Samsung Phones Randomly Texting Photos and No One Knows Why (Update)

Senior editor, security, privacy and gaming
Updated

Got a late-model Samsung phone? Is T-Mobile your carrier? If you can answer "yes" to both, then you'd better make sure you're using a texting app other than Samsung Messages for the time being.

The Samsung Galaxy S9+. Credit: Tom's GuideThe Samsung Galaxy S9+. Credit: Tom's Guide

That's because posters to Reddit and the Samsung forums say Samsung Messages is malfunctioning. One user complains of scheduled texts appearing in wrong threads or being sent prematurely, while others say their phones spontaneously sent other people random photos, or, in a few instances, the entire contents of their photo galleries.

"We are aware of the reports regarding this matter and our technical teams are looking into it," a Samsung spokesman told us. "Concerned customers are encouraged to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG."

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Additionally, Samsung told ZDNet that there weren't any "hardware or software issues found to be relevant to this particular case," adding that it continues to look into the issue.

As initially reported by Gizmodo, the problem seems to be happening on Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S9 and S9+ models that use T-Mobile as their carrier. It may be related to a recent T-Mobile profile update to the new RCS text-messaging format. T-Mobile, however, has told media outlets that the problem is not on its end, with the wireless carrier directing affected customers to contact Samsung.

The T-Mobile update seems to be occurring automatically, and many users may not realize their phones have already updated. But in all the forum threads, a solution seems to be to change to another texting app, such as the stock Android one or Textra.

If you'd rather stick with Samsung Messages, then you might want to make sure there aren't any salacious or embarrassing photos in your phone's gallery, because you never know who might receive them.

Editors' Note: This article was originally posted on July 2. we updated it at 6:17 p.m. ET on July 3 to include additional comment from Samsung and T-Mobile.