How to fix the Telugu character bug on iPhone and iPad

A new bug has cropped up in iOS 11 that can cause an iPhone or iPad to crash when sent a specific character from the Telugu language of India in Messages or several popular third-party apps like WhatsApp, Outlook, and Facebook Messenger. This bug not only causes Springboard crashes, but prevents you from opening the app that received a message with that character again because the app is continually trying to load the message.

The good news is that you're not helpless when dealing with this bug. You'll just need a helping hand from a friend.

Update: Bug already fixed in beta versions of iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS, Apple fast-tracking fix for current release versions as well.

Apple has confirmed to iMore that the bug is not only fixed in current betas of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, it'll also be made available to the current release versions of all the operating systems as well.

So, for example, though the bug is fixed in iOS 11.3 beta, Apple will push out an update to iOS 11.2.5, the current release version, to fix the problem as well. That'll make sure everyone gets the fix as quickly as possible

How to fix the Telugu character bug on iPhone and iPad

If you've been struck by this bug and can't open Messages or your third-party messaging or email app of choice, you should be able to fix it by having a friend send you a sort of "rescue message" in a different thread and tapping on that notification.

  1. Tap on the notification for the "rescue message" you received.
  2. Hit the back button in your messaging app to get back to your list of chat threads.
  3. Delete the thread we the Telugu character in it.

    Tap notification, tap back button, delete bugged thread

This should fix the problem. If you're trying to fix this bug in a third-party app on your iPhone or iPad, you can also just uninstall the app, then reinstall it. After doing that, delete the offending thread when it appears in your list of conversations.

Note that while this bug does impact iOS 11.2.5, the current beta versions of iOS 11.3 appear to be unaffected.


If you've got any questions about fixing the Telugu character bug, let us know in the comments.