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Can iPads Get Viruses

Do you need antivirus for your iPad? That depends on how you use your device and whether or not you like to escape Apple’s “walled garden” by installing unapproved apps and tweaks. It’s nearly impossible for an iPad to get a virus if you don’t jailbreak it. If you only use your device as intended—and only download apps from the App Store—then you can rest assured that you will rarely have to worry about your iPad becoming infected.

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Types of threats to iPad

So, jailbreakers, be warned, your iPad is at risk of being infected by malicious code if you hack it to install unauthorized software. According to Lifewire, there are currently no known virus infections built for iPads, but there are other threats to be aware of. Some of the most common types include:


Spyware is a type of virus that is built specifically to spy on unsuspecting users. Its creators try to hide it away as best as possible, so you may never notice it’s there, but while it’s quietly running in the background, spyware transmits the data it has captured from your device.


As you might expect, it is your sensitive personal information that hackers are most interested in. This can include usernames and passwords, banking information, credit card numbers, messages and call logs, contact information, and photos and videos. Spyware may also track your location and use your microphone to always listen in.


If you suspect someone might want to spy on you, like your girlfriend or a spouse, run your device through an Anti Spy scan to identify spyware. With Clario AntiSpy you can detect and get rid of spyware that might have been planted to spy on your online activity.


AntiSpy can also protect your privacy by making your iPad more secure, notifying you of data breaches, and allowing you to mask your real location. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download Clario AntiSpy and get a subscription to create an account
  2. Click Anti Spy scan, then Start scan
Clario AntiSpy showing the Anti Spy Scan screen. Click Start Scan to check your system for spyware threats.

3. Wait till Clario AntiSpy finishes the scan


4. In case Clario detects spyware, follow the on-screen instructions to get rid of it


5. Enjoy being safe online!

Adware scams

You will have noticed that almost all free-to-play games are filled with ads. That’s because those ads can make game developers a lot of money, so it’s no surprise that attackers have found a way to create viruses that cause your device to display pesky ads all over the place. This is called adware, one of the most common types of threat, according to DataProt.


Some adware infections are cleverly designed to track your browsing history and other activities so that they can find out what you’re interested in and serve ads that you’re more likely to click on. Others try to go unnoticed for as long as possible by carefully placing their ads where you might normally see banners and popups, like on websites and in free games.


Malware is short for malicious software. It is often used as a blanket term for all types of viruses, including those outlined in this article. However, malware is, more specifically, a type of infection designed to cause destruction. In addition to stealing data, malware may cause your device and apps to become unstable and act strangely.


You may notice that apps refuse to open, your device becomes incredibly sluggish, and you may experience frequent crashes. And, like with spyware, you may see increased data usage and poor battery life as malware quietly sends data back to its creators.


Phishing is an incredibly common scam that almost many of us have experienced at least once. This is when attackers attempt to steal information from you by sending emails and text messages or by making phone calls, in which they pretend to be a reputable company, bank, or someone you can trust, such as a support representative.


Emails and messages may be designed to look like the real thing or a phisher might direct you to a website that appears to be genuine at first glance. They might ask you to log into an online platform, such as PayPal, or to confirm your payment details for a refund. They then capture any information you enter and use it to steal money or your identity.

How to check for viruses on iPad

There are some common signs you can look out for if you want to check for viruses on iPad, or if you’re worried your device may have been infected by malicious software. These include:

  • Your iPad exhibits strange behavior, like abnormal battery drain and crashing
  • Finding unrecognized or suspicious apps that you did not install
  • Seeing notifications that warn you about ransomware and other threats
  • Seeing frequent pop-ups that include ads
  • Being redirected to different sites when browsing the web or performing searches
  • Finding unrecognized websites in your favorites or bookmarks
  • Your friends tell you they’ve received strange emails or messages from you
  • Being notified of unexpected logins on email, social media, and other accounts
  • Money is taken from your bank or online money services like PayPal
  • Your usual passwords for online services no longer work
  • You find out you have been involved in a data breach.

