How to remove virus from iPhone?

Like computers, smartphones can also get infected by viruses and malware. iPhones are generally considered more secure than Android phones, but they are still vulnerable to certain malware and viruses. A virus is a type of malicious software program that can copy itself and infect your device. Viruses are designed to damage, disrupt or gain unauthorized access to your phone’s system. They can sneak into your iPhone hidden in apps you download or through phishing links. Once infected, it can lock your screen, flood your phone with annoying ads, monitor your activities or steal sensitive information.

Removing a virus from your iPhone may seem daunting but can be achieved by identifying the symptoms, deleting suspicious apps, running anti-virus software, resetting network settings and performing a factory reset if all else fails. With some knowledge and prompt action, you can get rid of iPhone viruses and enjoy your device’s security again. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to detect, isolate and remove viruses and other malware from your iPhone.

How Do Viruses Get Into Your iPhone?

There are a few common ways viruses can infect your iPhone:

  • Installing apps from untrustworthy sources – Apps downloaded outside the official App Store may contain malicious code.
  • Visiting compromised websites – Malicious sites may implant malware through vulnerabilities in the web browser.
  • Clicking on phishing links – Scam links sent through SMS, email or messaging apps can install malware if clicked.
  • Using public WiFi networks – Unsecured networks facilitate hacking and malware downloads to connected devices.
  • Syncing or sharing with infected devices – Plugging your iPhone into a malware-infected computer can infect your device.
  • Jailbreaking – Disabling security features when jailbreaking leaves your device vulnerable.

To avoid iPhone viruses, be wary of third-party app installs, unverified links, unsecured networks and suspicious device syncing. Keep your operating system and apps updated as they contain security fixes. Avoid jailbreaking which bypasses Apple’s protections.

How to Tell if Your iPhone is Infected

Watch out for these common signs of a malware infection on your iPhone:

  • Sluggish performance – Viruses hog system resources, causing slowdowns.
  • Crash and reboot loops – Continuously restarting or freezing indicates a system-level infection.
  • Excessive heating – Malware strains the processor and battery causing overheating.
  • Reduced battery life – Constant background activity by viruses quickly drains the battery.
  • Data depletion – Increased data usage can signal malware activity and syncing.
  • Unknown charges – Viruses may subscribe you to paid services without consent.
  • Unusual pop-ups – Malware and adware cause frequent unexpected pop-ups.
  • New suspicious apps – Apps you haven’t installed appearing on your phone may indicate infection.
  • Disappearing files – Some viruses delete or encrypt your data for ransom.

Pay attention to any deviation from normal function as that likely indicates an iPhone virus. Severe disruptions like crashes, freezes and overheating in particular are key signs requiring immediate action.

How to Check iPhone Storage for Suspicious Apps

The easiest way to check for suspicious apps hiding viruses is to examine your iPhone’s storage. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings -> General -> Storage & iCloud Usage.
  2. Under Storage, wait for it to load the usage details.
  3. Review the list of apps by size – large unfamiliar ones at the top could be hiding malware.
  4. Tap each app to see its Documents & Data size if disproportionately large.
  5. Check the Offload App option for any suspicious apps.
  6. Offloading deletes the app but keeps its documents and data.
  7. After offloading, reboot your iPhone and check if performance improves.
  8. If the issue persists, the app data contains malware requiring more steps.

This allows isolating suspicious apps before deleting them so you can see if they were causing the infection. Make sure your iPhone is backed up so you can restore data if anything important gets deleted.

How to Scan iPhone for Viruses and Malware

Specialized security apps can thoroughly scan your iPhone for existing and dormant viruses or malware:

  • MalwareBytes – Top iPhone antivirus able to perform deep scans to detect malware and block future infections.
  • Avira Mobile Security – Scans apps, files, and browser traffic for suspicious activity indicative of malware.
  • Norton 360 Deluxe – Norton antivirus scanning customized for iPhone to uncover viruses and ransomware.
  • TotalAV Antivirus – Finds hidden iOS malware including spyware and trojans to prevent theft and infiltration.
  • McAfee Mobile Security – Uses real-time scanning to catch viruses and intrusive malware in your iPhone system and incoming data.

Run a full scan using one of these apps at the first sign of virus infection. Delete any malware or infected app flagged by the scan immediately. Register the app using your Apple ID to enable continuous protection.

How to Reset Network Settings to Fix Issues

Resetting network settings can help remove malware or adware causing excessive data usage:

  1. Go to Settings -> General -> Reset.
  2. Tap Reset Network Settings – this will not erase data.
  3. Enter iPhone passcode if prompted to confirm network reset.
  4. Wait for iPhone to reboot and reconfigure the network.
  5. Check if high data usage or other network issues are resolved.

Resetting network settings clears out suspicious configurations made by malware. It will remove your WiFi passwords and network preferences, however. You will need to rejoin your WiFi networks and set up configurations after this reset.

Should You Factory Reset Your iPhone?

If all else fails, a factory reset should wipe out any stubborn viruses or malware from your iPhone. It completely erases all data and settings, so make sure to fully back up your iPhone before resetting.

