Hit by that iPhone-crashing hack? Here’s how to get back into Messages

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NEW YORK (May 29, 2015) — If you received a strange string of characters that instantly crashed your iPhone, you might have trouble getting back into your Messages app.

Apple has released a temporary fix while it works on a more permanent solution to the problem.

Here’s how to get back into Messages:

1) Hold down the home button and ask Siri to “read unread messages.”

2) When Siri prompts you to reply to the message, say “yes,” and say anything you want.

3) After you reply, open Messages again (you’ll be able to at this point).

4) 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.

That’s it! Another way to get around this freeze is to use the Photos app to send a text message, then once you’re in iMessage, erase the conversation.

It’s unclear exactly why it’s happening, but a nasty computer bug in Apple’s iOS allows anyone who sends an iPhone a certain text message to shut it down. You don’t even need to open the text message. Your device just needs to receive it.

The nonsensical message includes two English words, a string of Arabic characters that appears to have no meaning, and a Japanese character. The receiving iPhone immediately crashes upon receiving it. It comes back on by itself after 15 seconds.

“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,” the company said in a statement. “Until the update is available, you can use these steps to re-open the Messages app.”

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