How to Remove an Android Virus

The number of viruses targeting Android is increasing every day. There are thousands of them out there and while you can expect them to slow down your phone or stop working, the latest malware is much more sophisticated.

Some, like EventBot, will hide themselves so you don’t even know they’re there. But in the background, they will steal your data, post fake reviews on your behalf, and potentially empty your bank account.

You may have some less sophisticated malware on your phone, such as a web browser that redirects to a porn site or creates sly full-screen pop-ups.

But what if there’s something going on in the background that you don’t know about?

A misbehaving device is usually not caused by malware, but by an ever-increasing accumulation of junk files that will eventually slow down the entire system (something factory resetting). may also help).

Truth be told, Android viruses are extremely rare if you stick to the Google Play store or another reputable app store. Get lost outside of these into the wild web and install APK files from unknown sites and you open your device to some serious threats. Even the Play Store isn’t always a safe haven: Google’s Bouncer technology isn’t a narrow guarantee that every app you install will be free of malware.

In September 2019, it was confirmed that the Joker malware was downloaded from Google Play more than half a million times. The virus was found in 24 apps, all of which have since been removed, where it prevented users from subscribing to premium subscription services without their knowledge.

Method 1: Clear cache

If you see pop-ups or redirects, the best thing to do is clear your browser cache, either in the browser’s own settings menu or by going to Apps & notifications > Chrome > Storage > Clear cache memory.

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This is much less drastic than a system reset, which is another surefire way to remove Android viruses and can be done through the menu Settings > System > Reset options > Erase all data.

Method 2: Boot into safe mode

Android antivirus apps like Bitdefender Mobile Security are a good idea because they can prevent apps containing malware from getting into your phone in the first place. There are other options as well, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites. They can also detect and remove viruses if you install apps such as if your phone is already infected.

But if you know when all the trouble starts, you can manually remove the malicious app. You will almost certainly need to enter Safe Mode first, as this will prevent any third-party apps from running. Try to delete an infected app in normal mode and you may get permission denied.

If you don’t have the option to access Safe Mode in your phone’s Power options menu, try holding down the volume down button when restarting the phone. You’ll know it worked if you see Safe Mode in the bottom left corner of the screen. Otherwise, Google make and model your phone along with safe mode to get specific instructions.

Open Settings and select the Apps & Notifications menu, then scroll down the list and watch out for any suspicious apps that might be behind all the movies – anything you don’t remember downloading or doesn’t sound like a genuine Android service. Click on the name of the app to open the dedicated App Info page.

If this isn’t a pre-installed app, you’ll see an Uninstall button at the top of this page. Click here if you can. If it’s grayed out then it’s likely that the app has granted itself admin rights, which you can disable in Settings > Security & Location > Device admin apps.

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Once the virus is now off on your Android phone or tablet, all you need is to restart your device to get it out of Safe Mode.

Assuming you’ve done all of the above and your device is still running slow, consider that it could be an old case or a new software update that doesn’t work well slowing things down. See our guide on how to speed up Android. Also, read below to know how to avoid falling victim to Android malware again.

Avoid viruses and malware for Android in the future

• Don’t install apps from outside of Google Play unless you know what you’re doing: This functionality is disabled by default, but check it out. In recent versions of Android, the ability to install apps from unknown locations has changed from a system-wide permission to an app-specific permission. It’s currently found under Apps and notifications > Advanced > Special App Access > Install Unknown Apps. If you install an app outside of Google Play, such as from another app store, or an APK file as an email or other message attachment, be absolutely sure it’s on the board and comes from a legitimate source

• Avoid copying apps: 99 percent of the time you will be safe downloading apps from Google Play, but malicious code has been found in apps there. Avoid downloading apps that appear to be cloned apps from unknown developers or apps that simply don’t do what they say

• Check app permissions: Regardless of where you’re installing the app from, check the app’s necessary permissions before tapping Install. Never allow app device admin permission, this will prevent that permission from being removed. And does the video player really need to see your contacts? You can also check online reviews and browse the developer’s website to see if it’s a genuine operation or a cowboy business

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• Keep Android up to date: The latest version of the Android operating system won’t necessarily be available for your phone or tablet, but you should check to see if it’s up to date. Next time you upgrade, consider a brand known for its timely operating system updates. OLDsee our guide to
how to update android for more advice

• Install an anti-virus application: You don’t need to install anti-virus software on Android, but it can give you peace of mind if you’re worried about viruses and apps that often have other useful functions. Be forewarned that Android anti-virus software sometimes reports false positives, but if you know an app is fine then you know an app is fine. Our favorite antivirus option for Android is Bitdefender, but there are plenty of other options for mobile security software as well.

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