This photo is breaking some people’s phones - here’s what to do if it gets sent to you

The image causes some devices to completely break (Photo: Shutterstock)
The image causes some devices to completely break (Photo: Shutterstock)

Phone owners have taken to social media to report that a harmless looking picture of a lake has been crashing their handsets.

As technology gets bigger and better, it’s important to remember that there are always ways for your devices to be broken.

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This is how a simple image could break your device.

What is the photo?

The picture itself appears to be a harmless photo of some woodland which looks out onto a lake with mountains in the background at sunset.

Twitter user Ice Universe, a well known leaker, tweeted the image and wrote, “WARNING!!! Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially for Samsung users! It will cause your phone to crash! Don’t try it! If someone sends you this picture, please ignore it.”

Several users replied to the tweet saying that their phones had been broken by the image.

One user wrote, “My A50s” with some crying faces and a video of their phone not turning on.

Another tweeted, “What the hell bro, it is frozen? How to get back to normal? #GalaxyS20Ultra”

Another wrote that they were going to try setting the image as their wallpaper, and immediately followed that tweet up with, “Don’t try this it actually crashed my Samsung phone.”

How can a photo break my phone?

Dylan Roussel, a 9to5 Google writer and Android developer, tweeted his theories about why this image was harmful to certain phones.

He explained that it appears to be a fault with the “colour space” of the specific image.

Android phones want to display sRGB, but this image uses the RGB colour space instead.

The colour space allows phones to work out what the colours to display are, and it appears that this image goes beyond what some Android phones can handle and causes them to crash.

Which phones are affected?

It appears that Android phones are the ones are affected by the photo, with users from all different brands reporting that their devices have been affected.

Specifically devices from Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Nokia and Xiaomi have been affected, but not all models.

Can I fix my phone if the image broke it?

Tech journalist Bogdan Petrovan said, “If you fall victim to a prank (or your own curiosity), there’s no easy, pain free method to undo it.

“At least factory reset remains a last resort, but we still wouldn’t recommend trying it on your own device.”

Replying to users who had broken their phones, Ice Universe advised to enter safe mode to change the wallpaper, but this might not be a fix for all devices.

Simply looking at the image on your phone won’t break it, but setting it as your wallpaper could seriously damage your device.

You should not set the picture as your wallpaper in case you run the risk of breaking your phone.