How to remove iPhone virus

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Lluís Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
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Remove the jailbreak

As just mentioned, using a jailbroken iPhone increases the risk of encountering malware or, much more simply, applications that can compromise the correct functioning of the device. If you do not consider the jailbreak essential for the use you make of your "iPhone by", do not think twice and delete it, I assure you that it is very easy!

To remove the jailbreak, you need to connect your phone to the computer and perform a DFU mode restore via iTunes. If you are using a Mac equipped with a version of macOS equal to or later than 10.15 Catalina, instead of iTunes, which has been removed from newer Apple operating systems, you must use the Finder. In any case, the steps to change do not change.



Provide, therefore, to connect the iPhone to the computer and start iTunes or the Finder (by selecting the device name from the side menu). Then, depending on the "iPhone by" in your possession, you have to proceed in a different way to activate the DFU mode, which allows you to restore the device completely, bypassing its bootloader.

Su iPhone X and later, iPhone 8 / 8 Plus and later and iPhone SE 2020 and later, to activate DFU mode, press quickly Volume +Volume -Power (the right side key) while the phone is on. The right side button must be held down until the screen turns black.

When the screen goes black, you have to release all the keys, then you have to hold them down Power+Volume – for 5 seconds, release the button Power, continue to hold Volume - for about another 5 seconds and wait for the message about the presence of a device in recovery mode detected by the computer to appear.


On older iPhone models, to activate DFU mode, you must turn off the device; then you have to hold down the key Power of the "iPhone by", wait about three seconds and also hold down the button Home. Finally, you have to wait another 10 seconds with both keys pressed, after which you have to release the key Power and you have to keep holding the key Home for another 8 seconds. If you have a iPhone 7 or  7 iPhone Plus, instead of the Home button (which is not mechanical and therefore cannot be used when the phone is switched off), you must use the button Volume - located on the left side of the smartphone.

The procedure is to be performed correctly when the iPhone screen remains black. If the screen turns on, it means that the device is in recovery mode and not in DFU mode, so everything must be repeated.


To conclude, you just have to click on the button for restore iPhone agolable on your computer and start restoring the device. The procedure involves deleting all data on the iPhone and installing the latest version of iOS.

Delete non-App Store apps


Jailbreaking isn't the only way to install unofficial apps on iPhone. There are some hacks that allow you to, in fact, install apps from sources other than the App Store without resorting to the complete unlocking of iOS, usually by visiting particular pages in Safari or connecting the phone to the computer.


Well, almost needless to say that these apps also represent a potential risk e, consequently, I strongly urge you to delete them. If you don't know how to uninstall apps from iPhone, read my guide dedicated to the topic.

Update iOS

Prevention is better than cure, right? So try to prevent security risks instead of looking for a way to delete iPhone virus.

The best way to be calm about the security level of iOS is update the iPhone operating system regularly using the automatic update function provided by the latter.

To check that the automatic update function is active on your "iPhone", go to the menu instead Settings> General> Software Update (where you will be notified of any updates to install) and bring up Yes the option Automatic updates. More details about this can be found in my guide on how to update iOS.

Remove "suspicious" VPN profiles

Some iOS malware can exploit VPN configuration profiles (the same ones used by legitimate apps like TunnelBear and the like) to spy on user activity and perform other malicious operations.


In addition to keeping iOS updated, therefore, if you suspect that a malware has hit your iPhone, go to the menu Settings> General> VPN and delete any profiles you are not sure you installed yourself.

If you can't delete "suspicious" profiles from the VPN menu, try going to the screen Settings> General> Reset iOS and "tap" on the item Reset Network Settings. This way all network settings will be reset to factory state and the VPNs should be cleared (you will need to re-enter the passwords of your Wi-Fi networks as well).

Reset iPhone

Desperate times call for desperate measures! If your "iPhone by" no longer works as it should and you want to restore it to its factory state, go to the menu Settings> General> Reset iOS and "tap" on the item Initialize content and settings. In this way, all apps and data will be deleted from the "iPhone by" leaving room for a 100% "clean" system.

Alternatively, you can also connect your smartphone to your computer and perform a restore via iTunes / Finder. I recommend, before resetting everything, make a backup of the iPhone as I explained to you in my guide on the subject!

Do not install anti-virus for iPhone

In conclusion, I want to give you a very simple piece of advice that I still find useful: do not install antivirus per iPhone! Currently iOS does not need antivirus or antimalware and all applications that pretend to be such are just "crap".

A different argument should be made for those applications, such as Avira, which are produced by famous software houses specialized in computer security but are not antivirus for iPhone: they are anti-theft apps, applications to verify the security of Wi-Fi networks etc. (these can be useful, as opposed to the infamous anti-virus and anti-malware for iOS).

  1. Search for "XcodeGhost" on Google if you want to know more about the "sneaky" applications coming to the App Store. ↩︎


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