If your Android phone or tablet behaves strangely, there is a real possibility that it may have taken a virus, perhaps as the new dangerous Loapi trojan. Our guide wants to show you how to remove Android viruses on your device, as well as how to avoid getting infected by dangerous malware.
Viruses on Android mobile devices are rare, but they do exist. They are installed almost exclusively via malicious apps and the best way to avoid taking an Android virus is to keep yourself in the safe boundaries of the Google Play Store.
When Google learns of a dubious app it will automatically remove it from all affected devices. This is exactly what happened in January 2018, when it discovered 60 Android apps that exposed children to the risk of pornography.
In the event that your device is filled with malware, in this guide we will explain how:
- Put it in safe mode.
- If necessary, remove the administrator status of the malicious app.
- Uninstall the app.
If these attempts fail, a factory reset should remove the bug once and for all, although it is best not to do so unless a backup is performed on your Android first.
Before starting the procedure to remove Android viruses, it’s worth noting that your Android phone or tablet probably might not even have a virus. It may also be that you are seeing an ad that wants to convince you to download an app because your device could be infected.
To prevent further threats, you should install an antivirus app on your phone or tablet. You will find the best in this article on the best free antivirus for Android mobile devices.
If you are convinced that malware has spread to your device, continue reading the instructions to remove it.
Where do Android viruses come from?
The first reason why an Android virus has infiltrated your phone or tablet is because you’ve downloaded an insecure app.
This is true for all major Android viruses to the headlines in recent years: Gunpoder, Ghost Trojan, Googlian and Godless have spread this way, while Mazar sneaks through a text message asking you to download the Tor browser ( suppose you do not want to download the Tor browser).
The recent Loapi is also installed by Google Play. The Loapi trojan is a new and annoying threat that is installed via antivirus app that a user thinks of installing to protect their device. The consequence of this virus is that it overloads the device, from overheating it to zeroing the battery; it can also send text messages on your behalf, subscribe to paid services without your knowledge, allow attackers to execute HTTP requests for DDoS attacks and undermine the Monero cryptocurrency.
Skygofree is another Android malware, powerful spyware installed on your device via download links on fake websites, which present themselves as official sites of well-known brands, such as mobile operators.
Android viruses have different purposes: they run malicious processes on the device, some steal personal information and others download applications, which may not always be harmful. Whatever the purpose, you definitely do not want them and would like to remove Android viruses on your device.
How to avoid Android viruses and malware
1. Do not install apps outside of Google Play unless you know what you’re doing: this feature should be disabled by default, but to check you can open the Settings menu on your phone or tablet, go to Security, and check if the Unknown sources option is disabled. If you install an app outside of Google Play, be sure to install it from a legitimate source and not from a fake Web site that serves as an official source.
2. Avoid cloned apps: 99 percent of the time you’re safe when you download apps from Google Play, but the malicious code was also found in these apps. Avoid downloading what looks like apps cloned by unknown developers or apps that simply do not do what they say they do.
3. Check app permissions: Regardless of where you are installing an app, you should check the required permissions before pressing Install. Never allow an admin permission of the app device to prevent it from being deleted. Always ask yourself if a video player really needs to see your contacts. You can also check reviews online and browse the developer website to see if it’s an authentic operation or a cowboy business.
4. Keep Android updated: the latest version of the Android operating system may not necessarily be available for your phone or tablet, but still check if it is updated to the latest version. The next time you upgrade your operating system updates (for example, Nokia) consider doing it directly from your phone’s official website. Check out our guide on how to update Android.
5. Install an antivirus app: you do not need to install an antivirus on Android, but it can give you peace of mind if you’re worried about viruses and often the apps also have other useful features. Keep in mind that Android’s antivirus sometimes reports false positives, but if you know an application is OK, you can feel comfortable. Our favorite antivirus option is AVG Antivirus which you find in this article.
How to remove Android virus
Follow these steps to remove Android Virus on mobile devices. Put your phone or tablet in safe mode (recovery mode). This prevents third-party apps from running, including any malware.
This mode is different for each Android device. On many devices, just press the power button to access the shutdown options. Let’s see the standard procedure:
- Press and hold the power button for a few seconds.
- The Power off on the display will appear. Hold for a few seconds to unlock the menu.
- Click OK to start the device in safe mode.
On Samsung devices, try this other procedure:
- Turn off the device.
- Turn on the device and when the brand logo (the animated one) appears, select the low volume key until the safe mode starts.
If this does not work for your device, you should use Google and search for your phone “How to enter Safe Mode” and follow the instructions.
When you’re in safe mode, you’ll see “Safe Mode” at the bottom left of the screen. Open the Settings menu and choose Apps, then be sure to view the Downloads tab.
It is possible that you know when your device has started to behave abnormally and you can usually associate it with a new app that you may have downloaded.
If you do not know the name of the app that you think has infected your Android phone or tablet, check the list and look for something suspicious or that you know you have not installed or should not be running on your device.
Touch the malicious app to open the app information page, then click Uninstall. In most cases, this is all you need to do to remove the virus, but sometimes you may find the Uninstall button disabled. This is because the virus gave itself the status of administrator of the device.
Exit the App menu and tap Settings, Security, Device Administrators. Here you will find a list of all the apps on your phone or tablet with administrator status.
Just uncheck the box for the app you want to remove and tap Deactivate on the next screen. You should now be able to go back to the app menu and remove the app.
Now that you’ve discovered how to remove Android Virus from your Android phone or tablet and you’ve managed to delete it, all you have to do is reboot the device to exit safe mode.
Finally everything works correctly. This is a good time to back up all important data stored on your device and install an Android antivirus app to protect you from future viruses.