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iPhone Virus Warning: How to Remove Fake Apple Security Alerts

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How to Get Rid of Fake Apple Security Alerts on iPhone (2022)

Safely get rid of fake security alerts on ios and ipados, 1. close the malicious tabs right away.

  • Bring up the control center (swipe down from the top corner of the screen or swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen) and then tap the airplane mode icon to turn it on.

turn on airplane mode on iPhone

  • Next, open Safari and then tap the Tabs icon at the bottom right corner of the screen. After that, tap on the “X” button at the upper right corner of the specific tab to close it.

close the tab showing iPhone virus alert warnings

2. Delete Shady Website Cookies

  • Head over to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad -> Safari -> Advanced.

Access Safari settings on iPhone

  • Now, tap Website Data . Next, tap on Edit at the top right corner of the screen.

remove individual website data and cookies from Safari on iPhone

  • Next up, select the specific cookie you want to get rid of and hit the Delete button. Do not forget to tap Done at the top right to confirm the action.

remove specific website cookies from Safari to get rid of iphone virus warnings

3. Block All Safari Popups

  • Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad -> Safari and then make sure that the toggle next to Block Pop-ups is turned on.

Block All Safari Popups

4. Block Fraudulent Website Warnings

Safari comes with a built-in feature that allows you to block fraudulent website warnings. Therefore, make sure to take advantage of this security feature to keep the fake website warnings at a fair distance.

  • To get going, open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad -> Safari and then ensure that the toggle next to Fraudulent Website Warning is enabled.

Block Fraudulent Website Warnings

5. Use Reader Mode to Keep Unwanted Ads and Popups Away

  • Open Safari on your iPhone or iPad -> navigate to the webpage where you want to enable the Reader Mode.
  • Next, tap on the aA button at the bottom of the screen and choose Show Reader.

Use Safari reader mode to avoid ads and remove fake apple security alerts

  • Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad -> Safari . After that, scroll down to the Settings for Websites section and tap Reader .

Customize Safari Reader Mode on iOS

  • Next, turn on the toggle for All Websites .

Automatically Enable Safari Reader Mode for All Websites

6. Block Shady Websites

  • Head into the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad -> Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions.

Block Shady Websites to avoid iphone virus warning

  • Now, ensure that the toggle for Content & Privacy Restrictions is turned on. Then, tap Content Restriction and select Web Content .

use content restrictions to get avoid and remove fake apple security alerts

  • Next, choose the Limit Adult Content option. Under the Never Allow section, tap Add Website and then paste the link of the site that you want to block.

limit adult websites on iphone

Going forward, these websites will be blocked on your device. Later, if you ever want to make changes, return to this very Screen Time setting and then do the needful.

  • With iOS 15 or later, you can install Safari extensions to further enhance the functionality of the stock web browser. Safari extensions like popup blockers can help you take on annoying popups with ease.

Report Fake Security Alerts to Apple

Keep fake apple security alerts away from your iphone or ipad.

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Block pop-up ads and windows in Safari

Learn how to block pop-up windows and handle persistent ads on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Pop-ups can be ads, notices, offers, or alerts that open in your current browser window, in a new window, or in another tab. Some pop-ups are third-party ads that use phishing tactics such as warnings or prizes to trick you into believing they’re from Apple or another trusted company, so that you’ll share personal or financial information. Or they might claim to offer free downloads, software updates, or plug-ins to try to trick you into installing unwanted software.

Use these tips to help manage pop-ups and other unwanted interruptions.

Avoid interacting with pop-ups

Unless you’re confident that they are a legitimate ad, avoid interacting with pop-ups or webpages that seem to take over your screen.

If you see an annoying pop-up ad in Safari, you can go to the Search field and enter a new URL or search term to browse to a new site. If you don’t see the Search field on your iPhone or iPad, tap the top of the screen to make it appear.

Some pop-ups and ads have fake buttons that resemble a close button, so use caution if you try to close a pop-up or ad. If you're not sure, avoid interacting with it and close the Safari window or tab.

On your Mac, you can quit Safari, then press and hold the Shift key while opening Safari. This prevents Safari from automatically reopening any windows or tabs that were open.

Update your software

Always install the latest software updates for all of your Apple products. Many software releases have important security updates and may include improvements that help control pop-ups.

The safest way to download apps for your Mac is from the App Store. If you need software that isn’t available from the App Store, get it directly from the developer or another reliable source, rather than through an ad or link.

Check Safari settings

On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Safari.

Turn on Block Pop-ups.

Turn on Fraudulent Website Warning.

On your Mac, open Safari and choose Safari > Settings (or Preferences) from the menu bar.

In the Websites tab , you can configure options to allow or block some or all pop-ups .

In the Security tab , turn on the setting to warn when visiting a fraudulent website.

If adware or other unwanted software is installed on Mac

If you see pop-ups on your Mac that just won’t go away, you might have unintentionally downloaded and installed adware (advertising-supported software) or other unwanted software. Certain third-party download sites might include software that you don’t want along with the software that you do.

