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How to detect and remove a virus from an Android phone

Android is the most popular mobile operating system, with more than 2 billion monthly active users. This is thanks to its open source nature and its huge number of applications available to install on the Play Store. But due to these characteristics, it is also very prone to being attacked by viruses and other malicious programs. Therefore, in this post we will see what you can do to remove a virus from an Android phone.

In addition to poor performance, one of the most common symptoms on an infected device is that the browser opens strange web pages or annoying pop-ups appear.

Remove a virus from Android phone

If you suspect that your Android smartphone has a virus, you can perform a factory reset to remove it. But with this measure you could lose all your information and files on the device. Your photos, videos, messages, and everything else would be lost if you don’t backup first. This means that resetting the device should be your last alternative.

But before entering fully into the task of cleaning your phone from viruses, let’s first see what are the indications or symptoms that it is really infected.

Symptoms of infection: How to know if my cell phone has a virus

If you suspect that your mobile is infected by a virus, there are some signs or symptoms that will tell you that you are right. Among the abnormalities that you could perceive with your phone, these are the most common:

  • Slowness of the phone. Malware could constantly send information to a remote server, which can overwhelm your phone’s processing power.
  • Unwanted applications. Trojans mimic legitimate applications, thereby tricking the user. There is also the sudden appearance of unfamiliar applications. Malware can enter your phone with the applications you download and they install other applications without your consent.
  • Phone overheating. This symptom can indicate that there is some malware interfering with the applications and causing an increase in temperature.
  • Less battery life. This is one of the most common symptoms on an infected phone. Malware and spyware use a lot of energy to function, resulting in rapid loss of charge.
  • Intensive use of data. The virus usually keeps sending information anonymously and permanently to the attacker. This results in an exaggerated consumption of your Internet data plan.
  • Application blocking. Applications crash or close suddenly. Most viruses manipulate the regular operations of the system, causing some applications to close without warning.
  • Pop-up ads. If you are getting a lot of pop-ups or pop-ups, your cell phone may be infected. These are usually not related to your interests, so you should avoid clicking on them.

How to clean viruses from Android phone

In most cases, the virus reaches the device from applications downloaded from unknown sources or, in some cases, from the Play Store. For these reasons, it is easier to detect vulnerable applications that may contain Trojan viruses. Here are the steps you can take to remove a virus from Android phone:

1. Restart the phone in safe mode

You can try booting the phone in safe mode to find malicious applications. In safe mode, only the default or pre-installed applications will be present, and downloaded applications will not be available.

Once in safe mode, check the operation of the device. If the device works normally, then some third-party app you have installed is causing the problem.

Reboot the device to return to normal mode and uninstall some or all suspicious third-party apps and check that it works normally. In this way, you can clean the device of any type of virus or malware

2. Remove harmful application administrator access

You may have inadvertently granted device management access to a malicious app. This means that said application could interfere with the normal operation of the device. In addition, the application will not allow you to uninstall it if you do not revoke its administrative access. Follow these steps to do it:

  • Go to your device Settings, navigate through the Security > Device Administrators options .
  • If you find any malicious app that has access, disable it.
  • Now you can uninstall the application from your device.

Once administrator access is revoked, you can uninstall the malicious application and remove the virus from the phone. Restart the phone after uninstalling the apps.

3. Use antivirus to scan corrupted files and applications

There are many antivirus applications available on the Google Play Store. None of these can provide 100% protection, but they are powerful enough to clean your phone from viruses and other major threats.

These applications could be helpful in removing any major or minor Adware and Malware in the files. Performs a full scan and removes all related files and folders if it detects any viruses.

Antivirus applications also offer web protection, real-time application protection, and application blocking features .

4. Factory reset phone

If none of the above methods work, then you will have to resort to the final option which is to reset the device to its factory settings. This will erase all data on the device, so you should make a backup before proceeding. You should only back up the photos, videos and music.

Factory reset will remove all data, including any viruses or malware. It is recommended to  reset from recovery mode rather than from device Settings.

Generally, the process includes pressing the Power + Volume Down key simultaneously while turning off the device. But, this may vary depending on the model of your Smartphone, so you should search Google for the model of your device.

How to keep the cell phone virus free?

  • Avoid downloading apps from untrusted sources.
  • If you install apps from unknown sources, make sure to do so with the Verify and install option  .
  • Don’t install cracked or hacked apps.
  • Check the application permissions and uninstall the ones that require unnecessary access.
  • Do not use the applications with accessibility permissions.
  • Keep at least 500MB of free storage space and also keep some unused RAM.
  • Scan the phone weekly with a good antivirus for Android. You must keep the virus definitions up to date.
  • Try not to use applications with high battery consumption, which cause the phone to heat up.

Remove virus from Android phone

Hope this short guide has helped you to remove any virus from your Android phone. A malware-infected phone, in addition to putting the security of your data at risk, can also seriously affect the overall performance of the device.

These recommendations should help you clean your phone, but the best approach is to avoid infection. The recommendations at the end will be of great help to keep your smartphone free of malware.

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