Samsung’s Messaging App Is Texting Some Users’ Photos to Contacts

A woman walks past an advertisement for the Samsung Galaxy S9 at a mobile phone shop in Seoul.
A woman walks past an advertisement for the Samsung Galaxy S9 at a mobile phone shop in Seoul on April 6, 2018.
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Accidentally texting a photo to the wrong person can be mortifying. But when your phone spontaneously texts your photos to random contacts without your knowledge, that’s downright freaky, especially if you have private or sensitive pictures in your camera roll.

According to Samsung users posting on Reddit and official Samsung forums, this is exactly what is happening to them. In one instance, a Reddit user said that his Galaxy S9+ sent his entire photo gallery to his girlfriend in the middle of the night. Another user said that both his and his wife’s phones spontaneously sent photos to each other.

It appears that the photos are being sent through the default Samsung Messages app, and some users have reported that there is no trace in their Messages app that the files have been sent at all—instead, people are finding out that their phones have sent the photos after the recipient replies to their unintentional message.

Initial reports indicate that the bug has affected Galaxy S9/S9+ and Note 8 phones, but it is still unclear how many users or models may be impacted.  A Samsung spokesperson told the Verge that the company is “aware of the reports” and that it is “looking into” the problem. For now, Samsung is encouraging affected users to call the company directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.

While users wait for Samsung to release a fix, AndroidCentral advises users to disable Samsung’s Messages permissions by going to Settings -> Apps -> Samsung Messages -> Permissions -> Storage.

Some users are speculating that this glitch could be caused by the Messages app being updated from the Galaxy Store. T-Mobile just issued an update this week, starting with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The new RCS messaging updates add read receipts and typing indicators to the Messages app. However, a T-Mobile spokesperson told the Verge that this bug was on Samsung’s end, saying that “it’s not a T-Mobile issue.”

But it’s definitely an issue for some. As users have pointed out, this glitch has the potential to cause nightmarish scenarios, depending on what photos get sent and who the recipients are. One concerned Redditor commented, “Some pics are meant to be private, and I can see this destroying relationships, and even potential job losses ….”

Many users were quick to imagine the hypothetical cringe-inducing scandals that could arise from this glitch. The main takeaway: delete your nudes ASAP!