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How to Get Rid of Viruses and Malware Threats on your iPhone or iPad

Despite the widely held belief that iOS devices are immune to malware, more than 2,500 apps in the App Store have been infected with a malware called XcodeGhost since 2015. Although it’s very unlikely for an iPhone to get a virus, cybercriminals come up with new ways to infiltrate your devices every day. Take advantage of Clario to run your device through malware detection software.

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Different types of malware can get to your iPhone or iPad through social engineering scams and spyware. This is especially true for jailbroken devices. Bypassing Apple’s built-in security features is like leaving a gate wide open for hackers to install their malicious tools.

So, without further ado, let’s find out how to remove viruses and malware from an iPhone and iPad.  

How to remove viruses from an iPhone and iPad

If you have detected malware infection on your iPhone or iPad, don’t panic. You can try several methods to get rid of viruses on your iPhone or iPad.  

Restart your iPhone or iPad  

If your device starts glitching or working slowly (the first sign of some malware infections), it may be because you have too many processes running in the background. Restarting a device doesn’t delete malware, but it halts these processes and thus speeds up your iPhone or iPad.  

Restart your iPhone in three simple steps:

  1. Press and hold the power button and the volume up button for 3–4 seconds until the “slide to power off” knob appears
  2. Slide the knob to the right to turn off the device
  3. Press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears to turn on the device

On your iPad, repeat the same steps. Also, it takes roughly 30 seconds for the iPad to turn off, so don’t worry if nothing happens after you slide the knob.  

Clear browsing history and cache

If you’ve restarted your iPhone or iPad, and the problem didn’t go away, it’s time to try clearing your browsing history and cache. Whenever you do anything online, your browser “memorizes” it, including sites you visit, passwords you enter, and so on. Malware can also “hide” there.  

So, by clearing your browsing history, you erase all information about your online activity, preventing hackers from getting ahold of it, and you can remove malware at the same time.


Safari is the go-to browser in iOS, and most iPhone users prefer it, so all the further instructions use Safari as an example; instructions may vary slightly for other browsers.

How to clear your browsing history and data in Safari:

  1. Select the Settings icon on your home screen
  2. Select Safari
Select Safari in the iPhone Settings app

3. Scroll down to Privacy & Security section and select Clear History and Website Data. A pop-up will appear, asking you to confirm the action.


4. Tap on Clear History and Data


5. You will see another pop-up asking if you want to close all tabs. Choose Close Tabs or Keep Tabs

Clear History and Data

Voila! You’ve just cleared your browsing data and history.  

Delete suspicious apps

One more way to manually delete malware on your iPhone is to look through the Apps Library to spot and delete apps you don’t remember downloading. To find a list of all apps stored on your iPhone, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll down, and you will see downloaded apps after iOS default apps
  3. Go through them and delete the ones you hadn’t downloaded by yourself.

Also, malware apps tend to hide behind known apps or be hidden from the home screen and Apps Library. You will need malware detection software, like the Clario Antiwalware solution to get rid of hidden malicious apps.

Restore a previous backup to a device

With the iCloud backup function, you can restore a previous backup state to an iPhone or iPad, so that your device will function as it did before infection. It’s important to remember when you noticed changes in your device behavior. Once you recall the time, restore your device to before that period. Let’s do this together:

  1. Select the Settings icon on your home screen
  2. Select General
  3. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone

4. In the pop-up window, select Erase all Content and Settings

Erase all Content and Settings

5. Tap Continue and enter your passcode


6. Choose between Backup Then Erase and Erase Now, depending on what you want to do


7. Select Restore from iCloud Backup when the device displays the Apps & Data screen


8. Sign into iCloud and choose the iCloud backup you want to restore  


By taking these steps, you’ll delete malware from an iPhone and iPad that infiltrated them after your last backup.


In case you don’t remember when your iPhone or iPad started acting out, or you don’t want to take chances, try Factory Reset.

