iPhones around the world have been hit by a bug that saw them restart for apparently no reason.

The problem was the latest in a big week for Apple bugs, with another earlier in the week that meant Mac computers could be broken into with just a few button presses.

The issue appears to have arrived in a software update that was pushed out to phones. When the date turned around to 2 December, they broke – something to do with the date interfered with the operating system and made it crash.

The crashes made it look like the phone was reloading itself for apparently no reason. But the problem has now been identified – and seems to be fixed.

Apple has sent out a new version of its software that gets rid of the problem. That can be downloaded now by heading to Settings and clicking through to General, where the software update button can be found.

It appeared to happen because of local notifications – alerts that are triggered on the phone, like timers and reminders, rather than apps. When they were triggered they disturbed something in phones that were using the date 2 December, and stopped it working properly.

The problem could be fixed either by turning off local notifications (which meant people might miss information) or changing the date back to 1 December (which could cause problems for apps that rely on it). What’s more, if people relied on the latter fix, the phone appeared to have a problem with it when it was fixed again, though that could be sorted by restarting the phone.

The bug came the same week that it emerged any Apple computer running the latest major software update could be broken into with just a few short commands. Apple has since updated its software to get rid of that bug, though that rollout was also hit by some problems of its own, with some users claiming a later change re-introduced the problem.

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