Pixel owners, beware of this scary YouTube video

The Pixel 7 lying in red leaves
(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A YouTube video is causing Pixel phones to reboot upon watching.
  • The video is a 4K HDR video, and the reboot is awfully quick, signaling it could be a system crash.
  • The issue has affected Pixel 7 and 6 devices but is apparently non-existent on the latest Android 13 QPR2 beta build or the Android 14 developer preview.

If there weren't enough pressing matters with Pixel phones, another issue has cropped up during some simple leisure time.

An issue regarding a certain YouTube video was discovered and posted by a Redditor (via Google News Telegram). The video in question is a 4K HDR clip from the movie "Alien." The Redditor found that upon tapping on the video to watch it, their Pixel 7 Pro would reboot. After posting the link to the video and their experience, they inquired about finding out if others are having this problem — and it turns out they are.

From the looks of things, the issue is only affecting Tensor chip-based devices running the stable build of Android 13. Furthermore, it's speculated the rebooting problem is being caused by the HDR video processing. We've attempted to watch this video on a Pixel 7 and a Pixel 6 Pro, only to have the phones reboot before the video even begins.

Fortunately, loading the video apparently causes a soft reboot, similar to one that serves to refresh the system's UI, so it's rather quick and should have you back to using your phone in seconds. As Google News suggests, the reboot is probably an indication of a system crash.

Google hasn't said anything publically about the issue and if it is related to the HDR processing function. However, this issue is reportedly not present on devices running the latest (and final) Android 13 QPR2 beta build or the Android 14 developer preview, which hopefully means the March feature drop could potentially fix the issue.

Pixel owners can watch the video at the risk of their device softly rebooting if they're curious. Results may vary, as some Pixel users aren't experiencing the crash when loading the video.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.