How to Remove All Malware from Android Phones

By Official SIM Unlock  •  14 September, 2020

Malware is a serious problem that nobody wants to deal with, and unfortunately Android phones seem to attract it in abundance. If you suspect you may have a malware infection it is essential to take the necessary steps to remove it as soon as possible. Your problems with malware can cause anything from irritating pop-ups while you are browsing the web to the terrifying mobile spyware that allows a cybercriminal to spy on you and even steal your personal information. Once again, if you notice any of the suspicious signs of malware you will want to do whatever it takes to get rid of it.

Here’s how to remove Android Malware:

Step 1: Uninstall suspicious apps

If you notice an app on your phone that you don’t remember downloading, you should uninstall it immediately as there is a good chance it will contain adware. It’s a good idea to uninstall any apps you don’t use. 

When you want to uninstall an app, you will have to first go into your Settings. From there, look for Apps and Notifications. Click on the app you want to get rid of which should bring up a screen with an uninstall button. Clicking on this should work but if the uninstall button is greyed out it may mean the app has gained admin access and you will need to take further steps to uninstall it. 

If the uninstall button is grey, again go to your Settings. Find Security & location. Click on Advanced. Then choose Device Admin Apps, and check for the app you are trying to uninstall. If it is listed there you can tap on it which will deactivate the admin status allowing you to go back into the Apps & Notifications menu and uninstall.

Step 2: Perform a full antivirus scan

If you want to know for sure whether or not there is malware on your device, you should run an antivirus scan.  Do a bit of research before downloading just any random security app. Many of them do nothing for you except drain your phone battery or worse, create their own security issues. 

Some of the more well-known security software companies such  as Kaspersky, Avast, Norton and AVG have good, free or low cost apps you can use. Another popular mobile-only provider you could look into is Lookout Security. 

Choose an app that will inform you of the specific apps on your phone that contain malware. From there, you may be able to get rid of the threat to your infected app or you may have to manually uninstall the app. Go into Settings and choose Apps & notifications. Sometimes it is necessary to try more than an antimalware app.

It may be important to note that antivirus apps can use up significant amounts of phone battery, especially if you enable a continuous scan feature.

Step 3: Do a factory reset

So, you have uninstalled the affected app and your phone is still showing you unwanted pop-ups or allowing personal information to be leaked. Well unfortunately, it may be time for the somewhat drastic step of wiping your phone clean by performing a factory reset. Begin by ensuring your phone is completely backed up, including all of your photos and messages. Go to your Settings and click on System Advanced. Then, tap Reset Options and Erase all Data. 

Step 4: Make Better Choices

Now that your phone has been cleaned of any malware it is crucial to be aware of everything you download as well as where you download it from. Make sure you download apps only from a reliable and trustworthy source such as Google Play. Only download apps that you know are safe. Be wary, because sometimes the app you think you are getting can be just a clever imitation of the original.

The Signs Your Android Phone is Infected

If you notice apps that you didn’t download, pop-ups or other symptoms of a malware infection, the issue is relatively easy to fix, but often people don’t even know there is a problem until they get unusually high data charges on their phone bill. 

Here are some of the signs you can be aware of when looking for the possibility of malware on your phone: 

1.     Your battery seems to drain quickly. There are many causes of  Android battery drain but one of the major ones is that you have accidentally downloaded an app infected with malware.

2.     Slowed down phone functions. Malware takes some of your phone’s processing power so if you notice the phone’s performance is significantly slower it may be cause for concern. 

3.     Data gets used up quickly. Apps that are infected with malware intended to steal your information will use up your data. If you find you are running low on data, you may have a problem. Alexy Firsh tells us that you may know you have a malware infection because of bandwidth usage when some apps secretly harness your device for use in distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks to freeze other sites.

4.     Suspicious notifications unknown services or financial institutions. If you receive a notification from your banking institution that you have new charges, or new accounts opened in your name it may be an indication that your device has been infected with malware. Furthermore, if you see a suspicious text informing you of fees that you paid it may indicate there is malware on your phone. 

5.     Pop up ads and offers. If you are constantly seeing pop-ups on your device there is a good chance that your phone has been infected with adware. Sometimes clicking on an ad or offer can actually download more malware onto your phone causing even more extensive problems. 

Using Mobile Antivirus

If you suspect you may have a malware infection on your phone it is a good idea to run an antivirus scan. Not all antivirus software is created equal however, so it is crucial to do your research. Some of the security apps on the market will not run a full scan and many vulnerabilities may get missed. A partial scan like this will give the owner a false sense of security.  You may not have to pay a lot for a thorough antivirus scan, some are even completely free. Take your time, read the reviews and look carefully at your choices. 

For many people it is worthwhile putting Norton Mobile Security on their Android device.  You pay monthly for Norton Mobile Security, but it gives you peace of mind by automatically checking websites and WIFI networks to make sure they are safe. It will warn users of any apps that are fraudulent or malicious. With this security feature on your device you should not have to worry about having any of your personal information leaked, pop-ads or excessive battery drainage on your device. You can also feel at ease knowing that unwanted phone calls or messages will be blocked. In addition, there is an App Advisor feature which will give you a detailed analysis along with a risk summary of each of the apps on your device. This way you will know for sure if you should keep or uninstall an app. 

What can malware on Android phones do?

Unfortunately, there are all kinds of damage that malware can do if you have it on your device. Originally, cyber attackers designed malware codes as a way to make money. Cybercriminals are now becoming more and more creative and sophisticated with the extensive damage their malware can inflict. Malware can steal personal information such as your contact list, your location and even your private passwords. Cybercriminals can install adware that can force you to download an app or view an ad. In addition, your files can be corrupted, you can even get locked out of your device or file until a ransom is paid. Some of the largest organizations in the world have been affected by this! As you can see, malware is serious business and you do not want to get stuck with an infected device. There are several ways you can protect yourself and your phone. 

Time for a New Phone?

If by now you’re thinking you want a new phone, then iPhones tend to have less malware than Android phones. When buying a used iPhone, you may get a lower price on a device that’s locked to another network. You can then unlock your iPhone using our service here, so you can use it on any network (including abroad).

Further Reading:

How to move from Android to iPhone




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