Despite a lot of positive aspects, the Android operating system has a significant disadvantage, which Google has not managed to cope with so far. And this minus comes, which is surprising from the main advantage of the OS — from its openness. In addition, Android allows you to install apps not from the official store – Google Play Store, which can not be done, for example, on the iOS platform. This allows unscrupulous developers to release various types of malware, which are mainly aimed at stealing the user’s personal data. However, real viruses for Android are very rare. Each of them becomes an event that is written about in both specialized and mass media. Of course, there are a billion Android devices sold in the world today, and their security concerns hundreds of millions of people! But it still happens from time to time. So it would be nice to know how to remove the virus on Android.
What kind of viruses are there?
All malicious apps for Android can be divided into 4 kinds. Here are the most common ones:
- Classic Trojans They are as old as the world, but they still function successfully. At the moment when the smartphone is infected with this virus, hackers get administrative rights. From this point on, they can perform any remote actions with the device: sending SMS on behalf of the user, making calls, managing the device, installing software, all access codes, passwords, and so on.
- SMS-flooder They were once very popular on file-sharing sites that contain free apps. As soon as the device owner downloads the program, messages are automatically sent from their number to paid short numbers. Or, as an option, paid subscriptions are automatically issued for some non-existent content.
- Spyware This type of software is designed to record the user’s phone conversations or collect the user’s personal data such as phone numbers, Bank accounts, and credit cards, usernames, passwords, and other confidential information.
- Adware It floods your smartphone with unnecessary ads. At the same time, the spam stream is often so powerful that it becomes impossible to use the device as advertising obscures everything else.
How to find out if your Android has a virus?
After a virus settles on your device, it may start to “behave strangely”. There are a number of indirect signs that indicate that your smartphone has unwanted software. To determine whether a virus has entered your Android, analyze the behavior of the device:
- Sharp increase in traffic without any noticeable reasons;
Check the usage of data for previous months. If you notice sudden spikes in traffic, and especially if you were working on your smartphone as usual during this period, there is a chance that your gadget is infected.
- Pop-up ads appear on the screen;
This is probably the most obvious sign of viruses on your device. You may suddenly start receiving pop-ups, notifications, reminders, and supposedly “system” warnings. Malware can add bookmarks to the browser, website shortcuts to the home screen, and so on. Also, viruses are very “like” to open strange sites in your browser independently, regardless of your request. In addition to slowing down your phone, these intrusive notifications can also open up loopholes to install even more malware.
- Battery drains fast or device overheats in standby mode;
As you may have guessed, all this unauthorized background activity can affect the battery life, which will cause its charge to “melt” before your eyes. So if this happens, this is another sure sign that unwanted “guests” have appeared on your gadget. In addition, the smartphone can also get very hot at the moment when it is just lying in your pocket or on the table, although no powerful applications and games are running on it.
- Money on your mobile account runs out without warning;
In this case, we are talking about the balance of your mobile phone. If out of the blue you start receiving suspicious SMS messages, and money is slowly being debited from your balance, this is a sure sign that you were subscribed to paid services without your knowledge, or messages were sent from your number to paid numbers.
- Unknown apps installed in your device.
Keep an eye on the apps you have installed. If you see something suspicious and unfamiliar, immediately check what kind of app it is. Moreover, some programs can disguise themselves as well-known brands. For example, “clones” of WhatsApp apps regularly appear. So be vigilant.
How to remove viruses from Android?
The easiest way to remove a mobile virus is to use the antivirus installed on Android. Run a full scan of the phone’s flash memory. if a malicious object is detected, select the “Delete” option and save the neutralized copy in quarantine (in case the antivirus got it wrong and took something safe for the virus).
Step 1: Enable Safe Mode on Andorid
To remove malware from Android, we should activate Safe Mode. This will block third-party apps and help you diagnose the problem faster. To enter Safe Mode:
- Press and hold the Power button until the Power off icon pops up on the screen.
- Next, tap and hold Power off for a few seconds until see Reboot to Safe Mode message.
- Tap OK, and your phone will restart in Safe Mode.
- To exit Safe Mode, just restart your device.
Step 2: Remove administrator privileges from an app?
