Can My iPhone Get a Virus

Can Apple iPhones get viruses? It is one of the most asked questions by the users who have previously had a bad experience with viruses on their phones. This guide sheds some light on the matter and tells you how to protect yourself from any viruses.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Apr. 28, 2020

If you are someone who has previously used a device other than Apple device, say an Android phone or a Windows computer, you are likely familiar with the term virus. A virus in the context of technical systems is something that can harm your devices and do things that you never wanted to do.

Apple’s iPhones are considered to be some of the most secure devices out there. This makes many users wonder if it is even possible for an iPhone to catch a virus. If you too have an iPhone and you have the exact same question, this guide will answer it for you and also give you advice on how you can stay away from any viruses that attack the iPhones.

Part 1. What is iPhone Virus

An iPhone virus is just like any other virus. This virus somehow manages to exploit your system and gets inside your iPhone. Then, it starts doing things that you do not want for any of your apps to do. It can slow down your phone, cause unwanted issues, and even go as far as to make automatic calls on your devices.

An explanation of what an iPhone virus is

An explanation of what an iPhone virus is

In a nutshell, an iPhone virus creates chaos on your phone and it just will not let you use your device normally. Every now and then, you will come across something unexpected and unwanted as long as the virus is present on your iPhone.

Part 2. What Increases the Risk of Getting iPhone Viruses

If you have had some bad experiences with viruses on your other devices, you might wonder “can my iPhone get a virus?”. Well, as explained above, it is indeed possible for your iPhone to catch a virus, however, the probability of that happening is slim to none.

The credit for that goes to the developers of the iOS operating system. The system that operates your iPhone has been designed in such a way that it prevents any viruses from spreading on your device. If you have been a long-time iPhone user, you probably know that there are a ton of restrictions on your device and these restrictions are what stop the viruses from getting access to your device.

However, despite your phone’s operating system being so secure, there are still some ways for the viruses to sneak into your phone. These ways usually include downloading apps from unofficial sources and jailbreaking your iPhone.

1. Jailbreaking Your iPhone

One of the reasons why a virus cannot make its way to your iPhone is because your phone does not allow you to load stuff from outside the main App Store. On an iPhone, the official App Store is the only place from where you can get apps and such other items for your device.

However, if you jailbreak your device, your phone then lets you load items from any source available on the Internet. This makes your phone vulnerable to many kinds of viruses and they can easily get onto and infect your device.

Jailbreaking often involves installing various tweaks that do not always come from good sources.

2. Unofficial Sources of Items

Even if you jailbreak your phone, there are still ways to keep your phone protected. But if you choose to install tweaks on your device from just about any source on the Internet, you increase your chances of getting a virus on your device.

Not all the tweak sources can be trusted and they may have infected their tweaks with viruses that eventually come in contact with your phone and get it infected as well.

You should always know what you are installing and from where to avoid getting your iPhone catching viruses.

3. Virus-Contained Websites

There are millions of websites on the Internet but not all of those are secure enough for you. Some of the sites are known to spread viruses and malware that can get your iPhone infected and you could start seeing the symptoms straight away.

These websites often show offers and other appealing items so you go and visit all of their site pages. Eventually, they manage to get into your device and do what a virus normally does.

Part 3. How to Check If the iPhone has Viruses

If you suspect your iPhone has any kind of viruses, you might want to run a virus check on your device and see if there is actually a virus sitting on your phone. Unfortunately, the way the iPhones are known, there are no antivirus apps for the phone as developers believe the iPhones just never get any viruses.

However, if there are any signs of suspicion and you want to verify your iPhone is indeed free of any viruses, you can do the following.

1. Presence of Cydia

One of the ways to find out if your iPhone has any unofficial items installed on it is to check if you have an app called Cydia on your device. Cydia is an app that gets installed once you jailbreak your iPhone.

The app actually opens a door for the unofficial items such as apps and tweaks to make their way to your device. It allows these apps to be installed and access your data on your device.

Cydia app on the jailbroken iPhone

Cydia app on the jailbroken iPhone

Verifying if you have Cydia is extremely easy. All you need to do is swipe your home screen, go through all of them, and see if you see an app that says Cydia. If you find the app, probably you or someone has tried to install unofficial and often virus-containing apps on your device.

2. Unusual Behavior of Installed Apps

When a virus becomes active on your iPhone, it changes the behavior of the apps installed on your phone. The apps that have been working normally will suddenly start behaving unusually. You will see they crash all of a sudden, refuse to launch no matter how many times you tap on them, and sometimes certain features do not work in these apps.

It is all the result of a virus that your iPhone has been infected with.

3. Slow Down in the Phone Performance

Some viruses are known to be resource-hungry and they try to eat up as much of your phone’s resources as possible. Since they are resource-intensive, your phone’s performance slows down as it simply does not have enough resources available for it to use.

You will immediately notice a drastic impact on the performance of your phone when your phone has got a virus.

4. Unusual Errors on the Phone

Another thing that is common when a virus infects an iPhone is that you often see some unusual errors on your phone. The apps and system options that worked just fine a day ago will throw errors all of a sudden on your screen.

You will also face issues opening the system features of your device and your entire iPhone will become a buggy device.

5. Annoying Ads in Safari

Viruses also often install pop-up ads in the Safari browser on your iPhone. When you launch the browser and see an unexpected pop-up ad, it certainly means there is something wrong with your device and that a virus has infected your browser as well.

Unexpected ads in Safari

Unexpected ads in Safari

If you have been wondering “does my iPhone has a virus”, the above should answer it for you.

Part 4. How to Prevent iPhone from Viruses

If you notice one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms on your iPhone, you will want to take immediate action to take down the virus on your iPhone. Luckily, there are a few ways to get around the virus issue on your iPhone.

1. Unjailbreak Your iPhone

If you see the Cydia app on your iPhone and you know that your iPhone is jailbroken, you might want to unjailbreak your device. This can be done using the iTunes app on your Windows or Mac computer.

Unjailbreaking basically means installing the official stock version of iOS on your iPhone. This version will not have any loopholes open in it and will come with all the standard Apple restrictions to prevent viruses on your device.

2. Remove Suspicious Apps from Your iPhone

Another thing you can do to prevent viruses on your device is to uninstall all the suspicious apps on your phone. This includes any new or old apps that you do not trust.

Uninstall dubious apps from the iPhone

Uninstall dubious apps from the iPhone

Simply get rid of them and it will close the door that the viruses have been using to infect your device.

3. Restore Your iPhone with iTunes

You can restore your iPhone with iTunes to get rid of any existing viruses on your phone. It only requires you to connect your phone with your computer, run the iTunes app, and select an option.

Restore your iPhone using iTunes

Restore your iPhone using iTunes

With your iPhone plugged-in to your computer and iTunes open, select your device in the app, click on the Summary option, and hit the button that says Restore iPhone.

4. Set up your iPhone from Scratch

Your last resort is to erase all the contents and settings on your iPhone and set it up from scratch. It will delete all the data including the viruses from your phone.

Delete the iPhone data and set it up as new

Delete the iPhone data and set it up as new

On your iPhone, head to Settings > General > Reset and tap on Erase All Content and Settings.

The Bottom Line

It is very rare for iPhones to catch viruses but there are indeed a few ones that can infect your device. With our guide above explaining iPhone viruses in detail, you now know how to keep your iPhones away from any type of viruses out there.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.