to install third-party tweaks that will prevent the issue to happen in the first place.

Similar to the statements the company had issued earlier this week, the support document published Thursday night also mentions the company will be releasing a fix via a software update soon, presumably along iOS 8.4, which is still in beta stage.

  • Wheres step 3?

    • Fanboy 

      Where’s the damn software update to fix this is the real question. Something like this should have been addressed immediately. If the jailbreak community can release a fix within a day then Apple should be quicker than that.

      • narg

        Stop looking for immediate fixes. You need to look for a life more, because you don’t have any right now.

      • Fanboy 

        I can look for whatever I want from a product I purchased if I choose. And I don’t have “any” lifes right now? How many lifes should I be looking for exactly sir?

      • techfreak23

        I don’t think you fully understand professional software development cycles. There has to be quite a bit of internal testing before they release a software update. The jailbreak community can offer “quick fixes” because they find something that works temporarily, and they have a significantly smaller audience receiving these “fixes,” which are actually just quick hacks that may have other undesired effects. Apple has MILLIONS of devices that will be affected, so they must make sure it works properly for ALL of their customers. It’s not all about YOUR device only. Use your head and think logically for a second there Guy.

  • Caleb Mennen

    Thursday night?

    • Yes, right now is Thursday night

    • Favna

      They are called “Timezones”. Ever heard of them?

  • Blip dude

    I’ve seen videos where the messages app opens just fine. The issue seemed to occur only when getting a notification, but viewing the convo is fine, just delete string of messages.

  • Marcus

    I’ve downloaded patches from Cydia regarding this, but I can’t seem to get my Messages badge to go away… I’ve literally tried every option, but it still shows that I have unread messages. It’s been like this for around 8 hours and I don’t know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas? I’ve tried everything that I’ve seen on Reddit, iDB, and I’ve used some of my own knowledge.

    • Bryce

      In order for your iPhone problem to be fixed the person who sent you the text type software has to reset their iPhone and then send you a new text and it will fix the whole problem. Trust me I did the exact same process and it worked perfectly. Except I was the one who had to reset my iPhone. just make sure that you back up your contacts and your photos. Do not restore an old backup to your iPhone!!! This will not fix the issue. You must reset your IPhone

  • justme

    get protection. Disable notifications bar and lockscreen only for iMessages.

  • Ricky

    effective. Power لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ 冗 Is that the right code because i tried sending it to my iphone and nothing happen. Same as usual

    • Hi

      This is right:
      effective.
      Power
      لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ

  • Chris

    What a fix, wonder which brilliant mind at Apple came up with that doozy.

    • iBanks

      They didn’t…

      • Chris

        It seems sarcasm is dead, also did you really need to post the same image twice?

      • iBanks

        I did.

  • iBanks

    Aw. The fix I figured out while at work becomes Apple’s temp fix. Good thing I had at least one up vote. Ha! Lol!

  • Manuel Molina

    People do notice they can just go to the message and delete it and only that message. Afterwards, your phone works again.

    • iBanks

      Some people can’t get into the message as the app crashes when selecting the thread.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    Jailbreak community came through before Apple as per usual. There are already more than a few patches released on Cydia to address this issue, one of them by AngelXWind is system-wide and 3rd-party apps. I also recall Ryan Petrich released a patch for iOS 7 email encryption weeks before Apple implemented the fix in a software update. And before that the notorious “unflod” malware which affected iOS devices, a fix for that was released by the jailbreak community before Apple even realised there was one. Always several steps ahead.

  • Bryce

    In order for your iPhone problem to be fixed the person who sent you the text type software has to reset their iPhone and then send you a new text and it will fix the whole problem. Trust me I did the exact same process and it worked perfectly. Except I was the one who had to reset my iPhone. just make sure that you back up your contacts and your photos. Do not restore an old backup to your iPhone!!! This will not fix the issue. You must reset your IPhone.

  • n0ahcruz3

    If you’re on message app it wont work, it only works when you’re doing something else. But if you’re on the message and they sent it to you, the phone wont respring