iOS is famous for its security, with Apple striving to create an impenetrable operating system. While, for the most part, this is true, even a company like Apple can fall victim to a bug within the software. These bugs are usually harmless, but will often crash your iPhone or iPad – an offer too tempting for some to resist. The latest is a text message bug that’ll crash your iPhone as soon as you receive it, but how do you avoid falling victim to it, and what can do you if your phone keeps crashing? We’ve got all the help you need, right here.   

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What is the iPhone text crash bug?

The iPhone text crash bug is the latest in a string of bugs that can disable an iPhone, although not permanently – good news for those that have fallen victim to the bug. This particular bug can affect any iPhone running almost any iteration of iOS 10 and sadly, there’s not a lot you can do to protect yourself from it.

Unlike with previous iPhone bugs, like the video crash bug that requires the user to interact with something to crash the phone, this bug can crash a user’s iPhone without them even opening the text. However, there’s two versions of the bug: one will crash your iPhone once, while the other will continue to crash your iPhone repeatedly. To stop people trolling and potentially bricking iPhones, we’re staying tight-lipped on how to do the latter.

However, as revealed by EverythingApplePro on YouTube, the non-threatening version of the bug only requires two emoji and a number – a white flag, a zero and a rainbow. It's in the description of the YouTube video for those that really want to troll people. But why does it crash? The trick is that there’s also a hidden VS16 character that tells the two emoji to combine to make a rainbow flag, but as iOS 10 cannot handle the request, it’ll crash the iPhone instead.

How do I recover from the iPhone text crash bug?

Your iPhone should restart seconds after turning off and should go back to normal, but we recommend deleting the text and thread from the Messages app. But what happens if the Messages app freezes when you open it? Don’t worry, as it’s fairly easy to fix. It’s worth noting that this method should fix issues brought by not only the “harmless” bug, but also the one that continues to crash your iPhone for some time afterwards.

1) Open Safari on your iPhone and head to vincedes3.com/save.html

2) Heading to the website should force a dialogue box to appear saying “Open this page in Messages”. Tap Open.

3) This should redirect you to your Messages app, hopefully without it crashing. Once you’re in the app, delete the malicious text thread along with the Vincedes text and your iPhone should be back to normal.

What is the iPhone crashing video, and why will it make my iPhone crash?

The video bug is the latest in a line of iOS bugs that cause temporary issues for iOS users, with some using it as a way to prank friends, family and those that are gullible enough to fall for it on the internet. Remember the text message that would crash any iPhone when received? The issues are of course annoying, but shouldn’t cause any lasting damage to your device. But what is the latest bug, and why does it have that effect on your iPhone?

It has been revealed that anybody that attempts to play a certain .mp4 video in Safari on any iOS device will cause the device to slow down and eventually freeze altogether. As you can see in the below video, viewing the video in Apple’s default web browser will cause iOS to overload and over time, become unusable.

The bad news is that nobody is 100 percent sure why it’s happening, with the most likely reason being that the video file is corrupted with a memory leak that iOS isn’t sure how to handle. Other theories include the possibility that the video has an extra structure at the end of the file with no defined size, along with the claim that it’s just an issue with the h.260 video codecs.

The issue is that because the bug is so rare, it affects a number of different versions of iOS. In fact, the bug will affect any iPhone running iOS 5 or later, with those running the iOS 10.2 beta 2 suffering the most. Those running the beta will be greeted with the spinning wheel usually displayed during shutdown, although the phone itself won’t shut down.

Read more: How to back up an iPhone or iPad

How to avoid the iPhone crashing video, and what to do if your phone has crashed

If you’ve fallen victim to the video and your iPhone has crashed – don’t worry, as there’s an easy fix available. The solution? Force restart (or soft restart, as it’s also known) your iPhone by holding the Home and Power buttons at the same time. The process of force restarting an iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is slightly different due to the software-enabled Home button, and requires users to hold down the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time to restart the device.

But how do you avoid falling victim to this prank while Apple works hard to patch the vulnerability? There isn’t a lot that you can do to avoid it, sadly, although most users report that the videos come from vk(dot)com and testtrial.site90(dot)net. If true, it should be as simple as not clicking on any links that friends send you that feature either domain in the URL.

The good news is that it doesn’t appear to leave any lasting damage on your iOS device, and it should be back to normal once force restarted. Apple will no doubt be working on a patch right now, and it should be delivered via an OTA update in the coming days. Once Apple releases the update, simply update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS and you should no longer have the issue – even if you do play the video in Safari.

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