The black dot bug is causing iMessages on iPhones and iPads to freeze, but fortunately, users can try a workaround to get the app working again while waiting for Apple to release a fix.
The bug looks similar to the WhatsApp black dot prank message that recently became popular. However, while the WhatsApp message is relatively harmless, the black dot wreaking havoc on iPhones and iPads is a bit more challenging to deal with.
iMessage Freezing And Crashing Due To Black Dot Bug
A recent report revealed that a WhatsApp prank message featuring a black dot was making its rounds on the Facebook-owned communications app. The message was making WhatsApp hang and crash, but it can easily be dealt with by deleting it.
The black dot bug on iPhones and iPads, however, is harder to stop. If a message containing it is sent through iMessage, the user will experience repeated crashes when they try to read it. Users may try to close the iMessage app, but it will again crash once it is accessed and the black dot message is displayed again.
The problem with messages containing the bug, which reportedly affects iPhones and iPads running on iOS 11 to iOS 11.4, is actually not the black dot itself. Similar to the WhatsApp prank message, the black dot actually hides thousands of invisible Unicode characters, which the CPU of the iPhone or iPads tries but fails to process.
Here's How To Fix The Black Dot iMessage Bug
The iMessage black dot bug is now known to the general public, so Apple will likely be rolling out a fix for it soon. However, while waiting for the patch, users who have been victimized by the bug can try these workaround to fix iMessage.
For iPhones with the 3D Touch feature, users should force close the iMessage app and then 3D Touch its icon on the home screen and select New Message. Users should then press cancel on the New Message screen, which will take them back to their list of conversations on iMessage. From there, they can delete the message containing the black dot bug.
Meanwhile, for iPhones without 3D Touch, digital assistant Siri will have to do some of the work for you. After force closing the iMessage app, users will need to ask Siri to send a reply to the sender of the black dot message. This will have to be done as many times as needed to push the bubble containing the black dot out of the visible part of the conversation. Users will then be able to open the iMessages app, go back to their list of conversations, and delete the conversation containing the problematic message.