'Cursed' wallpaper image reportedly crashes Samsung, Google, other phones

Using a specific wallpaper image causes some phones to soft-brick.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown

Ice Universe posted an image of the wallpaper reportedly making phones crash on Twitter.

Ice Universe/ Screenshot by Shelby Brown/ CNET

Samsung , Google , OnePlus , Nokia and Xiaomi device users have reported their phones crashing after setting a certain wallpaper image. The "cursed" wallpaper was pointed out on Sunday by Ice Universe, a Twitter user specializing in leaks, according to a report from Android Authority on Monday. 

"Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially for Samsung mobile phone users! It will cause your phone to crash! Don't try it! If someone sends you this picture, please ignore it," Ice Universe's tweet read. If your phone is soft-bricked, it means it might look like it's working, but doesn't turn on or it may display an error screen.

Some users were able to change the wallpaper -- an image of a lush shoreline with mountains in the distance at sunset taken at Glacier National Park by Gaurav Agrawal-- in between crashes, while others were able to delete it using the TWRP recovery tool, according to Android Authority. Most users reportedly had to reset their phones to factory settings.  

After Ice Universe retweeted a post showing the wallpaper crashing a Google Pixel phone, they posted an update showing Samsung appearing to have resolved the issue.

"Just wait for the subsequent firmware update and do not take the risk," the tweet said. 

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Nokia and Xiaomi didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

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