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How to Remove a Virus from Your Android Phone or Tablet

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Malicious software and viruses have always been a worry for PC and laptop users, but more recently, malware has become a major problem for smartphone and tablet users. Android users can unwittingly install a virus on their device when they download third-party applications, causing security issues and compromising sensitive data. Removing the virus as soon as possible will help to minimize any potential damage.

Identify the Infected Application

In order to remove a virus from your Android device, you first need to determine its origin. Look through your installation history and downloads folder to see if there are any unfamiliar or suspect files. If you are unable to identify the application responsible, you may need to remove the most recently installed applications, one at a time, until you find the right one.

Switch to Safe Mode

Depending on the type of virus infecting your phone or tablet, you may not be able to disable or uninstall software while using your device in its regular operating mode, as malware running in the background can block certain user actions. However, safe mode enables you to gain more control over your device and the software running in the background. Switching to safe mode prevents malware and third-party applications from running, making it easier to disable and uninstall them.

Uninstall the Application Responsible

In the Apps section of your Android’s settings, navigate to the Downloaded tab and look for the application responsible for infecting your device. Click the Uninstall button to remove the software. If you see any other apps that appear suspect, or that you don’t remember installing, consider removing them at the same time. If the virus has assigned administrator status to the software, the Uninstall button will be unavailable and you will need to use the following step to remove the offending app.

Change the Administrator Status

Navigate to the security settings for your phone or tablet and look for the Device Administrators tab. Any software with administrator status will be listed here, next to a check box. Locate the software you want to remove, uncheck the box and click Deactivate. You should now be able to remove the software from your device.

Malware can compromise your data and leave your device open to attack. Following these simple steps should remove viruses and malicious software from your Android phone or tablet. However, it’s usually best to use an antivirus program to scan your device and ensure that all malware has been removed.