This Video Will Crash Your iPhone Because People Are Terrible, But At Least It's Easily Fixed
At one point or another, everyone threatens to chuck their smartphone in the nearest body of water and go off the grid. In fact, the case could be made that if ever there was a year worth moving to the wilderness, it would be 2016. But there's a difference between cranky fantasy and reality, and if you watch this "prank" video that crashes your iPhone, there's a good chance you'll change positions pretty quickly. After all, an existence without a smartphone is the stuff of nightmares — how are you supposed to get through the day without Instagram cats to remind you that life is worth living? (Bustle has reached out to Apple for comment and will update if we hear back.)
If you'd rather not be without your phone even briefly, or if you'd just prefer to avoid the hassle of it shutting down, be careful of any links you're sent in the near future. According to The Guardian, a video that forces iPhones to lock up has been making the rounds this week after having been called out on Reddit on Tuesday. Here's what happens: Users are sent a message with a link to a five-second video. The clip plays normally, but once it's over, the iPhone slows down until it locks up entirely — usually within 10 seconds or so.
The Verge tried out the video on several test phones, and reported that each crashed not long after the video was finished. Worth noting: Apparently, the "prank" only works if it's sent as a link rather than a file; iOS 10 uses a default player to play the corrupted MP4 file, which appears to generate a loop forcing the phone to crash. Although all the phones The Verge tested used iOS 10, the Guardian reports that the bug affects operating systems as old as iOS 5. I'm obviously not going to link to the buggy video itself, but here's The Verge's footage showing what happens to a phone that is exposed to the "prank":
Fortunately, the crash is fixed easily enough with a forced restart or hard reset. iPhone 7 users should press and hold the lock and volume down buttons until the Apple logo appears on the screen, while anyone with an iPhone 6 or older model holds down the lock and home buttons until the logo appears. This should take about 10 seconds no matter what kind of phone you have, after which your phone should turn back on; The Verge reports that after being rebooted in this way, "an iPhone will work as normal."
Your friendship with the person who sent you the link, on the other hand, might not escape the encounter intact.
Then again, if you remember last year's phonepocalypse, which was caused by a text that could shut down users' phones automatically, you already know that people can be jerks — especially in the name of pranks only they find funny.