Apple’s iPhone may boast fortified security against all kinds of malicious threats, but it isn’t immune against malware. This begs the question: “How to get rid of malware on iPhone?”
From adware and Trojans to ransomware and spyware, hackers use all kinds of malware to loot your personal and financial data – and all it takes is a mistaken click on a dodgy website, malicious email attachment or suspicious app on the App Store. If you want to keep your iPhone safe from any harm, you’ll want to know how to get rid of malware and even prevent it in the first place.
The good news is there are several ways to remove malware on iPhone. Here, we’ll take you through the safe methods of keeping malicious software at bay, along with trusted cybersecurity tools you can download for free.
How to remove malware on iPhone
Malware can hide in seemingly trustworthy apps you download from the App Store, meaning all you need to do to eliminate any harmful effects on your iPhone is to delete the app. Instead of deleting the app directly, it’s best to remove it safely.
Safely remove an app on iPhone
- On your device, press the necessary buttons to turn off your device.
- Turn your device on again by holding the power button.
- Once it lights up, hold down the volume down button until you see the Apple logo. Your iPhone should now be in Safe Mode.
- Tap and hold any suspicious or unwanted apps.
- Tap Delete App. Restart your device to go back to normal mode.
Clear cache on iPhone
Apps and browsers that store your online activity can be used and spied on by malware. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to clear your browser and app cache on your iPhone to minimise the effects of the malicious software. Moreover, clearing the cache can also help clear up space on your iPhone or iPad, boosting performance.
- To clear app cache, go to Settings on your device.
- Tap General.
- Select iPhone Storage (or iPad Storage).
- Choose an app you wish to clear.
- Tap Offload App.
- A message will appear stating it will delete the app but keep its documents and data. Tap Offload App.
Many iPhone owners use Safari as their default browser. Here’s how to clear cache in Safari on iPhone.
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll down and tap Safari.
- Navigate to Advanced at the bottom and tap on it.
- Tap Website Data.
- Tap Remove All Website Data.
Use antivirus software
Simply put, the best way to eliminate malware is to use the best antivirus software.
Many free malware removal apps will dispatch malicious software on your device. Still, it’s a good idea to ensure these tools are trustworthy, as hackers can also disguise these apps on the Google Play Store to deploy even more malware.
The best antivirus apps come with a suite of security features that can eliminate viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware or any malicious software that burrows into your iPhone. Some antivirus software, such as Bitdefender, offers security subscriptions specifically for iPhone, making it a more cost-effective option for those needing only iPhone protection.
We recommend free apps from known cybersecurity companies, including Avast One, AVG and Malwarebytes Mobile Security. These will detect and remove malware on your iPhone. Check out our thoughts on each antivirus below.
- Norton 360 Platinum review: Security multiplied
- Bitdefender review: All-in-one premium security
- Avast One review: Strong antivirus for free!
Clear iPhone data and restore from backup
Some malware on iPhone can be tricky to detect and remove. If your iPhone is still acting strangely and the harmful side effects persist, you’ll want to try erasing your data and restoring your iPhone to a previous state. Hopefully, before the malware sneaked its way onto your device.
- On your device, head to Settings and tap on General.
- Scroll to the bottom and select Transfer and Reset.
- Choose Erase All Content and Settings.
- Tap Backup Then Erase.
- A menu will pop up. Select Restore from iCloud Backup.
- in your iCloud account, select the backup that should resolve the issue. Make sure you have the right documents and files you need saved.
Signs of malware on iPhone
Malware can be hard to spot, as cybercriminals will do everything in their power to hide the malicious software so they can carry out their cruel acts right under a user’s nose. However, there are telltale signs that your iPhone is under attack, which may include your device’s browser (like Safari or Chrome) redirecting you to different web pages and installing unwanted toolbars, extensions or plugins. Any malware can also affect your device directly.
- Your device is slower than usual and crashes frequently.
- Your browser is slower than usual and crashes frequently.
- Browsing through websites takes longer.
- You need to recharge your device more often.
- Apps take longer to load.
- There’s an unknown app or software on your device you didn’t download.