How to remove malware from your iPhone or iPad


The chances of malware making its way onto your iPhone or iPad are not so high, as long as you exercise some common sense. Installing apps from the App Store, for example, will minimize your risk as Apple has very strict safeguards in place. Nevertheless, an iPhone and an iPad are still mini computers, and as such, are still susceptible to viruses and malware. So what do you do if you suspect your iOS device has malware? Here’s how to remove it.

Read more: Apple iPhone 13 buyer’s guide — everything you need to know

QUICK ANSWER

Removing malware from your iPhone or iPad requires factory resetting your device and restoring to a previous clean version from iCloud backup (if possible). Once the device has been restored, ensure you have automatic updates switched on to prevent future vulnerabilities.


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Factory-reset the device

ios ipad widgets

Mark O’Neill / Android Authority

If you suspect that you have malware on your iPhone or iPad, the quickest and most effective way to deal with it is by wiping the device and restoring it back to factory settings. However, do not back up your device to iCloud first, otherwise, you will be uploading the malware too. That might seem obvious to some of you, but others may start the backup process out of habit and not think about what they’re doing. If you really need to ensure you don’t lose any precious photos or videos that are not already backed up to iCloud, email them to yourself.

Another important thing to remember is that you must disable Find my iPhone before starting the wiping process. Otherwise, you are going to have a lot of serious difficulties later when restoring your phone.

Once you’ve done all that, start the wiping process by going to Settings–>General–>Transfer or Reset iPhone. Select Erase all contents and settings. There’s another option called Reset but it only resets some options — it doesn’t wipe the entire device and if you have malware, wiping the entire device is what you need to do anyway. You’ll then see this screen.

iphone reset

Mark O’Neill / Android Authority

If you still want to proceed with the wiping process, tap the blue Continue button and follow the on-screen prompts. It may take some time, depending…

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