If you think that you might have malware or adware on your Mac:

Update to the latest version of macOS. If your Mac is already using the latest version, restart your Mac. macOS includes a built-in tool that removes known malware when restarting.

Check your Applications folder to see if you have any apps that you don't expect. You can uninstall those apps .

Check the Extensions tab in Safari settings to see if you installed any unnecessary extensions. You can turn extensions off .

If you continue to see advertising or other unwanted programs on your Mac, contact Apple.

How to safely open software on your Mac

How to recognize and avoid phishing and other scams

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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Answered: Can iPhones Get Viruses?

What to know.

  • Can an iPhone get a virus? Not exactly, but you should still be careful about the websites you visit and apps you download.
  • You cannot scan your iPhone for malware, but you can troubleshoot the issues you are experiencing.
  • If all else fails, you can erase your device and restore it from a backup.

ios safari virus warning

Can iPhones get viruses? Not in the traditional sense, but in rare cases, your iPad or iPhone can become infected with malware. Luckily, you don't need an antivirus app or a virus cleaner to get rid of it. We'll go over how to improve your iPhone security, from preventing viruses to how to get rid of a virus on iPhone. Below, we'll cover how to check for viruses on your iPhone and remove them.

  • How to Keep Your Phone Secure
  • How to Check iPhones for Virus or Malware
  • How to Get Rid of a Virus on Your iPhone

Can iPhones Get Viruses? How to Keep Your Phone Secure

It's easy to revel in the promise of security and believe our iPhones are safe; after all, the Apple ecosystem has a great track record for security and defense against electronic invasion of all kinds. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated,  “iPhone, iPad, and Mac are the best tools for work, offering the world’s best user experience and the strongest security." But iPhone owners still need to do their part to keep their devices and their data secure, and not just rely on Apple to keep malware at bay.

Malware vs Viruses: What's the Difference?

Malware is short for malicious software and includes Trojan horses, spyware apps, and viruses. Viruses are programs that replicate themselves once they've invaded.

iPhone Life

So can an iPhone get a virus? The iPhone is unique in that all apps must be downloaded through the App Store, which is heavily monitored by Apple to ensure all apps are safe and trustworthy. As a result, a program cannot download and install itself onto your iPhone and then begin running automatically without you knowing about it first.

However, other kinds of malware do exist, for example, spyware, which sends your activity to a third party, or adware, which shows you extra and unwanted advertisements. While viruses are rare on iPhones, fake virus warnings are fairly common (see Virus Warning Pop-ups, below). If you follow the tips below, it's very unlikely that your iPhone will be invaded by malware of any type.  

How to Tell If Your Phone Has a Virus: Virus Warning Pop-Ups

Sometimes you might see a pop-up that says something like, "Warning! Your iPhone has been compromised by a virus! Scan now!" This is a malicious advertisement—a popup ad—and clicking on it will redirect you either to a malicious website or to an App Store page. Thanks to the iPhone's security, these pop-ups cannot access any data on your device or install any programs. There isn't too much that these pop-ups can do except scare you and then trick you into volunteering sensitive information like credit cards. It's best to just close the browser tab or app, and follow the procedure for getting rid of virus warning pop-ups to keep your device safe.

Jailbreak? Don't Do It

Sometimes there's a temptation to jailbreak an iPhone so that you can use software and apps outside of the Apple ecosystem. While it's an understandable urge, jailbreaking is not for the faint of heart. If you are inexperienced or at all unfamiliar with how the process works, jailbreaking can end up doing more harm to your device than good. Not only does it void your warranty, it also removes certain security protections to allow the jailbreaking software to run. When this happens, your device becomes more susceptible to malware, so you have to take extra precautions to not install malicious or infected apps.

Not only that, but once you've jailbroken your phone, you won't be able to take it to the Apple Store for help without first wiping the device, which can be a tedious process. For most iPhone users, any convenience you may add by uploading unauthorized software and apps is likely far outweighed by the risks that come with it, like the possibility of identity theft, and all the countless hours it will take to change passwords, call banks and credit card companies, etc. In the end, it's probably better if you just don't jailbreak.

Install Apple’s Software Updates for the Latest Security

It can be tempting to wait on updating your operating system: it seems like you just got comfortable with the last version! There's a very good reason to make the switch as soon as possible, though. Operating system updates are more than just fancy new features; they're also a way for Apple to fix bugs and keep security at the highest possible level. When a security breach or even the possibility of one is detected, Apple programmers get to work tightening up the chinks in your iPhone's armor. Waiting to switch to the latest version of iOS leaves your iPhone vulnerable to malware, so do that software update as soon as you can, every time, especially when there's an iPhone security response update. These updates allow Apple to push the latest security fixes ASAP.

