Beware: This Beautiful Wallpaper May Crash Your Android Phone

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For a lot of smartphone users, having pleasing aesthetics makes our device more attractive to us, reason why we almost always have beautiful wallpapers for our mobile phones. It is commonplace for individuals to now download random, beautiful wallpapers from the internet without a second thought to safety or security. 

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However, recent findings reveal that this may not be particularly safe, as it has been discovered that an image has the capacity to crash your Google Pixel or Samsung phone when you make it your wallpaper.

This image, sourced from https://t.co/cQmsRXGBF9, has the ability to crash your device if you are unable to delete the image before it loads your Android UI. This means that the only way you can recover your device is through a factory reset.

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You may wonder, why is this seemingly harmless picture causing devices to crash? Well, this may sound odd, but this is because the image is “too pretty”. To be precise, the color profile utilized to display the colors in the picture is too much for the Android OS to handle. The color data employed in the original image’s embedded Skia profile exceeds an acceptable range, forcing the Android OS to crash.

This bug was first discovered to affect Samsung phones, but further investigation revealed that the bug could affect phones running the Android 10 OS or lower.

It isn’t a joke. Do not apply the image as wallpaper on your smartphone unless you are ready to do a factory reset. Note that a factory reset will wipe everything on your phone. Everything.

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There are other ways to get your phone working again if it crashes due to you using this beautiful wallpaper, but if you are like most phone users, those processes are beyond you. They include:

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If you already set the wallpaper, your phone is probably either stuck in a bootloop or will kick back to the bootloader. In this case you have a few ways of potentially fixing your phone:

  • Solution #1: boot your phone into safe mode, so you can quickly try to set the wallpaper back to something else.
  • Solution #2: if your phone won’t boot to safe mode but you have a phone that has a custom recovery on it, go into your custom recovery app and purge the wallpaper data to reset the wallpaper back to the phone’s default one.
  • Solution #3: go into the bootloader and factory reset your phone.

There is some good news though, if you so much love the picture and you still want it as your screensaver (without crashing your device), you can simply convert it to use a safer sRGB profile using Photoshop or GIMP.

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But there are millions of alternative, beautiful wallpapers out there that you can use on your phone. Why fixate on this? Just take note of it and stay away. Let sleeping dogs lie.

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