[Update: Fixed] PSA: Setting this particular wallpaper may soft brick or crash your Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel & other Android devices (video proof)

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on June 1, 2020) follows:

With just how complex and sophisticated our smartphones have gotten, it is ever more important to be careful what you put into your device. Often times, you are almost always one step away from disaster.

That couldn’t be more true today. A seemingly harmless wallpaper is causing untold turmoil to countless Android users who have effectively soft-bricked their devices by applying a wallpaper.

ice unviverse wallpaper

For many, this whole started with the above tweet from legendary leaker, Ice Universe, warning people not to set the attached image as their wallpaper.

Many thought it was a joke and proceeded to do exactly what they were warned not to do and that is when their devices started glitching. The video below shows how this deadly wallpaper affects devices.

Affected users are reporting that their devices are virtually unusable as the SystemUI keeps on crashing after setting this as the wallpaper. Rebooting the device does not fix this problem.

Reports have it that this issue is caused by the color profile of the image, which exceeds the bounds of what Android can handle, therefore causing a crash.

According to reports, it appears as though the most affected Android devices are from Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Nokia, and Xiaomi. That said, we have been unable to replicate this issue on many other devices.

For now, the only solution is to factory reset your affected device, which obviously means you will have to lose all your data. The issue appears on Google’s Issue tracker from as far back as Android 8.1.0 but the issue could not be replicated and was therefore marked as solved.

Update (June 5)

Both Google and Samsung have both acknowledged this bug and have confirmed that they are working on a fix. Also, an alternative explanation as to why this issue occurs in the first place has been floated and according to developers, this makes more sense.

Update 2 (June 20)

Samsung is reportedly rolling out a second June update to address the wallpaper crash issue that popped up earlier this month.


Update 3 (August 6)

According to XDA’s report, the new August security patches bring a fix for this wallpaper bug for all affected phones. Therefore, once the August patch is released for your phone, applying the wallpaper should no longer crash your device.

NOTE: We have these and many more Android stories in our dedicated Android section.

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Clinton Madegwa

A cybernaut grasping at all things tech. Lover of Android, Linux, and custom ROMS. A nerd, a writer, an avid reader.