www.makeuseof.com Can You Get Malware on an iPhone? Here's How to Check
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  • 08/04/2022
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www.makeuseof.com Can You Get Malware on an iPhone? Here's How to Check

iPhones are well-known for their security measures: the protection Apple offers against malware is one of the main reasons people buy these devices.

However, your phone is not 100 percent immune to threats—and malware on your iPhone is a threat you should beware of.

So, how do you check your iPhone for a virus or malware? Let's find out.

Can iPhones Get Viruses?

iPhone malware is rare, but your phone always has a risk of getting infected. And if this happens, you could be in big trouble. Some problems, such as draining your battery, are a nuisance; others, including identity theft, are much more serious.

Nonetheless, you can still minimize the damage if you suspect that the worst has happened. First and foremost, you need to know how to detect malware on an iPhone.

How Does Malware Affect iPhones?

Like computer viruses, malware often begins by impacting your iPhone’s performance.

You might notice your battery going down faster than before. Granted, other factors can impact your battery life—such as colder weather and the age of your device. But if you notice that you need to charge your device more frequently, it's wise to check for malware on your iPhone.

Related: Key Tips to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone

When your phone becomes impacted with malware, you may also notice that it overheats quicker. iPhone malware causes your device to work harder—hence why it gets hotter.

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Drained batteries and phone overheating are both significant annoyances. But unless they become relentless, you probably won’t think about updating your phone straight away. A more severe consequence of an iPhone virus is that your phone eventually stops working.

Malware on your iPhone can also impact more than just your device. Whoever wanted to infect your phone could also use the software as a way to steal your passwords and other sensitive data. They could then either sell these or use them to hack into your accounts.

How to Check Your iPhone for a Virus or Malware

Now you know that your device can get infected, it's worth looking at how to check your iPhone for a virus or something else. If you're suspicious, try the methods listed below.

1. Look for Unfamiliar Apps

One of the easiest ways to check your iPhone for a virus or malware is by determine whether you have any unfamiliar apps on your phone. By this, we mean that you should look for apps you’ve neither downloaded nor are default Apple ones.

Swipe through your home screen files and folders to identify these. If you can’t see any but still aren’t sure, look in your iPhone settings and see if you can find anything you’re not familiar with.

www.makeuseof.com Can You Get Malware on an iPhone? Here's How to Check

2. Check if Your Device Is Jailbroken

The amount of customization you’ll get may make jailbreaking your phone seem appealing. But doing so can be a bad idea for many reasons. Beyond voiding your warranty, you’ll also make you more susceptible to iPhone malware.

Related: iPhone Jailbreaking, Explained: The Pros and Cons of Voiding Your Warranty

Finding out whether your phone is jailbroken isn’t easy. One possible sign, however, is the presence of an app called Cydia. This is an app only available on jailbroken iOS devices.

3. Find Out if You Have Any Large Bills

When your iPhone has malware, you might find that your phone has used more data than you expected each month. Naturally, if you’ve surpassed your plan’s allowance, you’ll have a larger bill.

Another possible sign that malware exists on your iPhone is if you notice incoming or outgoing calls that you didn’t make or remember receiving. Again, these calls can lead to bills that are larger than expected.

You can check how much data you’ve used by going to Settings > Mobile Network and scrolling down to Mobile Data. Alternatively, you can check with your mobile network provider.

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4. Look at Your Storage Space

You can check for malware on your iPhone by looking at your storage. Photos, videos, and similar might take up much of your device's space, but if your remaining storage space is significantly smaller than it should be, your iPhone could have a virus.

To look at your storage space, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

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How To Get Rid of a Virus on Your iPhone

If you’ve tried out all the above and still suspect that your device has malware—or you explicitly find malware your iPhone—taking immediate action is vital. Here are some of the easiest ways to get rid of a virus on your device.

1. Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone can, in some cases, get rid of malware.

How you’ll do this depends on the device you have. For instance, if your iPhone has a home button, hold this and the on/off button. Do so until your phone turns off and back on again.

If your iPhone doesn’t have a home button, you can still force restart your iPhone and put it into Recovery Mode.

If restarting your iPhone doesn’t work, try restoring to factory settings instead. This will delete your data, however, so make sure you have a back-up somewhere (and that the malicious app isn't reinstalled when you reinstall the back-up).

2. Delete Unusual Apps

If you notice apps that shouldn’t be on your phone, deleting them should help to rid your phone of malware. To do this, you can hold on to its icon until the individual app is highlighted then click Remove App.

You might also want to remove anything you didn’t download from the App Store. Going forward, you should refrain from downloading non-App Store apps.

3. Clear Your History

Clearing your history on Safari might help to clear a virus on your iPhone. Moreover, you protect yourself from having passwords and other data stolen.

To clear your history, go to Settings > Safari. Then, scroll down to Clear History and Website Data.

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4. Use Security Software

If you have antivirus installed, this should be able to detect and delete any malware on your iPhone.

Even if you haven't invested yet, downloading a decent security suite is very much worthwhile, and it can still scan for viruses.

5. Replace Your iPhone

If you’ve tried all you can to rid your iPhone of malware, you might need to replace your device.

Since most cases of malware are user-made and involve acts like jailbreaking, you might find that Apple’s warranty doesn’t cover your issue.

Now You Know How to Check Your iPhone for a Virus

So now you know how to check your iPhone for a virus or malware. It's rare, but your phone can get infected—as many users have found out in the past. Knowing what to do if the worst happens is crucial, and this article will have given you some useful starting points.

If you suspect that your iPhone has malware, try these tips to check for and remove the software before it causes significant damage. And once you've gotten rid of it, try to minimize the chances of something similar happening again.

Understanding Malware: 10 Common Types You Should Know About Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorDanny Maiorca(211 Articles Published)

Danny teaches MUO's readers about improving their photography and creativity. He's been part of the team since 2020 and is also one of our editors.

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