Apple has offered an official workaround for a problem which causes iPhones to crash and fail to open their Messages app after receiving a certain text.

News of the rogue text spread quickly across Twitter, where users were reporting that receiving the message would crash their iPhone and prevent the Messages app from opening, making it impossible to read incoming text messages and send new ones.

Although not a complete fix, the workaround - posted as a support document on Apple's website - explains how to fix an iPhone which has received the message. IBTimes UK will not be disclosing the message, but it can be found easily enough by searching Google or Twitter.

Apple asks affected users to follow these steps:

  1. Ask Siri to "read unread messages".
  2. Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After your reply, you'll be able to open Messages again.
  3. In Messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Or tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread.

This fix works on the assumption that the malicious text is the last one you received, but in testing the bug we found that there is sometimes a delay between receiving it and Messages crashing. In this case, you may have to ask a friend to text you so that Siri has an unread message to read out.

Apple also said it is working on a permanent solution, which will likely arrive as part of an iOS software update in the coming weeks.