Factory reset is necessary if:

  • Virus persists after anti-virus scans and deleting infected apps.
  • iPhone is unusable with severe crashes, freezes or battery drain.
  • Suspicious activity returns immediately after cleaning and removing apps.
  • You suspect very deep system-level infection that standard cleans cannot remove.

However avoid factory reset if:

  • Issues disappear after removing suspicious apps.
  • Anti-virus apps are able to find and contain the malware.
  • Activity is traced to a specific browser or network source that can be changed.
  • You have large amounts of data that is impractical to backup and restore.

Factory reset is a last resort due to deleting your iPhone data. Try other options first before resetting your device.

How to Backup iPhone Before Factory Reset

Backup your iPhone fully before proceeding with factory reset to avoid permanent data loss:

  1. Connect iPhone to iTunes on your computer.
  2. Under Backups, select This Computer for backup location.
  3. Enable Encrypt iPhone backup and Create backup.
  4. Alternately use iCloud Backup by going to Settings -> Your Name -> iCloud -> iCloud Backup.
  5. Tap Back Up Now and wait for iCloud backup to complete.
  6. Check your iCloud account online to ensure the backup completed properly.
  7. Disable Find My iPhone under Settings -> Your Name -> Find My -> Find My iPhone.

Your iPhone data will get erased during factory reset. Backup to both iTunes and iCloud for redundancy before resetting your device.

How to Factory Reset iPhone Using iTunes

Factory reset through iTunes follows these steps:

  1. Install the latest iTunes on your computer and connect the iPhone.
  2. Select your iPhone in iTunes and go to Summary > Restore iPhone.
  3. Read warnings carefully and select Restore. iTunes will download software and commence reset.
  4. Once done, iTunes will prompt you to set up your iPhone as new or restore from an existing backup.
  5. Sign in with your Apple ID and configure your device when prompted.
  6. Check that issues like crashing and malware are now resolved.

The iTunes restore tool performs a complete factory reset. Avoid disconnecting or interrupting the process once started.

How to Factory Reset iPhone Using Settings

You can factory reset your iPhone through Settings with these steps:

  1. Open Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings.
  2. Enter your Apple ID password or device passcode if prompted.
  3. Read the warning prompts carefully before confirming the reset.
  4. Your iPhone will reboot and display Hello screen to set up as a new or restored device.
  5. Sign in with your Apple ID and configure your device when prompted.
  6. If you restored from a backup, wait for apps and data to download and sync.

This achieves the same factory reset result as iTunes but through your iPhone settings. It is simpler but takes longer if you have a lot of data to restore.

Will a Factory Reset Remove all Viruses from iPhone?

Yes, a full factory reset will remove any and all malicious software from your iPhone by completely reverting it to a blank state. It accomplishes this by:

  • Erases all contents and settings, including any malware or infected files.
  • Reinstalls the iPhone operating system, eliminating software issues.
  • Forces you to set up iPhone as new or restore from a clean backup.
  • Resets all settings to default factory configuration.
  • Requires entering your Apple ID credentials to ensure device security.
  • Allows restoring your personal data from a trusted iTunes or iCloud backup.

Since it wipes your iPhone clean and reloads the OS from scratch, a factory reset removes all traces of any virus or malware infection. Combine it with an updated backup to fully disinfect your iPhone.

Will iPhone Antivirus Software Slow Down My Phone?

iPhone antivirus apps should not slow down your device noticeably if designed efficiently. Features to minimize impact include:

  • Light, optimized virus scanning that checks core system files.
  • Scheduled scanning only during idle time or charging to avoid performance hits.
  • Pausing scans when you are actively using the iPhone.
  • Background scanning and analytics that uses minimal CPU.
  • Selective scanning of new apps rather than everything installed.
  • Minimizing network requests and data usage.

Premium antivirus apps are optimized to clean infections without degrading your iPhone experience. Check reviews before installing any security app. Avoid outdated apps with heavy scanning algorithms that drain resources and slow down your device.

Should I Jailbreak My iPhone to Remove Viruses?

No, you should avoid jailbreaking your iPhone to remove a virus, as it will compromise security further:

  • Jailbreaking disables protections from Apple that prevent malware.
  • Opening up the filesystem exposes iOS to more infection risks.
  • Jailbroken apps contain more vulnerabilities that viruses can exploit.
  • Unable to apply future iOS updates that contain security fixes.
  • Malware may already have backdoor access from jailbreaking process.
  • It is harder to completely wipe malware on a jailbroken device.

Rather than jailbreaking, use antivirus apps specifically made for non-jailbroken iPhones. Factory reset your iPhone through iTunes if you absolutely require a clean restore. Avoid jailbreaking altogether if you value iPhone security.


While iPhones have built-in protection against viruses and malware, they can still become infected through unsafe downloads, suspicious links and insecure networks. If your iPhone is acting sluggish or erratic, it likely has malware. Quickly take action by deleting unfamiliar apps, running antivirus scans, resetting network settings and factory resetting your device if necessary. Avoid high-risk behaviors going forward and use security tools tailored for iOS. With vigilance and prompt removal, you can keep your iPhone malware-free and secure.