By: Nick Gambino


The internet trolls are back at it again. It seems there’s a new Unicode text message going around that will freeze and crash the Messages app in iOS devices, according to Cult of Mac.


You might remember a similar nuisance was making the rounds not too long ago that affected WhatsApp. Though there have been several that have affected Instagram and other apps on iOS and Android.


This new app-crashing bug is being called the Black Dot of Death as it’s a message that contains nothing but a large black dot not unlike an eclipsed sun. When a user views this text, iMessage promptly goes kaput.


Apparently, this is due to an invisible Unicode that is thousands of characters long. This overload of information in one message is far too much for your little old $1,000 phone to handle, rendering it unconscious.


The viciousness of this and similar messages is that there seems to be no solution. Rebooting or restarting your phone does absolutely nothing. But don’t fret, because there is a workaround solution until Apple releases a permanent fix.


Here’s all you have to do: If you have an iPhone with 3D Touch, push down hard on your Messages app from the home screen. Then select “New Message” from the Quick Actions menu. This will reset the issue and you should be free to use the app again.


Now if you’ve got a phone without 3D Touch (why?) then the fix is a bit different. Start by force closing the app with the ol’ swipe up method. Next, ask Siri to send a message as a reply to the sender of that nefarious text. You either need to send a really long message or multiple messages so that the original offending text is pushed out of view in the conversation.


Hopefully, you don’t have any “friends” who pull this prank on you or any people in your life who feel they need to get back at you for something. But if they do and if they resort to using the Black Dot of Death, you now have a solution.


Good luck!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.