Avoid iPhone Malware & Viruses from Apps

One of the easiest ways to keep viruses and other malware off of your iPhone is to make sure you are only purchasing and downloading apps from reliable developers. Apps don't have to be terribly malicious to do things you might not want, like bombard you with notifications and ads, or track your device's location. Before purchasing or downloading any app:

  • Make sure the app has a professional feel: The images should be smooth and unpixelated; spelling and grammar should be correct in the descriptions.
  • Check for app reviews: Are they positive? Is there a large enough number of reviews to indicate that this is a legitimate app that customers are using successfully?
  • Do you recognize the app developer? Do they have a link to a company website you can follow to see this app, as well as their other products?
  • Trust your intuition—sometimes an app just feels off, or maybe it's a "too good to be true" situation, like a free app that would usually cost at least a few dollars.

If you're still unsure, contact Apple Support with your question, and wait to download the app until your concerns have been addressed. Apple's App Store has historically been a secure platform for purchasing approved apps from vetted developers, as they work quickly to remove apps after they are discovered to be counterfeits or to include compromised code .

Even if the app itself is made with the best intentions, hackers can take the alternate route of infiltrating an app developer's network to steal information gleaned from App Store customers. This is why, beyond making sure that you're only downloading from trusted app developers, you'll want to check your privacy settings for each app. Many apps have far more access to your iPhone than they really require to perform the function they're designed for. So turn off permissions for any unnecessary access to your device.

If you want to know how to get rid of a virus on your iPhone, your first step should be to review the apps that you have installed on your iPhone. Uninstall any suspicious apps, apps you don't use anymore, and apps that you don't remember installing.

iPhone Malware: Avoid Suspicious Links, Phishing & Robocalls

I think we've all had the experience by now: a questionable download in an email from a friend, a robocall that urges prompt action on a past-due account, an email from your insurance company requesting that you follow a link to update your account information.

If your friend sends you an email or message on social media with a link or download that seems unusual, text or call to make sure your friend is really the one who sent that message before downloading or opening anything. If your friend's email or social media account has been hacked, the hacker may be sending messages to their contacts without their knowledge in an attempt to spread the malware.

Similarly, don't call numbers left in your voicemail, or follow links emailed to you, even if they seem important or official. If your credit card company or bank is trying to contact you, call the number on the back of your card or visit the usual customer service website you've used in the past and report the call or email. If it's a genuine message, you'll be able to deal with the issue through customer service; if it's a fraudulent message, you've saved yourself a lot of trouble!   

Back Up Your iPhone for Data Security

Just as important as updating to new versions of iOS is getting into the habit of regularly backing up your iPhone. If you're wondering, " How do I back up my iPhone ," you can back up your device with iCloud , with your  Mac or Windows computer , or both. Backing up your iPhone preserves your photos, contacts, and other important data. An iCloud backup will be stored in the cloud, and a local computer backup will be saved on your computer; having both is a double assurance that if your iPhone picks up malware, or is lost or stolen, you'll still have access to all the information it contained. Also, you can use your backups to restore your phone if necessary; we'll get to that in a bit.

How to Tell If Your Phone Has a Virus

How to scan iphone for viruses.

So you suspect your iPhone has picked up some malware. If you're wondering how to scan your iPhone for malware, we're going to refer to Chris Hauk, a consumer privacy champion over at  Pixel Privacy : "As you'll see when searching for antivirus in the App Store, most of the results are for apps that offer Wi-Fi scanners, dangerous website alerts, and such. Actual virus-scanning apps simply don't exist in the App Store. This is because of the way iOS (and iPadOS) handle apps, forcing each one to run in its own sandbox. This prevents apps from being able to infect other apps or system files." This makes it very difficult for viruses to operate on your iPhone, but it also makes scanning for viruses on iPhone equally difficult, since third-party apps can't scan other apps on your device.

The good news is that if you've followed the steps for virus prevention outlined above (not jailbroken your iPhone, updated iOS as soon as possible, and avoided suspicious apps, links, and downloads), then it's unlikely that malware has infected your iPhone. Just in case, though, let's check your iPhone for viruses and go over your phone's symptoms to see if maybe malware is causing the problem. While you can't scan your iPhone for malware, here's how to know if your phone has a virus:

iPhone Malware: Pop-Ups

If you're experiencing lots of pop-ups when browsing Safari on your iPhone, that's not necessarily a symptom of malware. Make sure you've turned on  block pop-ups in your Settings, then see if the problem diminishes. If pop-ups keep, well, popping up with the same frequency, you may have an issue. You can also check out how to get rid of fake Apple Security alerts .

iPhone Malware: Apps Crashing

Sometimes apps crash, but that should be a rare occurrence. If one or more of your apps are repeatedly crashing, make sure to  update apps . If a particular app keeps crashing, try deleting and downloading it again. If one or more apps still keep crashing, maybe malware is at play, after all.

iPhone Malware: Data Usage Spikes

It's a good idea to   have at least a general idea of your typical data usage month over month, in the same way that it's best practice to keep track of your car's gas mileage. This is because an increase in your data usage can indicate a problem in the same way a dip in your gas mileage can. If your iPhone's data usage is suddenly spiking, it may be an indicator of malware burning through data in the background of your device.

iPhone Malware: Battery Drain

Another idea, this one suggested by Chris Hauk , is to keep an eye on your battery. If you find it suddenly failing much sooner than expected, that may be an indication of background activity from a new app or a recent website—activity that may be nefarious. Check out our article about saving battery on your iPhone for how to identify which app is the culprit, and how to limit background activity.

iPhone Malware: Microphone & Camera Use Indicators

If you see  orange and green dots at the top of your iPhone screen , they are there to show you when your microphone and camera, respectively, have been used recently. Apps that use your microphone or camera without your permission should have their permissions revoked or should be uninstalled.

