Samsung Messages app is randomly sending pictures for some users

If you've got a Samsung phone and use the default Samsung Messages app for all your texting needs, you may want to check your gallery to make sure you don't have any embarrassing photos in it. According to numerous Redditors, a bug is causing Samsung Messages to randomly send pictures to contacts without leaving any sort of evidence.

This has been reported on the Galaxy S9 and Note 8 so far, but based on what we're seeing, this could also be affecting other Samsung phones. Rather than being a carrier or device-specific quirk, the bug appears to be rooted in the Samsung Messages app itself.

Some of the complaints read as follows:

Last night around 2:30 am, my phone sent her my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messages app. However, there was record of it on tmobile logs. Why would this happen?Oddly enough, my wife's phone did that last night, and mine did it the night before. I think it has something to do with the Samsung SMS app being updated from the Galaxy Store. When her phone texted me her gallery, it didn't show up on her end -- and vice versa.

To make sure you don't have any photos sent out without your knowledge, go to Settings -> Apps -> Samsung Messages -> Permissions -> Storage. From here, disable the permission and you should be safe until Samsung rolls out a fix.

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Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Anyone else want some popcorn?
  • Sweet and salty please :-)
  • Use Android messages instead of Samsung messages anyway but for good measure went ahead and removed all permissions for Samsung messages.
  • I would if it didn't have that hideous white background Google is famous for. For now it's Textra
  • Textra is my favorite
  • Textra your way out
  • Holy crap, this is unacceptable
  • Only problem is if you do that you can't use the app to send a text
  • Right! The suggestion negates the ability to text. Not a solution and poorly written article.
  • This should be fun in countries where SMS and MMS messages aren't free.
  • This makes the app unusable
  • This is a picture perfect s***storm!! 👏
  • This is why I don't store incrimination phones on my phone.
  • Hehe damn incriminating phones
  • rofl
  • Google auto correct strikes again
  • Uh Ruh roh!
  • This is brilliant!
    Everyone should have this feature.
    Like Russian roulette..
  • Yeah, could lead to a lot of funny moments😀 I myself have a prepaid sim card in an old phone. The number used to belong to someone else, a woman obviously. Every now and then I get some funny sms/mms, could be from doctors or authorities☺
  • Until this is sorted out I've switched to Android Messages.
  • I guess I'm glad I bought an LG phone instead of Samsung this time.
  • You could install Samsung Messages on your phone & try your luck. 🤣
  • Wow that is quite the bug
  • Apparently the most recent updste to Samsung Messages is the problem. I removed all permissions, and reset updates back to to factory for the Messsges app. For now, I'll go with Android Messages. There isn't much difference between Android Messsges and Samsung. But I like being able to customize the background text window with Samsung Messages, which I prefer as solid black. Overall, my opinion is Samsung Messages has a cleaner look. I look forward to seeing a quick fix from Samsung.... this SNAFU must be a significant priority.
  • Don't use Samsung messages lol. Thank God. Haven't for the past 3 year's I've used Samsung devices. Android messages only
  • The risk of things like this is why I don't like my wife sneaking pictures of me at night. It's bad enough that she snaps a photo as a joke, then forgets to delete it. And when I warn her about it she says "But it didn't show your face!" I'll have to warn my friend if she has a Samsung... She just told me today that she is going to be working on anatomy sketches, and if she takes pictures of her sketches, it could be embarrassing for me.
  • This is pretty f'ed up. Switched to google messages. Disabled every possible permission for samsung messages.
  • I don't believe half of these "stories". I think it's made up crap. Or it's affecting 1 out of 10,000 phones. Clickbait.
  • It isn't easy to notice the problem exists, so a low reporting rate is unsurprising.... But its very real....
  • And the Samsung shills will still defend sh*tty Samsung messages.
  • "Settings -> Apps -> Samsung Messages -> Permissions -> Storage. From here, disable the permission"
    Who's idea was this?! With storage permission disabled you can't open your messages!!!
  • What solution do you suggest?
    Until fixed this issue requires the app to be shut down or extremely restricted.
  • Wow... Privacy with Samsung's is a huge issue. Facebook, Microsoft and Google allow you to access and delete any data collected by them. I had over 26gb of data on one of my Google accounts alone! Samsung do not allow you to view what data is collected, nor do they allow you to delete it. How they have been able to get away with this is beyond me! You can email their privacy officer but you get virtually nothing. All you get is your Samsung account details and last phone logged in to warranty details. That's it! Every Samsung app preinstalled has some embedded code for "Samsung Analytics". In the code it states that by using the app (Phone, Contacts, Gallery, Camera, Themes, etc.) you agree to send Samsung personally identifable data of your usage (there is no warning or option to disagree). Also Samsung have added the Bixby SDK for their apps and this is why you can get better functionality and interaction from Bixby, than you can with Google's Assistant. In regard to Messaging sending gallery data, I'll have a look at the latest update and decompile the code. It may not even be associated with the Samsung messages app, which would explain why their is no record within the app. Permissions for system apps (like Samsung messages) are not completely shown for the end user to deny, as they are "trusted", Also Samsung does not share what it's own permissions are for in any detail For the Latest Samsung messages app (v5.0.21.18) head to my google plus profile "Eudemony Rom" and it is in my latest post - can't post urls here :( Further information is needed on how the devices that sent the data are set up, what versions of the messages app, etc. It may even be Samsung Customisation Service or something else is to blame!
  • Any word on when a fix for this is out? I've seen some gallery updates come out but nothing for Samsung messaging. AC can you do a followup?