Apple iPhones running iOS 10 has got a new toxic text message which is capable of causing the smartphone to crash or freeze. Fortunately, there is an easy fix which can be implemented easily. 

This isn’t the first time we are getting news of text messages with dubious or malicious links which are hazardous and can render your iOS running device useless. In fact, it has become a regular occurrence over the past few months.

The latest toxic text message is simply a combination of four characters; a white flag emoji, a character called VS16, a zero, and finally a rainbow emoji.

Just before 2016 ended, an iMessage hack that crashes iPhones using a similar tactic was reported.

When these characters are sent to any Apple device running iOS 10 up to 10.2.1, be it an iPhone, iPad or iPd touch, the device could freeze for two to three minutes and then spring back up automatically. Instead of waiting for the device to unfreeze automatically, users can as well force a reboot but that also takes time. It really doesn’t do any damage to the device but it is an irritant which hinders the smooth operation of your device.

The explanation as to why this occurs is that it’s actually a bug which results from the device attempting to combine two characters that it cannot combine. The VS16 character gives the device the command to combine adjacent characters but in this case the device then attempt to combine the white flag emoji and zero into one character and at the same time tries to yield the rainbow flag which is a combination of the white flag emoji and rainbow emoji, the conflict ensues.

The good thing is, even if you have got a circle of friends who take delight in playing these kind of cruel pranks, the text isn’t easy to send. It takes quite an amount of work to send from one Apple iOS device to another. One of the methods require a computer and the recipient’s device must be on iOS 10-10.1.1. The second method doesn’t require a computer and is said to work across all iOS 10 versions but it takes a longer time.

Related: Dual-boot two versions of iOS on your iPhone by using CoolBooter

You can block your friends who are sending this to you over and over. But other than that, there’s no ‘real’ protection against receiving this text.

The quick solution to the bug if the text is sent to your device is to force a reboot. But then, it has been revealed that even after the reboot, the iMessage app may fail to load. There is also a simple fix for this as well, just follow the instructions below.

Step 1: On your device, launch Safari and go to

Step 2: Select Open from the dialogue box that appears to enter the Messages app.

Step 3: Now, exit the new thread it created within the app and delete any threads with the text that caused your device to crash. Done!

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