Factory reset your device

If you’ve tried all of these solutions and still didn’t get rid of the malware, a factory reset is the last resort. A factory reset deletes all of your content, and we mean all of it. Every app, setting, and configuration will disappear (except Apple’s default proprietary apps). If you have critical data or information on your device, consider saving it elsewhere first.  


For a factory reset, complete all the steps from the previous method, except this time, you won’t proceed to Restore from iCloud Backup. Instead, you’ll choose Erase all Content and Settings. You’ll have a like-new iPhone or iPad when your device restarts.

How to protect your iPhone or iPad from online threats  

Whether you’ve experienced a hack or not, here are several reminders for how to secure your device.

  • Protect your devices with iOS security software. Why worry about getting malware if you can protect your devices with bulletproof iOS security software, such as Clario — an all-in-one cybersecurity solution offering ad blocking, a powerful VPN, and 24/7 live assistance?

Besides, it’s easy to use. For example, it takes a few simple steps to activate our ad blocker:  

  1. Install Clario and create an account
  2. Tap on Browsing
  3. Toggle on the ad blocker

This will prevent any ads from displaying, so there’s no risk that you’ll click on a malicious ad accidentally.  

  • Don’t jailbreak your iPhone or iPad. Jailbreaking means evading Apple’s built-in security features to download apps unavailable in Apple’s App Store. It isn't worth risking getting malware and jeopardizing your personal data. Check if your iPhone or iPad is jailbroken with Clario’s jailbreak monitor.
  • Update iOS on time. With every update, Apple developers fix bugs and glitches that hackers can exploit to infiltrate your devices. Make sure you freshen up your iOS as often as the new updates come out and keep an eye on app updates too.
  • Stay updated with industry news. Whether Apple experiences a data breach or there’s a new cybersecurity threat, it’s best to stay in the loop, so you know when to act. Luckily, there’s no need to subscribe to cybersecurity newspapers or blogs, Clario app will notify you if your device or your personal data is under threat. Set up your data breach monitor in the Clario app to ensure you get threat notifications.

Make sure to follow these simple guidelines; your iPhone or iPad will be like an impregnable fortress for cybercriminals.  


Let’s break down a few other questions you may have with regard to iPhones and malware.  

How can I tell if I have a virus on my iPhone?

Cybercriminals have ways of infiltrating your device covertly. You don’t suspect a thing until all hell breaks loose and your personal information is compromised. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms and take action in a timely manner:

  • Your iPhone suffers in terms of performance and speed
  • You notice unknown or strange-looking apps installed on your iPhone
  • Your default browser changes on its own, and you get a lot of pop-up ads
  • You can’t explain running out of memory or memory usage constantly increasing
  • Your battery overheats or dies out quicker than expected.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it's time to check your iPhone for malware and remove it.  

Can iPhones get viruses from websites?

Yes, they can. Cybercriminals study and analyze iOS characteristics to exploit its vulnerabilities and get users’ data. In 2019 Google’s researchers found a few hacked websites that were attacking iOS for two years, flying under everyone’s radar. The infected websites were installing spyware on iPhones to steal users’ personal data, such as passwords and private messages.


After researchers discovered the hacked websites, Apple developers patched up those vulnerabilities in an iOS update. We can never know how much-undiscovered malware is out there. Be careful and protect yourself in advance.  

Why do I get virus warnings on my iPhone?

Apple doesn’t send out virus warnings and alerts to users. If a virus warning suddenly pops up on your screen, it’s most surely a virus scam, trying to force you to act on it. Whatever you do, don’t tap on the links in the pop-up, or even use the Close button — it might lead you to phishing sites.  


What should you do then? Click the link to learn how to get rid of these fake virus scams.  


It’s true that Apple products have significantly less chance that malware will infect your device. But let’s be real; no one is completely safe in the digital world, with cybercriminals using more clever ways to get their hands on your personal data.


So, you need to stay alert at all times. Update your iOS regularly, don’t jailbreak your iPhone, choose the best iOS security software to give the malware no chance, and stay safe out there!

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