iOS devices hit with web link freeze bug, #AppleEasterEgg #iphoneapocalypse

Latest update: Thursday 31st March 

Apple have released iOS 9.3.1 to fix this issue:

Go to settings > general > software update to apply this update

Latest Update – to get phone working whilst we wait for Apple


  1. backed up photos to iPhoto on mac
  2. (backed up my current phone through iTunes for a later date when a fix comes out)
  3. erased phone from the phone
  4. restored from a backup pre 24.03.2016
  5. immediately put phone into flight mode before the apps started downloading back onto the phone
  6. deleted the offending apps before they caused any hassle and were greyed out still
  7. came out of flight mode
  8. allowed the apps to download i was keeping
  9. working now


best of luck folks


All other / previous updates on this issue are at the bottom of the page

iOS 9.3 appeared on the outset to be a good build, but since the update was released more and more users are reporting freezing issues with most in house services being affected.

Various devices are being reported as affected, iPhones running iOS 9.2 are also reported to have the same bug, and various theories are emerging as are various temporary fixes.


  • Links in Safari not working and freezing the app from google search
  • Mail app freezing when links are used
  • various reports of other apps like “notes” and keynote


So far the possible triggers for the causes have been listed as

  • The app being installed
  • The time moving forward on the 27th March
  • Other 3rd party apps being installed
  • The type of chip you have in your phone


There are no current permanent fixes for the issues, @AppleSupport say they are aware of the issue and are working to fix it. Suggested temporary fixes include:

  • Turning off javascript in Safari > advanced, but this only works for some users.
  • A full reset, but this is not advisable yet in my opinion as you are creating work and may loose data
  • Removing any app mentioned in the thread on apple, but this is only working for a very few people. Apple Support are quoted by user “iamconte” as saying

“We do not have a fix in the moment. We know about the problem and are working on a fix. It will not take very long. In the meantime installing Chrome, Opera, Firefox… will solve the Safari Issue, but not the Mail issue. Thank you for your patients, we are working on it.

Moving forward

It appears that we had an “Easter Egg” on our apple devices, the contents are only activated when certain conditions are met, but we do not know what those are.

The conditions for activation can be met on various devices, with various operating systems so it is the luck of the draw if you catch it. (this is starting to sound like a virus)

It is affecting countries all over the globe, from Europe to Australia and appears to be spreading like wildfire.

Apple must surely be responding in the background, Easter holiday or not, it is only a matter of time before they find a cure for the issue, we just need to hang five and wait, no matter how much we perceive are lives are being ruined or inconvenienced.

So far I have a work round for Safari using firefox, hold a link and open a new tab from the contextual drop down menu. I have Outlook for my emails, but to be honest only tend to read emails and not follow links anyway.

It has been suggested you report the issue with THIS FORM

I will be following this story since I am affected by it, but will also post anything else that comes up, including the conspiracy theories when they start to roll out too.


Someone at the apple support communities is deleting comments they do not like, luckily I got a screenshot of it before it disappeared, I am guessing it is because I used the word virus

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 13.00.42

Latest Update 15.53 GMT

Various blogs are reporting the issue relates to Universal links and the way the system talks to apps with an “app association file”. No fix yet, but you can read a good blog about it HERE

Latest Update 16.45 GMT

Since this issue has been growing for days I must admit I am frankly shocked that Apple Support on Twitter (@AppleSupport) are constantly replying with the same line as users turn to them for a response. As far as customer service goes I think this shows particularly bad form.

There is an issue, it is widespread, say that there is, make an announcement, direct all new enquiries to that and stop wasting peoples time.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 16.44.14


Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 16.51.44
Latest update: 28.03.2016 19.17GMT

A user on the Apple support thread (Mitjorn) has posted a response from the German Apple support

They (Apple) replied: “Do you know the saying of sitting on one`s high horse? This time we fell. And I apologize for that very much.”

They told me it was an iOS issue and that their engineers are working hard on releasing an update very soon. They even were working on the bank holidays (Easter).

Read the thread page here


Latest Update: 28.03.2016 08.55

Still waiting for word of an Update, nothing forthcoming at this moment

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