Has your phone recently started acting weird? Are your apps crashing, the phone is overheating, and you constantly see pop-up ads? Malicious apps may be overtaking your phone. Find out how to remove malware from your Android or iPhone.
Android devices can’t catch viruses per se. Viruses are usually described as malicious software that replicates itself and corrupts your programs, files, and the overall performance of your device. Such self-replicating malware hasn’t been found on Android phones so far. Therefore, the term ‘virus’ is usually used to describe malicious and fake apps. They can act as spyware, adware, or ransomware.
Such apps can appear on your device because they somehow passed Google Play security check, and you downloaded them, or you got them from an unauthorized third-party app store. What can they do?
iPhones are less susceptible to viruses because you can only download apps from the official app store, where all apps had been screened and approved. Also, all iOS apps are sandboxed, which means they can’t access data from other apps or your device. Apple also releases updates for all its devices simultaneously.
Therefore, it’s pretty tricky to catch a virus on an iPhone unless you’ve jailbroken it and downloaded apps from unauthorized third-party app stores.
Download a trusted antivirus app from the Google Play store and run a thorough scan. If you find any malicious apps, move them to quarantine or block them. You might still need to delete them manually; however, this will prevent them from doing any damage in the meantime. Alternatively, click Resolve, and your antivirus should take care of it.
First, you’ll have to put your phone into Safe Mode. This feature will stop any third-party apps running in the background. It’s a good indication of whether you may have a virus, too. If the problem you are having stops once you turn it on, it may be the fault of a stealthy app.
The steps will vary for different phone models, so you may want to look them up online. However, most Android phones will allow you to switch to Safe mode by a simple reboot. Just hold the Power button for a few seconds, tap and hold Power Off. You should see the Reboot to Safe Mode prompt. Click OK. Your device will restart and go into Safe mode. You should see Safe Mode at the bottom of your screen.
Go to Settings> Manage apps or Apps & notifications> Downloaded apps or Installed apps.
Now look for any apps that may look suspicious. Ask yourself whether you remember downloading them or whether you’ve used them at all. If not, delete them. You should be able to click on the app and tap Uninstall. If you can’t see the Uninstall button, move to the next step.
If you can’t manually uninstall apps, the app may have already got administrator access to your phone. However, you can change it.
Go to your Settings> Security> Device Administrators or something similar. Check if any apps you don’t recognize are on that list. If so, remove their administrator access. You should now be able to repeat Step 2 and remove the suspicious apps.
It may help to clear your browsing history and data.
This might help you if your latest backup was malware-free. You can see full instructions on how to restore your phone from the latest iCloud backup on Apple’s official page.
There are a few things you can do to prevent malware from getting on your phone in the first place.
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