If You Try To Watch This YouTube Clip, Your Phone Might Reboot Itself
There are sometimes major vulnerabilities discovered in operating systems that leave you open to attack, like a Bluetooth bug that can allow remote code execution. Then there are the software bugs that can be simply inconvenient for users, like when an iOS update caused Google Photos to crash. A newly discovered bug, however, is just plain weird, and can cause your phone to reboot.
A user on Reddit has discovered that a specific video clip on YouTube, a 4K HDR clip from the movie Alien, causes some Android phones to hard reboot themselves.
Primarily, the issue seems to affect Google Pixel devices the most, though some users on other devices have also reported the problem.
Some people online speculate the issue could be an HDR processing bug. It’s possible this specific video clip is doing something with high dynamic range that the phones are having an issue dealing with, thus causing a hard reboot.
Interestingly, users on the beta release of Android 13 or the developer preview of Android 14 are not experiencing the issue, suggesting the bug may have been discovered already by Android developers and a fix implemented for future builds.
Even searching the title of the video, Alien 4K HDR | Get Out of There, can trigger the reboot too. It likely happens when the thumbnail of the video tries to play. The bug only seems to happen when using the YouTube app, though, not via the browser.
Another side effect reported by some users is that the device has network connectivity issues after the forced reboot.
Obviously, it is recommended that you do not try watching this video on your device! There’s always the possibility that the bug can cause more issues than just a reboot. You’ve been warned!
It’s currently unclear what exactly the cause of the bug is, but we’ll update this article when we learn more.