Users of messenger and video calling service WhatsApp have reported that a new ‘crash code’ is circulating on the app. We’ve put together all the information you need to know about the issue.
The code causes the app to completely crash, giving the user no way to reopen the app, without fully deleting and reinstalling it.
Unless a user has backed up their Whatsapp data, such a process could wipe a user’s entire WhatsApp chat history.
WABetaInfo first reported the crash code in a blog after receiving several reports from concerned WhatsApp users.
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The WABetaInfo blog explained that the codes are sent in spam messages and may appear nonsensical but harmless at first to a user.
The blog states: “A contact might send a message that contains many weird characters. If you read them entirely, they have no sense, but WhatsApp might interpret the message in the wrong way.
“Sometimes WhatsApp is also unable to render the message totally, because its structure is so weird: the combination of these characters create a situation where WhatsApp isn’t able to process the message, determining an infinite crash.
“Infinite crash means that, when you open WhatsApp, it is frozen and it crashes. If you try to open the app again, it still crashes.”
WhatsApp has now released a patch to addresses this issue in its latest iOS software update.
However, in order to benefit from this, you need to keep your WhatsApp app and mobile operating system up to date with the latest updates.
Otherwise, make sure you’ve been backing up your WhatsApp chats to Google Drive or iCloud. I’d go do that right now, in fact, and then set a regular backup frequency so you don’t lose your chats for any other strange reasons in the future. You can never be too careful!