The latest text bomb bug found in iOS is turning out to be more powerful than we imagined. Here’s how you can fix bootloop or crashes caused by this new bug.
Why is fixing the Telugu character bug difficult?
I posted about a weird Unicode character that causes iOS to crash yesterday.
Interestingly, this bug is turning out to be far more powerful than all other “Effective Power” bugs like chaiOS.
There are two ways this bug affects iOS users –
- In-app – If you receive a text containing this letter inside an application, it will crash.
- Notification – If you receive a notification with this character, Springboard will end up in a crash loop, which will eventually culminate in a full-blown bootloop.
If you are experiencing an in-app crash then you are in luck. You can fix this without causing any kind of damage to your device.
The notification crash, on the other hand, is a whole other beast. It will totally brick your device and there’s no way to fix it except for completely wiping your entire device out.
Since a lot of users bootlooped their devices, I decided to post a tutorial on how to fix this issue once and for all.
Fixing bootloop or crash caused by Telugu character text bomb
- Sign into iCloud.com.
- Navigate to Find My iPhone app.
- Locate your iOS device.
- Click on Erase iPhone.
Restore your Apple device to iOS 11-11.1.2 using this tutorial. You will need to valid SHSH Blobs to use this method.
Method 3 (Recommended)
You can the following method if you don’t want to restore. Thanks to Brandon for pointing this out. Remember, your device must have Wifi or mobile data or else this method won’t work for you.
- Sign into iCloud on another Apple device.
- Put your device in “Lost Mode”. If it doesn’t respond to “Lost Mode”, insert a SIM card and it will start working again (thanks to Michael for the tip).
- Your iPhone will now turn on but will subsequently reboot. Turn it off by holding the power button.
- Turn it on again. It will now work like it’s supposed to.
- Clear all notifications.
Here’s yet another method that you can try to fix this issue. This will update your device to iOS 11.2.5 while keeping your data intact. Remember, don’t try it if you want to jailbreak your device.
- Connect your device to your computer.
- Wait for iTunes to recognize it.
- Once it does, click on “Update” to go to the latest stable iOS version.
- If you are able to open Settings go to Notifications.
- Go to Messages or any other app like WhatsApp that affects your device.
- Toggle off the Allow Notifications option.
- Open Camera on your lock screen.
- Take a photo and open that picture.
- Tap All Photos to go to your camera roll.
- Go to Settings and turn off notifications for the affected app.
- Ask Siri to send a message to the contact that sent the text bomb.
- Send any message to that contact.
- 3D Touch the Messages icon.
- Tap any contact and navigate back to the Messages.
- Delete the conversation containing that weird character.
How to ensure your device stays safe from text bombs
1. Turn on Notification previews
You never know when you might receive this text bomb. If you do, you can kiss that sweet jailbroken firmware goodbye.
Therefore, I highly recommend turning on notification previews. You can do that by navigating to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and set it to When Unlocked.
This will prevent your device from getting locked out whenever that dreaded text bomb notification arrives.
Now even if someone sends you that weird Unicode symbol, you can easily unlock your device and deal with that text.
2. Remove Kohinoor Telugu Font
Alternatively, you can try removing the Kohinoor Telugu font from your device.
Now even if someone sends you that character, your device will display a few questions marks in its place. Here’s how you can do that –
Step 1 Open Filza file manager from the home screen.
Step 2 Navigate to the location containing the buggy font – /System/Library/Fonts/Core/.
Step 3 Rename the KohinoorTelugu.ttc font file to KohinoorTelugu.ttc.not. Appending “not” to this filename will disable this font.
I recommend disabling this language even if you are a Telugu user, at least for the time being. Switch to another language and wait for an update. Once a proper fix comes, you can enable it again.
3. NotTodaySatan jailbreak tweak
As its name suggests, NotTodaySatan replaces this character with blank spaces. It is developed by tweak developer Zack.
Here’s where this tweak will block the aforementioned Unicode symbol.
- Text input (you can now copy the symbol and send it to anyone safely)
- Messages (only when you see all messages in a list)
You can download this jailbreak tweak from this link. It’s fully compatible with iOS 10-11.2.5 (all affected versions).
- Update – This tweak now blocks the buggy character system-wide. The latest version replaces the “Removed” character with a partially-rendered symbol.
If you don’t know how to install it, follow this tweak installation tutorial.
However, there are certain cases where it ceases to work. For example, it doesn’t work once you read a message or get inside it. Also, it will not block anything in Safari web browser.
You will be better off installing this tweak if you haven’t already. It will actively protect your Springboard from crashes, which is what you need to prevent a bootloop.
4. NoTeluguCrash Cydia tweak
Unlike other tweaks or methods, NoTeluguCrash selectively disables the buggy character. It is developed notorious tweak developer Jake James.
This is important for those who want to use the Kohinoor Telugu font while keeping their device in one piece.
You can download this tweak from this Cydia source – jakeashacks.com/cydia. If you are on iOS 11-11.1.2 firmware, download the Debian package from this link.
Remember, this package doesn’t work right out of the box. You must back up the original font file (/System/Library/Fonts/Core/KohinoorTelugu.ttc) by adding “not” at its end.
Once the backup file is saved, simply transfer the ttc file present in the Debian archive to the aforementioned location.
Were you able to fix crashes caused by this bug on your iPhone? Let us know in the comments below.
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