How to remove malware from Android phones

How to remove malware from Android devices

The chances of downloading a malicious app on your Android phone aren’t as slim as you may think. Mobile devices are becoming the dominant way for people to access the internet which makes them valuable targets for hackers and cyber attacks.

The traditional objective of malware is to generate revenue. With the aide of malware, cybercriminals can steal your information, force you to view advertisements, force you to download apps and use your phone for other unknown purposes.

Information stolen from your phone may be sold on the dark web or used by the party who stole it. Hackers also use ransomware to lock your phone and encrypt the files on your phone including images and videos. Once access to your phone is restricted and the files have been encrypted, the hackers insist that you pay a ransom in order to recover your phone and data.

Signs your Android phone has malware

Android phones can become infected with different types of malware that can hide in plain sight including worms, Trojans, ransomware, and spyware. Your phone may show signs of malware in the following ways:

  • Your phone¬† is slow
  • Apps take a long time to launch
  • The battery drains faster than expected
  • You notice advertisements
  • Your phone has apps you’re not familiar with
  • Unexplained data usage
  • Large phone bills

How to check if your Android phone has malware

A good way to check if there is malware on your Android phone is to run a scan with a reputable security program. But, before you go out and install any antivirus you can find there are a few things you should be cautious about. Some mobile antivirus programs may be malicious or provide you no benefit so it is important to avoid mobile antivirus software that appears suspicious or that you are not entirely familiar with. Antivirus software that provides you with no benefit may overlook vulnerabilities and provide you with a false sense of security.

Some of the best mobile security programs to check if your Android phone has malware are Norton and Malwarebytes.

How to remove malware from your Android phone

If you think there is malware on your Android phone, the first thing you should do is stop the malware from causing any further damage. Follow these steps to remove malware from your Android phone and reduce further complications caused by malware

Step 1: Turn off your phone and restart in Safe mode

power options

    1. Press and hold the power button until the power options appear.
    2. Tap Power off.

power off safe mode android

  1. Press and hold Power off until it changes to a green shield and says Safe mode.
  2. Tap Safe mode to restart your phone in Safe mode.

Step 2: Uninstall malicious apps

There’s a chance that some apps may be malware or may have been infected by malware. If you think an app on your phone is malware or has been infected with malware delete it immediately. Removing the app may not completely remove the malware from your phone, but it may be helpful in preventing future damages.

It is recommended to visit your settings and uninstall apps that you do not need and that you are not familiar with.

Step 3: Install a mobile security app

A good mobile security app can detect and remove malware from your Android phone. Some of the best choices when it comes to mobile security are Norton and Malwarebytes.

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.