How to Get Rid of Viruses on iPhone

How to reset your iphone.

If you're even marginally convinced that your iPhone has picked up malware, it's time to restore from an iCloud backup or a local backup. This will allow your iPhone to start over with factory settings and, hopefully, no malware, but it will preserve any apps, settings, and data that you have backed up.

Make sure to back up your iPhone regularly when it is working as expected. You can back up to iCloud or back up to your computer . Once your phone is backed up, you can restore it from iCloud , Finder , or, if you have an older macOS or PC, iTunes .

Warning: Do NOT back up your phone if you suspect it is infected with malware. You will need to restore from a previous backup, from before your phone started acting as though it might be infected. Keep in mind that anything you have added to your phone since your last backup will be lost in this process.

How to Clean Your Phone from Virus for Free

Before you can restore your app to an un-infected state, you'll need to reset your iPhone to clear any malware present on it. Here's how to clean a virus from iPhone by resetting it:

ios safari virus warning

That's how to remove a virus from your iPhone be restoring it. Once your content and settings have been erased, your iPhone will automatically ask you if you'd like to  restore your iPhone from an iCloud backup  or restore your iPhone from a local backup. Make your selection based on which backup is most recent (but definitely from before the malware!), then follow the on-screen instructions. In a few short minutes, your iPhone should be back online and good to go.

Lockdown Mode: How to Check Your iPhone for a Virus in Settings

When it comes to iPhone security, Lockdown Mode is your last line of defense. It's a special, secure mode that was added in iOS 16. However, it is designed to help protect against sophisticated cyber attacks against high-profile individuals. Unless you are a politician, journalist, activist, or another high-profile individual, you will likely never need to use Lockdown Mode, as your iPhone is more than likely not going to be affected by these kinds of attacks. You can read more about what Lockdown Mode is meant to be used for on Apple's Support page for the feature. We can also show you  how to activate Lockdown Mode , though, as stated previously, you will likely never need to use this feature, even if you suspect your iPhone is infected with a virus.

Apple Support Can Help, Too 

If your iPhone is still showing malware symptoms after you've followed the steps above, it's time to contact Apple Support . If you've owned the device for less than a year and haven't done anything to void your warranty, like jailbreaking, the service may be free. If you're an Apple Care or Apple Care Plus customer, your iPhone warranty is extended, so it's always worth checking in at the Genius Bar. If you're interested, you can also learn how to check the service history on your iPhone  to view the repair history.

  • Can iPhone be infected with malware?  While programs cannot install themselves on your iPhone and run malicious code, it is possible to install untrustworthy apps that might use any information you give it for malicious purposes. Avoid downloading suspicious apps and never enter personal information into these apps.
  • How do I run a security check on my iPhone?  You can go into your iPhone Settings, and tap Privacy & Security. In this menu, tap Safety Check, and then tap Manage Sharing & Access. Here, you can check which people and apps have access to your iPhone data. This isn't necessarily a virus scan, but does allow you to see which apps you have installed and what kind of data they are accessing.
  • How do I clear my iPhone of viruses?  If you know which app is causing problems on your iPhone, you can simply uninstall it. In the worst case scenario, you can erase all content and settings on your iPhone and restore an iCloud backup. This should help resolve any issues you are experiencing.

Top image credits: Suttipun / Shutterstock.com, nikiteev_konstantin / Shutterstock.com

Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues. In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.

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How to Remove Apple Security Alert Scam From iOS and macOS

Nick deCourville

  • If you’re experiencing unwanted pop-ups, performance drops, or your browser redirecting to strange sights, you may have malware.
  • Cybercriminals will send out emails portraying themselves as Apple.
  • Apple will notify you of important information through very specific channels.

ios safari virus warning

If you find you need to remove the Apple Security Alert scam from iOS or macOS, you may want to know there’s an easy solution to this problem. This fake alert can produce phony pop-up messages suggesting you need to take action with Apple. Falling victim to cyber criminals or malicious software is never fun, so let’s take a look at fake security alerts, how to avoid them, and how you can get rid of them. 

Is the Apple Security Warning Real?

If you are receiving an Apple Security warning pop-up, it is absolutely fraudulent. It is possible that you are receiving this pop-up due to a malicious actor or a malware attack. Apple does not send security warnings to any of its devices, iPhone and Macs included. Do not click on these fake pop-ups, and do not follow their instructions. 

