For iPhone users, the good news is you don’t have to worry about your phone getting viruses. However, if you suspect that your iPhone could be having a virus, owing to adware popups, messages that warn you of the presence of malware, or that ask you to ensure your device is secure on some sites, they’re usually scams. You’ll be safer reporting this behavior to Apple to get the app developer’s ID revoked or delete the app altogether.
Some iPhone users have also raised concerns that their old iPhones can’t get the latest iOS update, and the devices start acting up by calling people, changing pages, or interrupting their browsing. While this is a possible occurrence, it isn’t an indicator of a virus resident in the device. It could point to a different issue altogether, like a failing touch-screen, in which case the phone would have to be replaced.
However, this doesn’t mean there’s no way viruses can find their way into your iPhone – they can, in two main ways:
- if the device has been jailbroken
- downloading an app that isn’t from the App Store
Some of the telltale signs that could point to the presence of a virus include unusual spikes in data usage, overheating, battery draining faster than normal, apps crashing from time to time, and the presence of unfamiliar apps.
If you do have a virus in your iPhone, there are steps you can take to get rid of it.
How to remove viruses from your iPhone
Little annoyances like buggy apps can crop up as you use your iPhone, but you can fix them instead of letting them get to you.
Before deleting the app, check if a new version of it exists in the App Store; otherwise, if this doesn’t fix the problem, get rid of the app.
Note: iOS apps are sandboxed so they can’t break into the operating system, and they can’t access data from other apps, either. Also, iOS updates are rolled out to all devices simultaneously, with fixes to bugs or vulnerabilities in the OS.
If your iPhone is jailbroken, you’re putting not just the device at risk, but your privacy and security too.
Jailbreaking means you bypassed or removed Apple’s security and built-in restrictions, so any unauthorized apps you download to your device may not be scrutinized by Apple. This puts your phone at a high risk of getting infected.
To remove viruses on your iPhone, do the following:
1. Restart your iPhone by holding the power button down until you see “Slide to Power Off >>.”
2. Touch and slide until the device turns off.
3. Turn it on by holding down the power button again for a few seconds until the Apple logo displays.
4. Clear the cache and history by going to “Settings -> Safari -> Clear History and Website Data.”
5. Tap Clear.
6. Restore the device to a recent backup. If you set it to automatically backup, you can restore to a backup from before the current problems cropped up.
7. Turn on Backup by going to “Settings -> iCloud -> turn on Backup.”
If you still feel there’s a virus in your iPhone, you can visit an Apple Store and get further assistance to remove it.
As a final resort, you can perform a phone reset and erase everything from the iPhone and begin fresh.
To do this:
1. Go to Settings.
2. Tap “General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings.”
How to keep your iPhone safe
As mentioned, iOS devices cannot get viruses because Apple’s iOS infrastructure is built with extreme security.
However, the main ways you can keep your device safe are updating it (Settings -> General -> Software Update) and never jailbreaking it to bypass Apple’s security features.