Next, we will check if there are any unknown apps on your device that have administrator rights. The point is that if we don’t do this, we can face the following issue: “This app is a device administrator and must be deactivated before uninstalling.” To avoid this, we should disable admin rights from malicious apps. Due to the fact that the menu in your gadget may differ depending on the model and Android version, we will use a built-in search feature:
- Type “Device admin apps” in the search field to access the list with admin privileges
- Find unknown apps and disable administrator rights by clicking the checkbox to the right of the app
Step 3: Uninstall malicious app on Android?
Now we can proceed directly to the removal of the malicious application:
- Open the Settings on your smartphone and select the Apps section.
- You will see the list of all the apps found on your Android smartphone or tablet. Find the app you want to uninstall and tap on its name.
- You will be asked to confirm that you want to uninstall the app. Tap OK, and Android will uninstall the app.
Step 4: Remove pop-up virus from Chrome on Android:
Pop-up notifications from ceratin sites can be blocked in the browser. Here’s how it’s done in Chrome:
- Open the Chrome app.
- To the right of the address bar, tap More.
- Choose and open Settings
- Tap Site settings and then find unwanted pop-up.
- Turn of pop-up from Allowed to Block.
Step 5: Remove virus from your phone via computer:
It helps out when the mobile antivirus does not cope with its task even in safe mode or the device’s functions are partially blocked. To do this, you must first connect your mobile device to any PC via USB. If you have a flash drive, then the PC should have 2 partitions: internal phone memory and flash drive memory. To start scanning, open the context menu of each disk and click “Scan for viruses”.
What to do if the virus is not removed
If the above operations did not lead to anything — the malware still makes itself felt, and if the operating system has stopped functioning normally after cleaning, you will have to resort to one of the radical measures – reset your Android device to factory settings. There are two ways to do this:
- Factory reset via System menu
- Hard reset via the Recovery menu
Any of these methods will restore the device to the same state as after purchase — it will delete all apps, personal settings, files, and other information (messages, calls, and so on). So if possible, transfer your phone book to your SIM card and copy other valuable items to external media. It is advisable to do this manually — without using special programs, so as not to accidentally copy the virus. After that, proceed to the “treatment”.
Depending on the specific Android smartphone, access to this option may differ slightly. Therefore, if this method does not work for you, we recommend that you contact the manufacturer's website for device-specific instructions
- Make sure your device is fully charged to go through the reset process.
- Go to the Settings and select System.
- Tap Advanced to expand the menu.
- Select Reset options.
- Tap Erase all data and let the phone do its thing.
Depending on the specific Android smartphone, access to the Recovery menu may differ slightly. Therefore, if this method does not work for you, we recommend that you contact the manufacturer's website for device-specific instructions
A hard reset of settings will help you deal with malware if it is not removed by any of the listed methods or has blocked login.
- Turn off your phone.
- Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons simultaneously until the menu screen appears
- Press the Volume Down button to highlight Recovery Mode.
- Press the Power button to select it.
- The phone will restart and show an Android robot icon.
- Press and hold the Power button, then press the Volume Up button while still holding the Power button.
- Using the Volume buttons select Wipe data/factory reset and press the Power button.
- Confirm by selecting Yes and let the phone do its thing.
- After the data is cleared, select Reboot system now and tap OK.
The entire process will take no more than a minute. After all these actions, your Android phone or tablet will restart and restore its factory settings. You will get the device as it was when you first started it.
How to prevent infection
Objectively, the best way to protect yourself from virus infection is to prevent malware from appearing on your Android mobile device. This is not so difficult if you follow a few rules:
- Use only the app that is available in the official market for Android devices, or is offered for download from the official website of the developer. It is better to refuse any kind of hacked programs and applications that came from dubious sources.
- Keep your phone’s operating system up to date. Updates sent by the developer not only add and improve functionality but also close detected vulnerabilities.
- Be sure to install a mobile antivirus program. If any installed program downloaded from a dubious source requires you to disable the antivirus for its operation, immediately delete this application and refuse to install it.
But if the problems could not be avoided, some virus software or Trojan still penetrated the smartphone running Android OS, use one of the methods presented to combat them. Always start with antivirus software. If this does not give the desired result, proceed to more serious measures, up to flashing. Follow the security rules and avoid questionable apps installed on Android smartphones.
No one is immune from infection with viruses of the gadget, moreover, up to a certain point, you may not even suspect that you have a malicious program installed. Follow the recommendations described in this article and always try to use only proven and safe apps.