How Can I Remove Apple Security Alert Scam From My iPhone?

Before moving on, consider these simple solutions before going to the more advanced methods:

  • Check for an iOS update: Go to Settings > General > Software Update.  Check the App Store for updates as well by selecting the App Store and then your Profile Icon. 
  • Remove any suspicious apps or unwanted programs: You can do this by long-pressing them from the Home Screen and selecting Remove App. Select Delete App and confirm your decision. 
  • Consider using an antivirus software: Note that this usually entails linking your iPhone to your computer. Check out five of the best antivirus solutions for iPhones.
  • Avoid shady websites and do your best not to click suspicious links. 

Clear Browser History and Data 

If you are receiving an Apple Security Alert Scam, clearing your browser history and data may just do the trick. I’ll take a look at three of the most popular browsers: Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. 

  • For Safari, go to your iPhone’s Settings app.

Go to your iPhone Settings and choose Safari

  • While under Safari’s Settings, you may also want to ensure the following are enabled: Block Pop-Ups , Fraudulent Website Warning and Prevent Cross-Site Tracking . 
  • For Firefox : Go to the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) and select Settings > Data Management > Clear Private Data . 
  • Google Chrome : Go to the three dots at the bottom of the browser and select Clear Browsing Data . Choose the data you want to remove and confirm. 

How Can I Remove Apple Security Alert Scam From My Mac?

Before moving on to the more advanced solutions, consider the following: 

  • Check for an update to macOS: Go to System Settings > General > Software Update . Make sure your browser and other apps are up-to-date as well. 
  • Clear your browser cache and history : You can view our guide for the three most popular browsers here . 
  • Consider an antivirus : Using antivirus software will prevent future scams and viruses from damaging your Mac. We always recommend Intego Internet Security because of its latest protection features that block all digital threats. You can also take a look at the best Mac antivirus software that don’t cause slowdowns .

Remove Suspicious Browser Extensions

One of the first things you should consider is checking for and removing any nefarious browser extensions that may be lurking in your browsers. Fortunately, this is rather easy, and I will look at the three most popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox and Safari. 

Time needed:  3 minutes

Remove extensions from Safari, Chrome and Firefox following these methods:

Go to Safari from the menu bar and click Settings.

  • For Google Chrome : Open the app and go to More Tools > Extensions . Click any suspicious extensions and then select Remove . Confirm your decision. 
  • For Firefox : Open the app, then select the menu icon (three horizontal lines). Then navigate to Settings > Add-ons and themes . Remove any suspicious extensions by clicking the three dots next to the name and selecting Remove . 

How Will Apple Notify Me of Suspicious Activity?

Apple will notify you of suspicious activity via email or iMessage notification depending on what you have associated with your Apple ID. Remember, however, that Apple does not send Apple Security Alert pop-up messages. However, you may see a Threat Notification at the top of the page when you sign into appleid.apple.com. 

How Do I Know if My Apple Email is Real?

The best way to know if an Apple email is real is by checking the email address. Official Apple emails end in “@email.apple.com”. Anything else is a scam and should be avoided . Popular examples of a fraudulent email address can be something bogus like “@applesupportservices.com”. 

As cyber criminals get craftier by the day, staying safe from various types of malware online can be a challenge. Fortunately, the vast majority of the time, avoiding scam pop-ups, malicious links and suspicious files will help you stay clean.

Remember, security software does exist if you need extra peace of mind concerning security flaws and browser hijackers. However, Apple’s built-in security measures play a large role in keeping your machine free of malicious programs. 

If you have any experience with this security alert scam, let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments. 

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  • Nick deCourville

ios safari virus warning

Can Your iPhone Get A Virus From Safari? Here's What We Know

iphone safari app icon

You may have heard before that it's impossible to get a virus on an iPhone. However, this is false and the product of tricky marketing from Apple, which the company has rescinded. But the myth persists , leading users to browse the internet unprotected. It may seem like the iPhone's main browser, Safari, has no risk of giving your phone a virus. However, no matter the method of browsing the internet, there's always a chance it could happen. 

Although it's incorrect to say that the iPhone can't get a virus, it is true that iOS devices are generally more secure. The likelihood of getting viruses is rare, but it definitely is possible and depends greatly on how one is using the iPhone. Safe internet browsing practices still apply to Safari, as there can be malicious or unsecure websites that could lead to a virus on your phone. Suspicious websites may prompt downloads to your iPhone, or try and get you to click on fishy looking ads. Like anything else, if it seems too good to be true, don't trust it. This applies even to iPhones when using Safari. 

Viruses themselves don't come from using Safari , but instead the websites you visit on the browser or other iOS browsers like Chrome. As long as you are using the internet safely, you shouldn't come across any issues. 

How do you know if you got a virus?

If you're wondering how to tell if your iPhone has a virus, there are some signs to look out for, as mentioned on Cyber Talk . If you notice any of these issues , restoring your iPhone back to factory settings can remove the virus . If you're still noticing issues, your best bet is to contact Apple or bring your iPhone to an Apple store. 

