If your Android has a virus – or you think it has a virus – then this guide is for you.
Today, we’re teaching you how to safely and easily remove a virus from your Android device.
How Does Your Device Get Infected?
Very few Android smartphones or tablets will ever get a virus. They’re just not common. The virus outbreaks that do occur typically take place in developing countries where thousands of users use devices without Google Play Services installed.
If you think you have a virus, you could just be seeing advertisements on the sites you visit. These advertisements often flash brightly and say things like “VIRUS DETECTED ON YOUR DEVICE”, but they don’t actually indicate your device is infected.
Instead, some virus maker just wants to convince you that your device is infected so you download the app, which then infects your virus for real – or just charges you fees.
In fact, the only real way to get a virus on an Android phone or tablet is to install it from outside the Google Play store.
The most common way the average user gets a virus is through game emulators. Certain game emulators can be downloaded from the Play Store, but most games are copyrighted and must be downloaded outside of the store.
Ultimately, your best defense against Android viruses is to only download apps from the Google Play Store.
If you absolutely must download an app from outside the Play Store, then do your research: look for online reviews and verify the identity of the site to make sure it’s legitimate.
So you still think you have a virus? Let’s carry on.
Step 1) Put Your Phone or Tablet Into Safe Mode
Safe Mode prevents and third-party apps from running – including any viruses.
To restart into safe mode, just press the power button to launch the power off menu, then hold the power button to bring up an option to restart in safe mode.
That process works on most Android devices. If it doesn’t work, then Google “How to restart [your Android device] into Safe Mode”.
Step 2) Find the Virus
Once you’ve booted into safe mode on your Android, open the Settings menu and look for Apps or Application Manager.
Look under the Downloaded apps section to try to find your Android virus. If you have legitimately installed a virus app on your device, then it will be listed under this menu.
Step 3) Tap and Delete the Virus
Once you’ve found the virus from the Application Manager, tap the virus and tap Uninstall.
Occasionally, if you’re dealing with a really nasty virus, then you might find the virus’s Uninstall button is greyed out. This occurs when the virus has given itself Device administrator status.
If that’s the case, and you can’t delete the virus, then move onto step 4.
Step 4) Disable Admin Permissions for the Virus
If the virus has given itself admin permissions, then you’ll need to go to Settings > Security > Device Administrators.
Under this menu, you’ll see a list of all of the apps on your Android that have administrator status. Uncheck the box next to the app you want to remove.
Then, return to the Apps menu and remove that app.
Step 5) Restart your Device to Get Out of Safe Mode
Once you’ve done all that, it’s time to restart your device to take it out of safe mode. Your virus problem should be gone!
Remember: Viruses Are Rare
It’s important to remember that very few Android devices actually get viruses. They’re incredibly rare – especially in developed countries where users almost exclusively download apps from the Google Play Store.
Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to know how to remove an Android virus. You never know when it could affect you.