Does Apple notify you of virus on iPhone?

iPhones are generally considered quite secure devices, thanks to Apple’s tight control over its iOS operating system and App Store. However, iPhones can still be infected by viruses and malware, usually through unsafe browsing practices or downloading apps from untrusted sources outside the App Store. Many iPhone users wonder whether Apple itself will notify them if their device becomes infected.

How do viruses get on iPhones?

While extremely rare, there are a few ways iPhones can become infected with viruses:

  • Visiting compromised or malicious websites – Sites may exploit browser vulnerabilities or trick users into downloading unsafe files
  • Opening links/attachments in SMS/email – Malicious links can install payloads without the user’s knowledge
  • Using untrusted app stores – Apps downloaded outside the App Store may contain malicious code
  • Jailbreaking – Disables iOS security protections, allowing untrusted code execution
  • Physical access – Devices may be compromised via USB or network access

Downloading apps exclusively from the App Store and practicing general caution when web browsing and opening links/attachments can greatly reduce the risk of iPhone infections.

Does Apple notify you if your iPhone has a virus?

Unfortunately, Apple does *not* directly notify users if their iPhone becomes infected. This is for a few reasons:

  • Apple lacks visibility – They can’t actively monitor processes on users’ devices
  • False positives – Benign files could be misidentified as malicious
  • User privacy – Direct monitoring could raise privacy concerns
  • Support overhead – Mass notifications could overwhelm support systems

So in most cases, the user will not receive any alert from Apple about viruses or malware on their iPhone. However, there are some other ways infections might be detected…

How to tell if your iPhone has a virus

Without notifications from Apple, how can you tell if your iPhone has been compromised by malware? Here are a few signs to watch out for:

Strange or inappropriate pop ups

If you suddenly start seeing pop-up ads or alerts for apps you didn’t download, or prompting you to visit unfamiliar websites, your iPhone may have an adware infection. Legitimate apps don’t generate pop-ups like this.

Apps crashing frequently

While the occasional crash is normal, if multiple apps start freezing, shutting down unexpectedly or failing to open at all this could point to a malware issue. The infection may be overloading the device with malicious processes.

Sluggish performance

An iPhone that worked fine yesterday but now seems very slow and unresponsive may have a virus that is hogging system resources and draining the battery quickly.


An overtaxed system working hard to support virus activities could cause the iPhone to feel much warmer than usual.

High cellular data usage

Some iPhone malware accesses the internet to send premium SMS messages or download additional payloads. Look for a spike in cellular data usage as a possible sign.

Unknown charges or bills

Malware may be able to rack up charges via premium calls, texts or app purchases. Watch for unfamiliar charges on your phone bill or iTunes account.

Strange files or apps

Carefully check your list of installed apps and active processes. Anything unfamiliar could indicate malware. You can also scan for suspicious files using a malware app.

Battery draining very fast

If your battery seems to be draining within just a few hours of use, a malware infection using system resources in the background could be to blame.

Difficulty uninstalling apps

Legitimate apps can be easily deleted. Malware may make itself hard to remove or reinstall if deleted.

Removing viruses from iPhone

If you suspect your iPhone has been infected based on the signs above, you have a few options to disinfect it:

Reset device to factory settings

Restoring your iPhone to factory default settings will wipe out any malware, albeit at the cost of erasing your data and settings too. Make sure to backup your iPhone before resetting.

Use trusted antivirus apps

Apps like AVG AntiVirus and Malwarebytes can scan for and quarantine iPhone viruses and other threats. Run a full scan to detect and remove any malware.

Update iOS software

Apple issues regular iOS updates that patch security flaws and vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malware. Keep your iPhone software updated.

Avoid suspicious links/files

Be very selective about clicking links and downloading attachments and files, no matter the source. Delete any suspicious texts or emails.

Only install from App Store

Stick to downloading apps exclusively from Apple’s App Store, avoid untrusted third-party app stores or pirated apps.

Jailbreak with caution

Jailbreaking makes your device much more vulnerable to malware. Avoid it unless absolutely necessary and take precautions.

Protecting your iPhone from viruses

Practicing good security habits is critical to keeping your iPhone malware-free:

Install antivirus app

Having a dedicated antivirus app like Norton or McAfee Mobile Security can catch malware before it does harm.

Avoid public Wi-Fi

Free public networks are easy venues for hackers to spread malware to connected devices like your iPhone.

Don’t jailbreak

Jailbreaking removes Apple’s defenses against viruses. Avoid it unless you have a specific need and are willing to take on the risks.

Download from App Store

The Apple App Store vets all apps for safety before allowing downloads. Stick to it for your apps.

Think before granting permissions

Don’t grant access permissions to any app that doesn’t need them to function properly. This limits malware capabilities.

Keep iPhone updated

Install iOS updates as soon as they become available to get the latest security enhancements.

Use strong passcodes

Set a strong device passcode to prevent unauthorized physical access that could lead to malware installation.

Review privacy settings

Disable sharing of your iPhone data with third-parties in Settings to limit malware access opportunities.

Research before downloading

Before downloading any app, first research the publisher and check app ratings/reviews to avoid malware risks.


Here are some key points to remember about iPhone viruses and malware protection:

  • Apple does not directly notify users about infections
  • Watch for unusual behavior as signs of infection
  • Factory reset removes viruses but erases data
  • Use antivirus apps to detect and remove threats
  • Always keep your iPhone updated with the latest iOS
  • Only download apps from the official App Store
  • Exercise caution with links, attachments and public Wi-Fi

While not immune to cyberthreats, practicing good security habits can help keep your iPhone malware-free even without notifications from Apple. Be vigilant in watching for signs of infection, and act quickly to scan, delete and reset the device to remove any malware present before it causes harm or spreads. With proper precautions, you can enjoy your iPhone while avoiding viruses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can iPhones get viruses?

Yes, iPhones can become infected by viruses and malware, though it is less common than on Android or Windows devices. Infection usually happens through unsafe browsing, email links, third-party app stores or jailbreaking.

How can I remove a virus from my iPhone?

Resetting your iPhone to factory default settings will wipe out any viruses. You can also use antivirus apps to scan for and remove malware without data loss. Keep software updated and avoid suspicious links/files.

Does Apple notify you if your data has been breached?

No, Apple does not directly notify users if their personal data is compromised by a breach or malware infection. However, major known breaches may be disclosed on Apple’s website.

Should I jailbreak my iPhone?

Jailbreaking makes your iPhone much more vulnerable to viruses and malware. Avoid jailbreaking unless you have a specific need and are willing to take on significant security risks.

Is my iPhone safe at the Apple Store?

Yes, having Apple directly service or repair your iPhone is safe and will not lead to any malware infection. However, be careful of any third-party repair shops which may inadvertently compromise device security.

Can my iPhone give my computer a virus?

Extremely unlikely, as the iPhone operating system is different from Windows/MacOS. Malware would need to be platform-specific. Backups and syncing data should be safe.

Virus Detection Rates by Antivirus App

Antivirus App Detection Rate
Norton Mobile Security 99%
McAfee Mobile Security 97%
AVG Antivirus 96%
Avast Mobile Security 94%
Malwarebytes 93%