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How to get rid of virus or malware on iPhone and iPad


Our iPhones and iPads are invaluable today as they store essential photos, contacts, and even banking details. Although iOS devices may have strong anti-malware protection, they do not protect against all viruses and can still get infected. If your iPhone or iPad has a rapid battery drain, overheats without heavy use, or experiences frequent application freezes, you might be dealing with a virus. Other signs include the appearance of unwanted advertisements and higher-than-normal data usage.

An infected device can cause serious problems such as identity theft, invasion of privacy, and loss of money. Therefore, knowing how to remove a virus from an iPhone or malware from an iPhone and iPad is crucial.

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In this guide, I will explain how to identify and get rid of a virus from an iPhone and iPad, and how to prevent future infections so that your devices remain secure.

How to effectively remove viruses from iPhone and iPad

    1. Subscribe to antivirus compatible with iOS. My #1 recommendation is TotalAV, now 80% OFF.
    2. Download the antivirus app from Apple App Store or provider’s official website
    3. Complete registration, proceed to install the client
    4. Launch the initial malware scan of the whole device
    5. Let the antivirus exterminate found malicious files, including the spyware

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How to delete virus from iPhone and iPad

iOS devices like the iPhone 15 Pro Max are among the most secure devices in the market, thus being at a lower risk of getting harmful viruses prevalent on other operating systems. However, despite these advanced levels of security, getting malware on an iPad or iPhone, such as adware or spyware from dangerous websites or apps, is possible.

Signs of a potential virus include unexpected pop-ups, slow device performance, high data usage, and apps that freeze or shut down suddenly. 

Whether you’re facing viruses on an iPhone or need to remove malware from an iPad, we will help you learn how to eliminate viruses and ensure peace of mind regarding your device’s security and practical performance. Whether you’re unsure which service suits you best, read my team’s article on the best antivirus software for iPhone and make an informed choice. 

1. Restart your iPhone or iPad

Restarting your device can sometimes resolve minor issues caused by malware. To restart the iPhone, hold the power button until the “slide to power off” slider appears. Slide it to turn off the device, wait a few seconds, and then turn it back on by holding the power button again. 

This step can help remove malware on iPhone and iPad by resetting temporary system glitches that might be causing unusual behavior. Regularly restarting your device can also clear out temporary files harboring malware, improving overall performance and stability.

2. Update your Apple iOS software

Updating your iOS software is crucial in preventing your device from being infected with malware. To do this, follow Settings > General > Software Update, where you see the available updates and how to install them. These updates frequently include security bug fixes that help remove and prevent malware on an iPhone in the future. 

Regular updates ensure the latest security measures protect your device against new viruses. Also, software updates improve your device’s features and provide solutions to problems that hinder the use of the device.

3. Clear your iPhone browsing data

If the problem was caused by malware from the websites you have visited, you can clear your browsing data to remove it from the iPhone. Open the drop-down menu in Safari, then click on Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data. In such a way, you will clear your browsing history, cookies, and other cached data that hackers may have captured. Thus, you can remove viruses from your iPhone since somebody may store threats in your browser’s history.

Clearing your browsing data is equally helpful for improving the performance and security of your device and should be done frequently. Content blockers can also prevent such sites from loading, making browsing safer.

4. Delete suspicious apps

Check and remove apps you did not download or any apps you downloaded just before experiencing a change in your device behavior. To uninstall an app, first tap and hold the icon of that app until it starts shaking, then tap on the ‘x’ to confirm it. Uninstalling these applications can help get rid of viruses on iPhones and iPads. 

When installing apps in the future, ensure they are from genuine developers and the proper channels. Checking an app’s permissions can also help identify apps that may have aggressive access to your information and other functions on your device.

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5. Restore your iPhone or iPad from an iCloud backup

If your device shows signs of a virus, you should restore it from a backup. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Once in recovery mode, follow the onscreen instructions and select the option to restore from the iCloud backup. This action can help remove malware from an iPhone by restoring the device to a time before it was infected. 

Ensure that your backups are up-to-date and clean to avoid malware re-introduction. It is wise to always create a backup copy of your device so that you can easily restore it in case of data loss or malware.

6. Reset your iOS device to factory settings

Lastly, if you want to remove all viruses from your iPhone completely, you can reset your device to factory settings. However, this will delete all the files and configurations you have saved on it, so it is advisable to create a backup. 

