Can’t Type “i” on Your iPhone? Here’s a Fix


cant type i
Screenshot of the iOS 11 bug.

Over the past week, iPhone users have been complaining that attempting to type the letter “i” gives them a totally different result. Most users report seeing one of these as the text replacement.

  • A ⍰
  • # ⍰
  • ! ⍰
  • A 𝄘

The bug most likely is a result of the latest iOS 11.1 update however, some suggest that the problem may have existed in the iOS 11 update as well. Apple announced that they will be releasing an update at the end of November to correct the issue, but if you can’t wait that long to type the letter “i” we have a temporary solution.



  1. Open Settings > General > Keyboards and click “Text Replacement”.

2. Click the “+” sign.

3. Under the “Phrase” field, enter a capital “I”. Then under the “Shortcut” field, enter a lowercase “i” and click Save.



iphone fix

I’m not sure how Apple was able to miss this huge problem before releasing the update. Usually, a large iOS update undergoes pretty scrutinous review before being published. I would imagine that someone would have had to type the letter “i” during testing at some point, but who knows. Maybe they’ll implement a new procedure during testing that forces developers to type “iPhone” before releasing the next update.

What’s happening here is that iOS is adding an additional character to the letter “i” called variation selector-16. Variation selector-16 is an invisible character that tells your phone whatever was typed before it should be an emoji. Depending on the app that reads this text, it will display different, non-existent emojis like the ones listed above.

One of the features included in this update for iOS was the addition of 240 new emojis for iPhone users. It’s only speculation, but it seems that the problem originated from a simple character mistype by one of the developers.

Remeber,  if you want this great new emoji, i download the latest iOS update!


Kyle Dixon is currently an IT consultant and tech writer living in Honolulu. He's has worked in the tech field for 15 years as a software and hardware developer and as a cybersecurity research expert.

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