How to Remove Malware From Your iPhone or iPad in 2022
You might’ve noticed your iPhone or iPad has been acting strangely. To remove hidden malware, the quickest fix is to scan your iOS device with a mobile security app. The scanner will instantly pinpoint the exact location of any malicious files and show you how to remove it safely.
Out of all the apps I tested, Norton 360 takes the #1 spot with its powerful scanner, which easily flags malware, phishing attacks, scam texts, and even personal data leaks. It comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can try Norton 360 on iPhone or iPad risk-free. I tested the refund policy myself and it was quick and easy to get my money back. My request was approved within minutes over 24/7 live chat and the money came back to my account in just 5 days.
Quick Guide: 3 Easy Steps to Remove Malware From iPhone and iPad
- Get a mobile security app for iOS. Norton 360’s powerful iOS scanner effectively detects malware and other cyberthreats.
- Launch the app. The app will automatically run a scan on your iOS device to check for any malicious files.
- Follow the prompts to fix any security risks. I suggest you keep the app running in the background for constant protection from future online threats.
The Best Malware Removal Apps for iPhone and iPad (Tested in January 2022)
- Unmatched online security with Web Protection and Wi-Fi Security
- Includes an integrated VPN and Dark Web Monitoring
- Works on iOS 12+ (iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch)
- 24/7 customer support through live chat, phone, and email
- 60-day money-back guarantee policy
Norton 360 effectively identifies, blocks, and removes all dangerous files, downloads, and links on iOS. As soon as you launch the app, it automatically scans your device, WiFi network, and SMS texts for any security risks. It even monitors the Dark Web to check if any of your personal information has been leaked in a data breach. If there’s suspicious activity, you’ll see an alert on the home screen — simply click on the notification and Norton will show you how to remove the threat immediately.
However, prevention is still the best way to stop online attacks. This is where the Web Protection feature and built-in VPN work together to protect your iOS device in real time. The Web Protection feature constantly scans websites beforehand, alerting you to any potential danger before you click. During my tests, I opened a series of malware files and the Web Protection feature even blocked them all (including a link that Safari allowed through).
The VPN encrypts your connection so no one can spy on your internet activities, such as hackers and advertisers. There are 30 global servers and unlimited bandwidth, allowing you to stream HD videos and download large files. It’s a no-logs VPN, so none of your browsing history is ever tracked, stored or shared with third parties.
If you’re regularly connecting to public WiFi on your iOS device, the WiFi Security feature alerts you to any unsecured networks. I tested this feature in multiple locations with free WiFi, including my local coffee shop. I was impressed to find that Norton automatically scanned the WiFi network beforehand and provided me with a security rating. It even connected me to the VPN! After returning home, I noticed the VPN automatically turned off.
I kept Norton 360 running in the background for a week and I didn’t notice any slowdown or battery draining on my iPhone. At just over 92MB, the app doesn’t take up much storage space.
There are multiple plans to choose from:
- Norton Mobile Security (1 iOS device license but doesn’t include the VPN or Dark Web Monitoring)
- Norton 360 for iOS (1 iOS device license with VPN and Dark Web Monitoring)
- Norton 360 Deluxe (3 device licenses for iOS, Mac, and PC with full suite of premium features)
Since I own an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, I opted for Norton 360 Deluxe as it’s the best value for money and the strongest level of protection against malware. It even comes with a password manager, 50GB of cloud backup, parental controls, and a firewall for Mac.
Norton 360 Deluxe has a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, which is double the normal amount of time offered by competitors. When I tested the money-back guarantee to make sure it works, it took only minutes to get my refund approved over 24/7 live chat. The money returned to my bank account in just 5 days.
- Web Protection and VPN keeps you safe while browsing
- Account Privacy tool alerts you to any data breaches
- Compatible with iOS 12+ (iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch)
- 24/7 customer support through phone and live chat
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Bitdefender Mobile Security is a lightweight app for securing your iPhone and iPad. At only 85MB, this is the smallest file size on the list. It’s an ideal choice if you don’t have much storage space or you don’t want an app packed with features you’ll never use.
A system scan begins as soon as you launch the app, quickly identifying and troubleshooting any malware or other security risks. It checks your iOS version, device, and WiFi network.
Similar to Norton 360, Bitdefender blocks any suspicious websites, phishing links, and downloads through its Web Protection feature. The Account Privacy tool scans the internet to see if your personal information has been compromised in any data breaches. Bitdefender also has a VPN, which encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address (ideal for using on public WiFi networks).
However, that’s all there is — Bitdefender doesn’t have as many features as Norton 360 or TotalAV. If you choose the free version, you’ll have even less features. The free version only has the system scan, Account Privacy tool, and a VPN (with a 200MB daily limit). The Web Protection feature and unlimited VPN is only available on the premium plan.
While the free version is decent if you just want to do a basic checkup, I suggest you install Bitdefender’s premium plan for ongoing protection from malware and other threats. You can even try it for yourself as Bitdefender comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. When I tested the refund policy, I called customer support to ask for a refund and it got approved a few minutes later. My money was back in less than a week.
- WebShield defends against malicious files and cyberattacks
- Includes anti-theft tool, data breach check, photo manager, and more
- Dedicated app for iOS 9.0+ (iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch)
- Customer support available via live chat and email
- 30-day money-back guarantee
TotalAV prompts you to run a scan as soon as you open the app. During my tests, I downloaded several malware files onto my iPhone before getting the TotalAV app. When I launched TotalAV Mobile Security, it immediately scanned and detected every file in less than 3 minutes.
