While connecting to networks containing the “%” symbol, some iPhone and iPad users have seen their device’s Wi-Fi function permanently disabled. A bug noticed by a Danish engineer, which indicates not knowing how to reset the settings of an affected smartphone or tablet.
A single character in the name of a Wi-Fi network can bug your iPhone. It was Carl Schou who discovered the dysfunction. “You can permanently disable the Wi-Fi function of any iOS device by creating a public Wi-Fi network named ‘% secretclub% power’,” the Danish engineer said on Twitter on Sunday (July 4th). “Resetting the network settings may not necessarily solve the problem.”
— Carl Schou (@vm_call)
A bug without a solution
This is not the first time that the engineer has encountered such a problem, reports BFMTV. Two weeks earlier, he had experienced exactly the same situation: after trying to connect his iPhone to a Wi-Fi network whose name included the “%” sign, his phone’s Wi-Fi settings stopped working.
After joining my personal WiFi with the SSID “%p%s%s%s%s%n”, my iPhone permanently disabled it’s WiFi functionality. Neither rebooting nor changing SSID fixes it :~) pic.twitter.com/2eue90JFu3
— Carl Schou (@vm_call)
After joining my personal WiFi with the SSID “%p%s%s%s%s%n”, my iPhone permanently disabled it’s WiFi functionality. Neither rebooting nor changing SSID fixes it :~) pic.twitter.com/2eue90JFu3— Carl Schou (@vm_call) June 18, 2021
The bug seems impossible to solve for the moment. Resetting the phone and its settings does not work, Carl Schou said in another tweet. Impact: Several features that require an internet connection, like AirDrop and many others, are inaccessible to the owner of the iPhone or iPad.
Silence from Apple
How to explain such a breakdown? This is the question that arose 9to5Mac. The media tech explains that the acronym “%” is used in several programming languages.
Its presence in the Wi-Fi network name could therefore mislead the system and “lead to memory corruption”. Accordingly, details BFMTV, “the iOS watchdog will end the process and turn off Wi-Fi for the user.”
Contacted by the Danish engineer, Apple has so far not provided an answer to the problem. However, 9to5Mac indicates that it is possible to correct the bug on some networks. To do this, you must completely reset the network settings. A manipulation which is not necessarily effective for all breakdowns.