A major sign that your iPhone has a virus is if excessive data is being used. If you're not streaming or doing anything else that heavily uses data, but much more than your normal average is being used, it's might be a sign that a virus is causing trouble behind the scenes.

Another signifier is finding apps on your iPhone you never downloaded. This can especially happen with suspicious websites on Safari, which may have downloaded the software to your iPhone under a guise. This is less likely to happen because of the safety nets employed on iOS, but if you have a jailbroken iPhone or accept downloads from unsecure websites, there's more risk. 

Furthermore, if you notice your iPhone is lagging, using more battery power than usual, or apps aren't working correctly, this could be another indicator that your iPhone has been compromised. Again, factory resetting your iPhone is best if you believe you do have a virus. Afterwards, you can then restore your iPhone from a back up. 

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How to remove a virus from an iPhone or iPad

David Price

iPhones have a long-held reputation for being safe and secure when it comes to viruses and malware. While this is well-earned, no electronic device is completely safe from hackers and other digital ne’er-do-wells. So here’s how to find out if your iPhone has a virus and what you can do about it.

Has your iPhone got a virus?

First things first: It’s very unlikely that your iPhone is infected with a virus. For a more detailed look at this fascinating topic, read do iPhones get viruses? but we can briefly sum up the reasons why you’re probably in the clear.

The App Store vets all submitted software for potential threats, and while mistakes are occasionally made (there are literally millions of apps to check), this mostly keeps iOS free from nasty agents. In fact, the majority of successful malware attacks on iPhones have been directed at models that have been jailbroken, which gives the owner access to software that hasn’t been checked by Apple employees. Such unofficial app stores are far more likely to suffer from viruses and malware-laden apps. The good news in either case is that iOS’s sandbox structure should prevent the malware attack from getting access to other applications (in order to spread itself) or to the underlying operating system.

If you’re experiencing issues with performance in general, or with particular apps, this is far more likely to be caused by a bug than by a malicious threat, and these may be rectified by something as simple as restarting your device, or running available software updates. Should you still have suspicions after that, you can follow some of the steps outlined below to check for something more sinister.

One quite common problem we’ve heard of is people being inundated with calendar appointments and assuming that this means they have an iPhone Calendar Virus . There is no iPhone Calendar Virus and your calendar has not been hacked. What has most likely happened is a spam text message has caused appointments to be added to the calendar. We have a separate article that discusses how to remove spam from your iPhone’s Calendar .

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Potential signs of malware on your iPhone

Malware and viruses don’t like to announce their presence, lest you become aware that they are on your system, but there are some quirks or abnormalities that can indicate they are at work. It’s worth remembering that some of the factors outlined below can usually be applicable to hardware problems or software glitches too, so if you see them it doesn’t automatically mean you have a virus.

Sudden drops in battery life

If your battery life takes a rapid decline, this could indicate that malware is using up system resources, which in turn is draining the power. Try checking your Battery Health in Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging to see if it’s a hardware problem or a potential infection.

iPhone battery health in Settings

iPhone is getting hot for no reason

If you’ve ever played a graphically demanding game on your iPhone, you’ll know that all the computation involved can cause the device to get pretty hot. Should you see this behavior when the iPhone isn’t doing anything particularly taxing, it may be that a virus is running processes in the background. Try turning the device off and on to rule out a runaway app that needs resetting. If the behavior persists you should take it to an Apple Genius bar.

New apps you don’t remember installing

One clear indication that malware is present on your system is when you notice apps appearing that you didn’t install. It’s a good idea to uninstall them immediately and see if this helps fix other problems.

Apps frequently crashing

Again, this can be a problem with the system or potentially the memory in your iPhone, but it’s also possible that malware is causing certain apps to crash all the time. Try updating the apps to see if this helps.

Random pop-up messages

Receiving pop-up boxes out of the blue can be a sign that things are not well with your iPhone. These can be a way to trick you into giving permission for things, as the text you’re reading isn’t necessarily what you’re agreeing to. If you’re worried that something may be amiss, turn your iPhone off and back on again to see if the pop-up disappears.

Sudden increases in data or call use

Malware will often try to hijack your iPhone and make calls to premium numbers, send data or even take part in cryptocurrency mining, all of which will drain your data or give a nasty surprise when the phone bill arrives. If you spot this, there’s a very good chance your device is infected.

Digging deeper to find what’s causing the problem

The main questions when trying to work out what has happened to your malfunctioning iPhone or iPad are these:

Have you jailbroken your device?

If so, have you installed an application from a non-official source whose authenticity is questionable? If the answer to both is yes, you may have a malicious piece of software on your device and should attempt to isolate and uninstall the culprit.

Does the unexpected behavior manifest itself when you use certain apps only?

If this is the case–and particularly if it’s only one app–then you’re probably looking at an app-specific issue, and we’ll deal with this in due course. As a rule of thumb, common behavior exhibited by apps that have been hijacked include redirecting you to an unfamiliar web page in Safari, and opening the App Store without permission.