However, TotalAV is double the size of Norton’s iOS app at 198 MB. This is because it’s packed with internet security features, such as WebShield (blocks suspicious links and unsecured websites), a VPN with unlimited data, data breach checker, anti-theft tool, photo manager and battery monitor feature.
TotalAV’s Mobile Security only includes 1 device license. If you have multiple smartphones or you want to protect your computer, I suggest you opt for the Total Security package. It includes all the features and works on up to 6 devices at the same time.
TotalAV is more expensive than Norton 360 and Bitdefender. However, all plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try TotalAV Mobile Security on your iOS device risk-free. I put the money-back guarantee to the test by asking for a refund over live chat. While a representative tried to troubleshoot my problems and get me to stay, I still got my refund approved. The money returned to my bank account in less than 1 week.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Malware on iPhone or iPad
- Remove suspicious apps — If you recently downloaded a new app without running a background check, it’s best to remove it. Not all apps are safe (even if you do see it on the App Store).
- Update to the latest iOS — If your iOS is outdated, your device is more prone to security holes. Older iOS versions have been around long enough for hackers to exploit them.
- Restart your iOS device — This is a simple but often effective method.
- Clear browsing data — Unfortunately, dangerous files can often linger when stored by your Safari app.
- Restore from iCloud backup — This will erase any malware and restore your device to its infected-free state.
- Do a factory reset — Giving your iPhone or iPad a clean state is the most effective to remove malware. However, it also removes your apps, configurations, and personal files. This is a last resort since there’s no way of restoring your previous data (unless you’ve backed up your data).
Tips to Protect Your iOS Device From Malware
Employing a proactive approach goes a long way towards avoiding these security breaches. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Keep your iPhone or iPad updated — Don’t ignore your update reminders. Regular updates allow you to stay up-to-date with Apple’s latest security fixes.
- Regularly backup your files — This prevents you from losing all your files in case you need to reset your iOS device to remove malware. Luckily, Norton 360 Deluxe comes with 50GB of cloud storage so you can easily backup your personal data.
- Enable 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) — When you switch on 2FA, your iOS device requires 2 methods of verification when logging in (like an email and passcode). This adds an extra layer of security.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links, attachments or messages — A quality app can alert you as soon as a potential security risk arises, so you don’t accidentally click on a file packed with hidden malware. I recommend Norton 360 Deluxe for iOS as it flags and blocks malicious files in real-time.
- Stay away from shady apps — In most cases, malware infection through an app happens when you download an unauthorized third-party app outside of the App Store.
- Be careful when using public WiFi — Unlike your home or office network, you can’t always trust a public network’s security. Hackers can easily intercept your data in a public WiFi connection. If you can’t avoid it, you should encrypt your internet traffic with a VPN.
- Don’t jailbreak your iPhone or iPad — Apple has developed a “sandbox” security measure that prevents each app from working beyond its designated space. This “sandbox” approach means that every app works in isolation, unable to infect or infiltrate others. However, jailbroken iOS devices bypass Apple’s built-in security protocols and expose your iOS device to third-party risks.
FAQs: Malware Removal on iPhone and iPad
Can I get malware on my iPhone or iPad?
It’s uncommon, but still possible. If you think your iPhone or iPad has been infected, the easiest way to remove malware is to download a mobile security app and run a scan. This will instantly tell you where the malicious file is located and how to remove it safely (without losing all your personal data).
Apple has built a strong defense against malware, but iOS isn’t immune to phishing scams, adware, or spyware — and hackers are always looking for new ways to load it onto your device. These days, you can get a malware infection by simply clicking on the wrong file or downloading an unknown app. Dangerous links can even appear in trusted places, like your iMessage folder or Safari browser.
How do I detect malware on my iPhone or iPad?
Spotting malware right off the bat can be tricky, unless you run a scan with a mobile security app like Norton 360. Many types of malware can be sneaky enough not to appear conspicuous — at least until it’s too late.
However, there are still many warning signs to look out for to know if your device is infected. This includes crashing apps, unwanted pop-up notifications, increased data usage, high phone bills, overheating iPhone or iPad, and fast battery drainage. You might even start seeing unfamiliar apps you’ve never downloaded on your home screen. Friends and family could also start complaining about strange messages coming from your email or phone number.
Spotting these warning signs isn’t meant to be conclusive evidence, at least not by themselves. If you want to guarantee your peace of mind, the most effective approach is to invest in a mobile security app. To prevent future infections, you can leave it running quietly in the background to prevent future infections and attacks.
Can I get rid of malware on my iPhone for free?
It’s possible to get rid of malware for free. However, there are always going to be instances when malware infections get too complex. In this instance, you might want to consider a dedicated malware removal app like Norton 360.
Protect Your iPhone and iPad From Malware Infections
Your iPhone holds a lot of valuable data and the last thing you want is to compromise your private messages, contact information, photos, passwords, or emails. To protect yourself from future malware attacks, I recommend getting a mobile security app for iOS.
Norton 360 offers advanced protection against iOS-specific threats. With Norton running in the background, you don’t have to worry about security breaches and data theft. It also ensures that your apps are up-to-date to minimize vulnerability. In addition, you can use Norton on multiple platforms like Mac and PC, giving all of your devices the security it needs.
It’s risk-free to download Norton 360 Deluxe with the 60-day money-back guarantee. My own experience with the refund process went smoothly. The approval came in minutes over 24/7 live chat and the money came back into my account in only 5 days.