Remove Virus on Android Smartphone – The number of Android apps infected with malware in Google’s Play store nearly quadrupled between 2012 and 2014. Make no mistake about it, there is such a thing as Android malware, cyber criminals create malware-spreading apps in devious attempts to steal personal details and advertisers use it as a marketing channel by bundling pushy ads with apps. In the first case, the users’ mobile security is clearly compromised. In the second one, the ad-app bundle is seldom mentioned, so users who download it unknowingly face a mobile privacy threat.
The most common Android malicious apps will do at least one of the following:
- Collect and send GPS coordinates, contact lists, e-mail addresses etc. to third parties
- Send SMSs to premium-rate numbers
- Subscribe infected phones to premium services
- Record phone conversations and send them to attackers
- Take control over the infected phone
- Download other malware onto infected phones
- “Push notifications ads” delivering alerts to a phone’s notification bar – when the user swipes to pull down the notification bar from the top of the screen, an ad shows up under Notifications.
- “Icon ads” inserted onto a phone’s start screen – when the user touches the icon, it usually launches a search engine or a web service.
How to remove a virus from Android
Step 1. Put your phone or tablet into Safe mode. This prevents any third-party apps running, including any malware. On many devices you can press the power button to access the power off options, then press and hold Power off to bring up an option to restart in Safe mode. If this doesn’t work for your device then you should Google ‘How to put [your model name] into Safe mode’ and follow the instructions. When in Safe mode you’ll see ‘Safe mode’ at the bottom left of the screen.
Step 2. Open your Settings menu and choose Apps, then make sure you’re viewing the Downloaded tab. If you don’t know the name of the virus you think has infected your Android phone or tablet, go through the list and look for anything dodgy-looking or that you know you haven’t installed or shouldn’t be running on your device.
Step 3. Tap on the malicious app (clearly it won’t be called ‘Dodgy Android virus’, this is just an illustration) to open the App info page, then click Uninstall. In most cases, this is all you need to do to remove the virus, but occasionally you might find the Uninstall button is greyed out. This is because the virus has given itself Device administrator status.
Step 4. Exit the Apps menu and tap on Settings, Security, Device Administrators. Here you’ll find a list of any apps on your phone or tablet with administrator status. Simply untick the box for the app you want to remove, then tap Deactivate on the next screen. You should now be able to return to the apps menu and remove that app.
Step 5. With the virus now off your Android phone or tablet, all you need to is restart the device to take it out of Safe mode. Now that it’s working correctly it’s a good time to back up whatever important data you have stored on the device, and install an Android antivirus app to protect you from any future viruses that come your way.