How to Detect and Remove the Viruses on Your iPhone

If you think your iPhone has been infected with a virus, the following post will teach you how to detect a virus on your iPhone. This way you can confirm and verify if your phone is indeed the victim of a virus.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Mar. 12, 2020

While many users believe that the iPhones never get a virus, there are some rare chances when your iPhone may end-up catching a virus. It means although your iOS based devices are protected from most threats, they sometimes have some loopholes that make the device vulnerable and allow other unofficial items to install on your phone.

In the following guide, you are going to learn how you can verify if your iPhone has a virus. The guide also goes on to explain what are some of the things you can do to get rid of a virus if you find that your phone indeed has a virus. Lastly, you will learn what precautions to take to ensure your iPhone does not catch any virus in the future.

Further ReadingBest Antivirus App for iPhone

Part 1. How to Check iPhone Virus/Malware

This part of the guide shows how to check for virus on your iPhone. When an iPhone gets infected with a virus, it does not behave normal. You will see it behaving a bit different than usual.

The following are some of the signs that indicate your iPhone has been infected with a virus or malware.

Method 1. Negative Impact on the Performance of the Phone

One of the elements of your iPhone that gets affected when a virus enters your phone is the performance. If your phone slows down drastically all of a sudden, there could be a virus sitting on your phone.

While a phone may slow down for various reasons, a sudden slow-down is usually the result of a virus using up all the resources of device. It then leaves your operating system with almost no resources to use and your phone ends-up giving poor performance.

Method 2. Battery Drains Out Quickly

Since viruses are just like other apps and features on your iPhone, they also consume your battery juice to operate. If you see a sudden change in how your iPhone uses your battery, it could likely be that your phone has a virus.

Quick discharge of the iPhone battery

Quick Discharge of the iPhone Battery

Viruses consume a large amount of resources on an iPhone and therefore your battery drains out very quickly. This could be the result of some other things as well, but again, if it is happening all of a sudden, it may be because of a virus on your phone.

Method 3. Cydia In Your App Drawer

Apple has built the iOS operating system in such a way that it does not let you install any items from unofficial sources. What it basically means is that the only form of installing apps you have for your iPhone is the official iOS App Store.

However, if you have a jailbroken device, you have something called Cydia that allows just about any app from any source to be installed on your phone. You will want to check for it and see if it exists on your device. If it does, it means your phone is prone to viruses and other threats.

Method 4. Sudden App Crashes and Errors

Most viruses do not do much by themselves but they get inside another working app on your device and perform their actions. If you find any new errors or misbehavior in your usual apps, chances are these apps have been infected with a virus on your device.

Viruses often change the code and the functionality of your apps, and if you notice any of your regular apps going haywire, it probably means they have been a victim of a virus.

Method 5. Suspicious Apps on Your iPhone

Lastly, you want to see if you have any suspicious apps installed on your iPhone. Sometimes, a virus may install a new app on your device to further spread the damage to other parts of your phone. You want to check your entire app drawer and see if you find any app that you do not remember installing from the official App Store.

If you come across such apps, you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Part 2. How to Remove Virus from iPhone

Now that you know how to check your iPhone for a virus or malware, you will want to know how you can go about removing the virus from your device. How you remove a virus totally depends on how it infected your phone.

The following are some of the generic methods you can use to remove a virus from an iPhone. You may need to use multiple methods before the virus is fully removed from your device.

Method 1. Uninstall the Cydia App on Your Phone

If you have jailbroken your iPhone, you likely have the Cydia app installed on your device. This is the app that allows any unofficial tweak to be installed on your device. For as long as this app is available on your device, any tweak can just jump onto your device and get itself installed.

Remove the Cydia app from your iPhone

Remove the Cydia App from Your iPhone

The easiest way to get rid of this issue is to remove the Cydia app from your device. This will then prevent any further unofficial items from being added to your device. Unjailbreaking your device by restoring your iPhone with iTunes usually resolves the issue for you. You can do it with the help of a Windows or Mac computer.

Method 2. Clear Your Entire Browsing History

Your browser could be a possible entry-gate for the viruses and you should get rid of all of your browser data to ensure there is nothing worrisome in there.

Clearing the Safari data on an iPhone is pretty easy and you can do it in a few taps.

Delete the Safari browsing history

Delete the Safari Browsing History

On your iPhone, head to Settings > Safari and tap on the option that reads Clear History and Website Data. Choose Clear History and Data from the prompt on your screen and your data will be cleared.