Does the unexpected behavior manifest itself when you use any app?

If the problem continues to occur no matter which apps are open, the chances are that your device is misbehaving because of a hardware problem, an iOS change that you’re not used to yet, or because you or another user of the device has changed a setting, perhaps inadvertently. It’s extremely unlikely that malware has penetrated to the heart of the operating system; this would be essentially unprecedented. In any of these cases we would take the device to an Apple Genius Bar .

Is a compromised app causing the problem?

Rather than a virus affecting iOS itself, it’s possible that you’ve simply got a problem app.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the app is bad or that the developers are at fault; conversely, the fact that an app is legitimate or was made by a reputable company doesn’t mean it can’t be hijacked by malware or hackers. Because hackers cannot break into iOS itself, one of their most common strategies is to crack a developer kit, which may in turn be used by unwitting app developers. The crooks thus gain the ability to redirect you to a dodgy website when you use the app that was built using the compromised tool.

It’s usually obvious when one particular app is the culprit, because you only have problems when using it. The usual giveaway sign is that, when you’ve got that app open, you will periodically be redirected to a web page, or to the App Store, without your permission.

If you think one app is the problem, first of all have a look to see if an updated version of the app is available, since the problem may have been noticed and fixed. Also check the app’s website (if it has one) and/or the developers’ Twitter feed (if they have one) to see if the issue has been reported or discussed in those places. If the devs are contactable then you should report the issue to them. They may be able to offer a solution right away, but even if they can’t, they are more likely to find a fix if they know about it.

Assuming that updating the app doesn’t solve the problem, uninstall it and try to manage without for a while. If the problem disappears then you’ve found your culprit, and it’s time to decide if you can manage without the app in the long term. Even if you do decide to delete the app permanently, however, remember that you can check in with the developers from time to time and see if a satisfactory update has materialized.

Clear history and website data

Here’s a quick tip that may resolve web page redirect problems. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data , then tap Clear History and Data to confirm.

How to remove a virus from iPhone or iPad: Clear Data

Power off and restart

Another simple method to clear out a software problem is to power down your device and then restart it. This won’t necessarily get rid of a virus, but it can help if an app is playing up.

To do this, hold down the side button and volume up button until the screen changes and the ‘slide to power off’ slider appears. On an iPhone with Touch ID, you just need to hold down the power button until you see the slider. In either case this should take about four to five seconds. Finally, use the slider to power down the device.

To restart the phone, hold down the power button or side button again. This time it should take about 10 seconds. The Apple logo will appear; at this point you can let go of the button. Wait until the passcode entry screen appears (you need to enter a passcode instead of using Touch ID/Face ID the first time you unlock a phone after powering up) and then unlock the device.

Has this fixed the problem? If not, you may need to take more drastic measures.

Restore your iPhone from backup

We trust that you back up your iPhone on a regular basis. If so, it’ll be easy to restore your iPhone from the most recent backup and see if the problem is removed.

If this doesn’t work, you may have included the malware or other problem when you backed up the contents of your iPhone, so try restoring from the second most recent backup, then the one before that, and so on. Hopefully you will find a backup that pre-dates the problem and you’ll be able to proceed from there.

For a more detailed look at how to do this, read how to restore an iPhone from backup .

Restore your iPhone as a new device

If none of your backups are malware-free, or the only backups that are malware-free are unusable for some other reason, you may be better off starting from scratch.

Wipe your iPhone by going to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Contents and Settings , then enter your passcode and confirm the process. Wait for the erasure to complete, and then set up the iPhone as a new device.

Transfer or Reset iPhone in Settings

We describe this process in more depth in separate articles: How to reset an iPhone and How to set up a new iPhone .

Once you’ve completed setup you’ll need to reinstall the apps you want to use (although remember that if an app seemed to be causing the problem you should try living without it for a while and see if things are better), reload songs, photos and videos and get the settings back to the way you like them. It’s a pain, but hopefully you’ll only need to do it this once.

How to protect your iPhone from malware

Update iOS or iPadOS regularly. We recommend not jailbreaking, and if you do, you need to be especially careful about the software you install and the sources you download it from. And be careful of ‘social engineering’ attacks: don’t open links if you’re unsure where they come from.

Should I use antivirus software on my iPhone or iPad?

The sandboxed nature of iOS means that third-party apps don’t have the kind of system-wide access that is required to fully secure a device. Apple would of course argue that this is the reason why iOS is so secure.

Due to this, there isn’t much in the way of dedicated antivirus software for iPhone and iPad. There are some packages available, though, with one of our favorites being Bitdefender , which covers privacy controls, data use monitoring, warnings about potentially dodgy websites and VPNs to protect you when using public Wi-Fi. (On the latter front, check our roundup of the best iPhone VPNs for dedicated advice.)

The weakest part of any system, however, is usually the person using the device. Hackers these days often try to trick people into giving away information or logging into fake sites so they can harvest your data. Always remain vigilant when using your iPhone if you want to keep it secure. For more general advice on protecting yourself from hackers, malware writers and other miscreants, read our iPhone security tips .