How to remove virus from an iPad

If you spot any of the signs listed above, or you’ve noticed other odd behavior that makes you suspect your device may have been infected by a virus, it’s advisable to act quickly to remove it. If you’re wondering how to remove a virus from an iPad, try these tips:

  • Remove suspicious apps: If you find any apps in your App Library that you do not remember installing, remove them immediately.
  • Perform a software update: Check for new iPadOS updates and install any that are available. Apple patches security vulnerabilities with every software release, which could prevent malware and viruses from gaining access to your device. Note that this will remove your jailbreak if you have a jailbroken iPad, which will remove any unauthorized software, including malicious applications.
  • Restore from an earlier device backup: If you regularly back up your iPad, which is always recommended, restoring to an earlier backup that is free from infection will make your iPad safe again.
  • Perform a factory reset: If restoring from a backup isn’t possible, the last resort is a complete factory reset. This will remove all apps and data from your iPad and leave you with a fresh iPadOS install that’s free from viruses, malware, and other unauthorized applications.

If you have an infection that claims to have locked up your data until you pay a fee to release it, check out our guide on how to get rid of ransomware on iPad.

How to protect iPad from viruses

Apple makes iPadOS incredibly secure, so it’s not difficult to protect your iPad from viruses, malware, adware, and other nasty infections. It’s much harder for hackers to successfully gain access to iPadOS than it is a desktop operating system. Nevertheless, to minimize your risk, we recommend following these steps:

1. Manage application permissions

When a new app is installed on your iPad, it will ask for permission to access certain things, such as your location. Only provide permissions that you’re comfortable with, and that are absolutely necessary for the app to function correctly. For instance, there should be no need to allow a free game to access your location. You can also check and change permissions for apps you already have installed by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPad
  2. Tap Privacy & Security
  3. Tap each of the permissions listed and disable any apps that have access to permissions they should not need.
The Settings app on iPad showing the Privacy & Security section. Tap on each of the permissions to change them.
Step 1. Tap Privacy & Security in Settings to see all permissions
The Settings app on iPad showing the Privacy and Security section. Tap on a permission, then use the toggles to enable or disable each app.
Step 2. Use the toggles to enable or disable permissions

2. Choose a more secure passcode

A more secure passcode makes it more difficult for someone to get into your device if they ever get their hands on it. Try to make your passcode difficult to guess—don’t use combinations like “1234” or your year of birth—and consider using a six-digit code if you’re currently using a four-digit code.

3. Do not jailbreak

Jailbreaking your iPad might allow you to install some neat apps and tweaks that Apple doesn’t allow in the App Store, but it also compromises the security of your device and leaves it open to attack. It’s much easier for attackers to infect a jailbroken device. Leave your iPad on stock iPadOS software and only install apps from the App Store.

4. Secure browsers

Apple now allows third-party browsers to be installed on iPadOS, but some are more secure than others. We recommend sticking with Safari for its built-in security features, but if you must use another option for whatever reason, be sure to use one that takes security seriously, such as DuckDuckGo, Brave, and Firefox.

5. Secure the lock screen

As we mentioned above, six-digit passcodes are safer than four-digit ones, but any passcode is better than none at all. Secure your iPad’s lock screen so that only you can unlock it. This will prevent others from being able to access your apps and data if your iPad is lost or stolen.

6. Update and backup

Almost every iPadOS update ships with improvements that patch vulnerabilities and enhance the security of your iPad. Keeping your device up to date makes it more difficult for attackers to exploit old security holes in earlier iPadOS versions. You should also back up your device on a regular basis so that if you do have to perform a reset, you don’t lose any data.

7. Use antivirus

Many iPad owners believe their device does not need antivirus software, but you can never be too careful. A good antivirus app allows you to perform an iPad virus scan to ensure that if you do happen to pick up a virus or malware, you’ll be notified about it right away. The quicker it is identified and removed, the less damage an infection can cause.


Can iPads get viruses? While it’s true that iPad security is stronger than that of other devices, it’s not impossible to pick up an infection—especially if you jailbreak. If your device becomes infected, you may notice odd behavior, like abnormal battery drain, frequent crashing, and popup ads. You may also find suspicious apps that you did not install.


You can protect your device by keeping it up to date, managing application permissions, setting a more secure passcode, and using virus protection for iPads. If you’re concerned you may be a victim of a spyware infection, you can use Clario AntiSpy to identify and remove potential spyware apps and bolster your privacy protections.

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