Go to the Settings app > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. This method will ensure no malware is left on your iPad or iPhone. Once you reset your device, configure it as a new device and reinstall apps cautiously so the malware may not be reintroduced. This action will help restore your device to a healthy state and delete viruses from your iPhone that may still be present.

7. Protect your iPhone from viruses with an antivirus app

To avoid looking for tips on how to get rid of malware on an iPhone and prevent viruses in the future, I advise you to install a reliable antivirus application. These apps can scan for and remove viruses from an iPhone and offer continuous protection against new threats. Using an antivirus app keeps your iOS device safe and in good condition, which increases the level of comfort that your device is protected.

Select an antivirus app that will protect your device in real-time and regularly receive updates for new threats. These apps also offer other functionalities, such as safe browsing, phishing protection, and system utilities, to ensure your device runs efficiently.

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How to tell if your iPhone has a virus

Although iPhones are known for their security measures, they are not entirely invulnerable to viruses. Thus, the question “How do I know if my iPhone has a virus?” is quite reasonable for many users. Identifying a virus can save your data and privacy, so it’s crucial to understand. 

Here are signs that may indicate your iPhone is infected with a virus:

  • Unusual battery drain: If your iPhone’s battery depletes quickly, it could indicate a Trojan virus on the phone, running in background processes.
  • Overheating: Excessive heat from your iPhone might be due to malware overworking the CPU, a common sign of infected devices.
  • Random apps crashing: If apps start crashing frequently, it may be a sign of a virus disrupting the phone’s functionality.
  • Unfamiliar apps: Discovering apps you didn’t install could mean malware has breached your security.
  • Pop-up ads: Frequent pop-ups, especially outside browsers, suggest adware viruses.
  • Increased data usage: Spikes in data usage can indicate malware sending information from your phone without your knowledge.
  • Poor performance: Slow operation and lagging could be caused by malicious software consuming resources.

If you’re worried about your iPad having a virus, look out for similar signs. Watch for overheating, quick battery drain, and extreme data usage as some indicators. Understanding signs of viruses on iPhones can help you act quickly to protect your device from potential threats.

How to check for viruses on iPhone

If you suspect your device has been compromised, follow these steps to check for viruses or malware and keep your iPhone secure.

  1. Perform an iPhone virus scan with a reliable antivirus app like TotalAV. Download and install TotalAV Antivirus, then perform an entire iPhone malware scan to delete any threats.
  2. Check for unfamiliar apps. Scan through the list of installed applications to identify any that you did not install or are unfamiliar with. Malware can imitate other applications.
  3. Restart your device. At times, a reboot may help to remove temporary malware that has infected the computer.
  4. Look for the most common signs of a virus on your phone. Check if any indicators of malware apply to your situation.

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How to check iPhone for viruses in settings

If you are wondering how to scan an iPhone for viruses, you are in the right place. Although iPhones do not have an inbuilt antivirus scanner like computers, you can check for malware signs in the settings section. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Check battery usage: Go to Settings and scroll down until you find Battery. Check the battery usage by application. If an unfamiliar app consumes a lot of battery power, it could be a virus.

check battery usage

  • Review installed apps: Open the Settings app on your iPhone, go to the General tab, and tap the iPhone Storage option. Look for unfamiliar apps. If you find any, delete them immediately.

review installed apps

  • Check data usage: Open Settings > Cellular. Swipe down for data usage statistics. An app using excessive data might be a sign of malware.

check data usage

  • Reset your settings: If you are still unsure how to check your iPhone for viruses, try resetting your settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. This action does not erase your data but can help resolve issues caused by malware.

reset your settings

Following these steps, you can keep your iPhone safe and ensure it runs smoothly.

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How do iPhones get viruses?

The most common way iPhones can get viruses or other malware is through jailbreaking. Jailbreaking bypasses Apple’s security measures, making the device vulnerable to malicious apps and dubious websites. Visiting compromised websites or downloading files from these sites can also introduce malware to your device. Although rare, iPhone malware such as Pegasus can spy on user activities without permission. 

Other types of malware include adware, which displays unwanted advertisements, and Trojans, which disguise themselves as legitimate applications. To protect your iPhone, you should only download apps from the App Store and avoid suspicious websites.

Can iPhones get viruses from Websites?

