Even a single pixel can destroy your phone. How?

You must have seen a wallpaper circulating around the internet these days stating that don’t try this wallpaper or else your phone will go in a loop. There are many people complaining that they lost their data because of the “cursed” wallpaper but how is that possible? Let me try to explain to you in simple words what I understood.

So here are some points you need to know

  • This photo of sunset will brick some Android phones if you set it as wallpaper

  • It has an improperly coded Google color profile, which causes the Android UI to crash from an out of bounds errors.

  • For some phones, if you are lucky enough, you can reboot the phone into safe mode and have just the time to change the wallpaper and for others, who are not so lucky, you will have to go to bootloader and completely factory reset the phone.

  • It goes beyond some Samsung phones, even Android emulators are prone to the attack.

What Happens if You Already Set the Wallpaper?

  • If your phone boots in safe mode, you will have some time to change the wallpaper to something safe.

  • If you use a Custom ROM or have your phone Rooted, then chances are that you have a custom recovery option available in it. Then, go to the custom recovery app and purge the wallpaper data to reset the wallpaper to default.

  • If you do not have either of the above options, just go to the bootloader and factory reset your phone.


The wallpaper which you see is a normal photo clicked from a DSLR camera but the problem is with its property. The color of photos can be divided into sRGB, Adobe RGB, and ProRGB. These are nothing but the subsets of visible color which we can see with our naked eyes. Now the android is programmed in such a way that it supports the sRGB photo color subset. Doing this the android excludes the vibrant color scheme of other subsets. The wallpaper which you see is changed into ProRGB mode which means it is not supported on android.

Moreover, the maximum sum of an RGB value in android should be 255 not more than that given by the formula:

0.2126*{red}+0.7152*{green}+0.0722*{blue} <= 255, and each color maximum value is 255.

In this photo there is a pixel which exceeds the given condition. The value of red of that pixel is 255, green is 255 blue is 243 which on substituting in the formula gives us value ~ 254 but the problem is with coding condition, the code instead of taking floor value take ceiling value which thus make sum as 256 and thus exceeding the condition and crashing our phone. Thus the Google single android command line is causing the mess.

Therefore I will ask you not to take risk of applying the wallpaper unless you want to lose your memories for sing pixel.

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