Method 3. Restore an iPhone Backup Using iTunes

An iPhone restoration clears all the unwanted items from your device and lets you enjoy a smooth stock experience. It removes viruses as well from your phone meaning you can use the restore method to get rid of any viruses or malware from your iPhone.

An iPhone can be restored using the iTunes app on your Windows or Mac machine. All you need to do is connect your phone to your computer, select an option, and your iPhone is restored with a backup.

Restore a backup on your iPhone

Restore a Backup on Your iPhone

To do it, plug-in your iPhone to your computer, launch the iTunes app, select your device, click on the Summary option in the left sidebar, and choose Restore Backup from the right-hand side pane.

Your iPhone will reboot when the backup is restored.

Method 4. Restore an iPhone Backup Using iCloud

If you do not have a local iTunes backup to restore on your iPhone, you can use one of your iCloud backups as well. An iCloud backup is equally good as an iTunes backup and you can restore it using a WiFi network.

Restore an iCloud backup on your iPhone

Restore an iCloud Backup on Your iPhone

Keep in mind you will lose all the files, apps, and data that you currently have on your phone. These items will be replaced with the ones in your iCloud backup. To start the process, head to Settings > General > Reset on your iPhone, tap on Erase All Content and Settings, set up your device, and select Restore from iCloud Backup on the Apps & Data screen.

Method 5. Set Up the iPhone As a New Device

If you believe your previous iTunes or iCloud backups were also infected with a virus, you might want to set up your device as a fresh one with no contents of any backups restored on it. This will give you a fresh start and you can then install whatever safe content you want on your phone.

Set Up the iPhone from Scratch

Set Up the iPhone from Scratch

Launch the Settings app on your iPhone, tap on General, select Reset, and tap on Erase All Content and Settings. When you get to the Apps & Data screen while setting up your device, choose the option that says Set Up as New iPhone.

Part 3. How to Prevent iPhone from Malware/Viruses

It is good to learn how you can remove viruses from your device, but what if you could somehow prevent the viruses from entering your phone in the first place? There are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of getting your phone infected with a virus.

Tip 1. Do Not Jailbreak Your iPhone

The first tip is to never jailbreak your device. As mentioned earlier, jailbreaking opens doors for unofficial items to be installed on your phone. As long as you keep your phone unjailbroken, you are safe from these threats as the only way you can get items on your device is from the official App Store. The store items are carefully checked and verified by Apple to ensure they do not contain any viruses or malware.

Tip 2. Do Not Install Unknown Apps on Your iPhone

The second thing you will want to take care of is not to install any unknown apps on your device. Although many apps pose as good ones and look authoritative, they are not actually that way and they may have viruses embedded in them.

You should only install the apps that you know are trustworthy and come from trusted companies.

Tip 3. Avoid Websites That Look Suspicious

Apps are not the only way a virus can enter your device. You should also ensure that the websites you visit are safe and do not contain any threats. If while browsing you come across a website that does not look good, you should leave it as soon as possible before it spreads the virus on your phone.

Tip 4. Do Not Share Data with a Possibly Infected Device

Avoid sharing with infected devices

Avoid Sharing with Infected Devices

You also want to make sure you stay away from any phones that have already been infected with a virus. Some viruses spread themselves by attaching them to the shared data which makes it easier for it to travel to new devices and infect them as well.

Tip 5. Keep Your Phone Apps Up to Date

When a virus hits an app, the developers are usually the first to know about it. Most active ones push updates as soon as they find loopholes in their products. Therefore, you should always ensure to keep your apps up to date so they have the latest patches and security features in them.

Tip 6. Install iOS Updates Regularly

Just like apps, you need to keep your operating system up to date as well. When Apple finds a loophole in their iOS operating system, they immediately push an update for you to install on your device.

Update the iOS version on your iPhone

Update the iOS Version on Your iPhone

iPhone updates can be installed by going to Settings > General > Software Update and tapping on Download and Install.

Tip 7. Keep Your Phone Protected with a Passcode

Use a strong passcode on your iPhone

Use a Strong Passcode on Your iPhone

Someone may intentionally install an app on your iPhone to get it infected with a virus. Whether that is the case or not, you must keep your phone protected with a strong passcode so only you and you can access the data on it.

The Bottom Line

We hope the above guide teaches you how to check for viruses on an iPhone, what to do if there is a virus on your phone, and what precautions you should take to prevent viruses on your device in the future.

Joy Taylor

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