Yes, iPhones can get viruses from websites despite iOS’s robust security. Unsafe or compromised web pages can exploit browser vulnerabilities or trick users into downloading malicious files. Scam advertisements and pop-ups can also lead to malware infections. Phishing sites may deceive users into giving away personal information. To reduce the risk, avoid clicking on unknown links, keep your iOS and browser updated, and use content blocker apps to limit exposure to harmful websites.

Can iPhones get viruses from Safari?

Yes, iPhones can get viruses from Safari, although Safari is generally secure. Browsing dangerous websites can lead to virus infections. These sites might exploit browser flaws or offer downloads containing malware. For example, unknowingly downloading a file from a contaminated site can install malicious software on your iPhone. Fake pop-ups and advertisements can also prompt you to download unwanted applications. To protect your device, ensure you regularly update Safari and iOS and avoid visiting unfamiliar websites or clicking on suspicious links.

Can you get a virus from opening a text message on your iPhone?

No, you cannot get a virus just by opening a text message on an iPhone. However, links or attachments in text messages can be dangerous. Clicking on these links or downloading attachments can install malware on your device. For instance, a phishing message might trick you into entering your details on a fake website. While the message is not harmful, the actions it prompts you to take can be risky. Do not respond to unsolicited messages from unknown senders and avoid clicking on unfamiliar links or downloading unexpected attachments.

Can iPhones get viruses from email?

Yes, iPhones can get viruses from email, although it is rare. This typically happens through opening infected attachments or clicking on links in spam emails, which can install malware on your device. For example, an email might contain a link to a fake website designed to steal your information or an attachment that installs spyware. Avoid opening suspicious emails and attachments, verify the sender’s identity, and keep your iOS updated. Using email filters and security features can also help minimize the risk of phishing emails.

How to protect iPhone from virus attack

Ensuring your iPhone or iPad doesn’t get infected with a virus requires proactive steps to enhance security. Here are the tips to prevent viruses from infecting your device:

  • Install antivirus software. Effective antivirus software, like TotalAV, can be installed on your device. It offers real-time protection against viruses and can scan your device for threats.
  • Only download apps from the official Apple App Store. Avoid installing applications from any other sources. Apple thoroughly reviews the apps in its store to ensure that they are free from malware.
  • Avoid jailbreaking your device. It removes Apple’s built-in security features, which make your phone more vulnerable to viruses and attacks.
  • Update Your Software. Regularly updating your iPhone’s software can help protect against new threats.
  • Use a good VPN. A VPN like NordVPN can help secure your internet connection and protect your device from threats.

Get the best antivirus for iPhone >

Final thoughts

While iPhones and iPads are famous for their strong security, they’re not entirely immune to malware and viruses. It’s essential to watch out for signs like rapid battery drain, overheating, unexpected pop-ups, and slow performance, as these could indicate potential threats.

To keep your device safe, try restarting it, updating the iOS software, clearing your browsing data, and deleting any suspicious apps. For more comprehensive protection, consider restoring from iCloud backups, resetting to factory settings, and installing a reliable antivirus app. Also, stick to safe browsing habits, avoid jailbreaking, and only download apps from the official Apple App Store.

By staying vigilant and proactive, you can ensure your iPhone or iPad remains secure and performs at its best.

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How do I check my phone for malware?

Check for unusual behavior such as rapid battery drain, overheating, or unfamiliar apps. Use a reliable antivirus app to scan your device. Monitor data usage for unexpected spikes and review app permissions to identify suspicious activity.

How do I remove malware from my phone?

Restart your device, update the OS, and delete any suspicious apps. Clear browsing data and restore from a clean backup if necessary. As a last resort, perform a factory reset to obliterate any malware.

Does my iPhone have malware protection?

IPhones have built-in security features like app sandboxing, regular iOS updates, and a strict App Store review process. These measures significantly reduce the risk of malware, but users should still practice safe browsing and app installation.

How to tell if spyware is on your iPhone?

Look for signs like rapid battery drain, overheating, increased data usage, and unfamiliar apps. Unexpected pop-ups and sluggish performance may also indicate spyware. Check battery usage and data consumption in settings to identify unusual activity.

Can an iPad get a virus?

While iPads are less susceptible to viruses due to their robust security features, malware or spyware can still be affected through malicious websites, apps, or attachments. Regular updates and cautious app installations are essential for protection.

Can an iPod get a virus?

Yes, iPods, like other iOS devices, can get malware or viruses, though it is rare due to Apple’s security measures. Stay vigilant by avoiding jailbreaking, installing only trusted apps, and regularly updating the iOS.

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