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How to prevent the 'effective power' text bug on an iPhone

Yesterday I wrote a report (opens in new tab) about a bug causing Apple's iPhones to crash, whenever they receive a specific message, and today reports are coming out on the way to prevent the crashes.

The 'effective power' message is actually a specific set of words and symbols that, when written in that exact order, and sent from one iPhone to another, will crash the recipient's Messages app and cause the phone to reboot.

This only works if it's sent from one iPhone to another. Send it to an Android phone or Windows Phone and you'll simply look ridiculous. Same thing goes for people sneding from an Android or Windows Phone.

And once your iPhone reboots, if you try to open the message again, it will crash your phone – again. The only way to stop this from happening is to wait for someone else to send you a message, or simply send one yourself, from a different device.

That was one alternative, and now here's another one – you need to turn off Message notifications.

To do that:

  • Go to Settings
  • Click on Notifications
  • Click on Messages
  • Slide across the "Allow Notifications“ button until it's no longer green

This will turn off all the notifications for your messages, but at least your phone will be safe until Apple issues a fix, and knowing Apple, it won't take them that long.

The bug became quite a sensation on social media, with people on Twitter sharing the message and their experiences on how they trolled their friends and family.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.