How to remove a virus from an Android phone

Your worst fears have been confirmed and all signs point to a virus infection, but it doesn’t mean the phone is doomed. Here are some methods that will help you get rid of this annoying pest in an instant.

Run a scan with a trusted antivirus

Open Google Play and download an antivirus application. But do your homework first. Keep in mind that there are antivirus applications even under the stones and that they may contain malware applications full of viruses. Only install apps from reputable developers, and if you have a hint of doubt that the app may be fake, Google it to be sure.

Also check out third-party labs like  AV-TEST  and  AV-Comparatives . These organizations conduct independent tests with antivirus applications and publish the results. (The free  Avast Mobile Security app for Android  always scores highly.)

Avast Security Pro

Manually remove virus from phone

In cases where the antivirus software is ineffective for some reason, you can try uninstalling the malware manually …

Step 1 : put the phone in  safe mode . Doing so prevents applications, including malware, from running. Some Android phones allow  rebooting in safe mode , while others require a few more steps  to do the same.

Step 2 : When safe mode is on  , go to  Settings  >  Applications  >  Downloaded applications . Look for the apps that you think shouldn’t be there. The best thing is to first look at the apps you installed just before the phone started behaving strangely.

Step 3 : When you have found the apps, tap  Uninstall  to remove them permanently. Often times, applications with viruses disable the uninstall button. If that’s the case…

Step 4 : go to  Settings  >  Security  >  Device administrators . See if the app is activated in the list. If it is, click Deactivate  to remove access privileges. Now go back to the app in Downloaded apps . The Uninstall button   should now be tappable.

If none of this works, the last resort is to do a factory reset. Remember that doing so removes all applications and their data from your phone, so it is always a good idea to make regular backups of your data.

To reset an Android phone …

Step 1 : Go to  Settings  >  Backup & reset  >  Factory data reset . Now tap on  Reset phone .

Step 2 : enter your password when necessary to continue.

Step 3 : restart the phone.

Step 4 : Restore the backup you made before installing the problematic application.

Make device protection a priority

While it is always advisable to exercise due caution, you should consider adding all possible layers of security. An up-to-date antivirus app like  Avast Mobile Security for Android  can go a long way toward ensuring that your device is never infected. Not only does it scan files and applications in real time for malware, it disables unnecessary tasks to speed up speed.

Lastly, ignore third-party app stores and manual installation of APK files from common websites like the plague. These are the preferred methods of hackers and cybercriminals, so the chances of installing something harmful grow exponentially.

A sneak peek at the third installment of Avast’s guide to Android apps … have you ever noticed that the phone was hotter than normal? It could be a sign of a pressing problem hidden beneath the surface: battery problems, a malware infection, or perhaps a hardware failure. In the third part of our guide, we will explain all the reasons why the phone may look like it is going to melt and how the temperature can be lowered.