This Dangerous Wallpaper Will Seriously Mess Up Your Android Phone

The image's color profile has a phone-crashing glitch

It's possible you'll see this image here or elsewhere and want to use it as a wallpaper, but don't. Its broken color coding profile can so seriously mess up your phone that you'll have to factory reset it.

Android phone
 Getty Images / Composite

Choosing your own smartphone wallpaper is like a constitutional right, but like any right, you must wield it with care. An attractive (heck, beautiful) image that's being passed around on the Internet has a bug that can cripple some Android smartphones.

The details: The dangerous image was originally discovered by a Samsung leaker known on Twitter as ice Universe, and reported on by Android Central. The sunrise (or sunset) image has an improperly coded color profile. It's unclear if that was simply a programming error or intentionally coded to break Android phones.

What the image can do: According to ice Universe and verified by Android Central, setting the image as your smartphone wallpaper can crash the device or put it in a boot loop, meaning the phone boots over and over again. Any manipulation of the image (like editing and resaving in a photo editor) fixes the color profile and makes it safe for use.

What to do: Most people are not editing their photos and why take this risk anyway? Don't use or share this image.

If you did use the wallpaper (or someone you know did) you can try booting into safe mode, which will give you a chance to change the wallpaper and safely reboot the phone. Alternatively, you may have to factory reset the smartphone.

Good news: ice Universe reported that a firmware fix is coming soon for Samsung phones.

Bottom line: Want a good smartphone background or wallpaper? Either use trusted sources or take your own photo.

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