Author: David Price , Editor

ios safari virus warning

David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.

Recent stories by David Price:

  • Unannounced iOS 18 tweak lets you see the time even when your iPhone is dead
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How to Fix Apple Virus Warning Message

Suppose you’re surfing online on your iPhone when suddenly, a pop-up window appears stating Warning! iOS Security Breach! Virus detected on your iPhone or iPhone virus scan has detected 6 viruses!   This would be a serious cause for concern. But, wait!  Here is the phone number to dial to have things sorted out. NO, hold on ; don’t do anything. Such malware alerts or supposed Apple protection alerts are phishing scams designed to trick you into connecting to a website or dialing a phone number. If you fall for it, your iPhone may become corrupt with ransomware, or you may be duped into providing personal information over the internet. So, read below to learn about Apple Virus Warning Message, to figure out: Is iPhone Virus Warning Scam or Real? and to fix Apple Virus Warning Message.

Fix Apple Virus Warning Message on iPhone

Table of Contents

How to Fix Apple Virus Warning Message on iPhone

For now, it is safe to assume that every alert of a virus on your iPhone viz each iPhone Virus Warning popup is, almost certainly, a scam. If an iOS senses something suspicious, it merely blocks certain operations on your device and alerts the user with a message from Adam Radicic, MD of Casaba Security .

Meanwhile, nefarious warnings necessitate user intervention to fix the problem; legal warnings do not. Thus, if you get a message that asks you to tap on a link or call a number or perform any kind of action, ignore it completely. No matter how persuasive it may seem, do not fall into the trap. These alerts or updates mimic the appearance of native operating system warnings to maximize the probability of successfully tempting a tap, advises John Thomas Lloyd, CTO of Casaba Security . They pique your interest by making you believe something is wrong when, in reality, they are going to trigger something to go south.

What is iPhone Virus Warning Scam?

Scams are of various shapes, forms, and types. According to Radicic, there are thousands of permutations and combinations that can be utilized by scammers to trap a target. Whether it is a web connection sent via WhatsApp, iMessage , SMS, email, or a pop-up message from some other website accessed by you, it is practically impossible to pinpoint exactly, how any user can be trapped. Their final objective is to get you to tap and access a malicious website or dial a number, which they could make you do in a variety of ways. Hence, the bottom line is: Avoid any unsolicited phone calls, strange texts, tweets, or pop-ups requesting you to take any action.

What happens when you tap on iPhone Virus Warning Popup?

The good news is that it is unlikely to result in an immediate case of ransomware on your iPhone. iOS has been designed in such a way that it is unlikely, yet not impossible that a user’s behavior or actions can lead to a root-level negotiation, Radicic informs. It will redirect you to a page where you will be asked to pay to get the query or the issue resolved.

  • Do not tap on anything.
  • Particularly, do not install anything because your phones and computers could become infected with malware.

Malicious files can be accessed, but they need to be transferred to a computer before they can be executed, Lloyd explains. The malware coder most certainly anticipates that the file will be synced and then, downloaded on the user’s personal computer. Hence, they await the right time to attack your data.

These Apple Virus Warning Message or N Viruses Detected on iPhone pop-ups mostly occur when you are surfing the internet using Safari web browser. Read the methods detailed below to learn how to fix iPhone Virus Warning popup.

Method 1: Close the Web Browser

The very first thing to do is exit the browser where this pop-up appeared.

1. Do not tap on OK or engage with the pop-up in any way.

2A. To exit the app, double-tap the circular Home button on your iPhone, which brings up the App Switcher .

2B. On iPhone X and newer models, pull up the bar slider to the top to open the App Switcher .

3. Now, you will see a list of all running applications on your iPhone.

4. Out of these apps, swipe up the one which you want to close .

Once the application is closed, it will no longer feature in the app switcher list.

Method 2: Clear Safari Browser History

The next step is to remove the Safari app history, stored webpages & cookies to remove any data that might have gotten stored when the virus warning pop-up appeared on your iPhone. Here’s how to clear browser history and web data on Safari:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and tap on Safari .

3. Tap on Clear History and Website Data , as shown.

Tap on History and Website Data. Fix Apple Virus Warning Message

4. Tap on Clear History and Data on the confirmation message that is displayed on your screen.

Also Read: 16 Best Web Browsers for iPhone (Safari Alternatives)

Method 3: Reset your iPhone

If the above methods didn’t work to get rid of malware in your iPhone, you could choose to Reset your iPhone.

Note: Reset will delete all data & settings stored on your phone. So, ensure to take a backup of all important data.

To reset your phone,

1. Navigate to Settings > General .

2. Then, tap Reset , as shown.

Tap on Reset

3. Lastly, tap Erase All Content and Settings , as highlighted.

Select Erase All Content and Settings.Fix Apple Virus Warning Message

Also Read: How to Hard Reset iPad Mini

Method 4: Report Scam to Apple Support Team

Lastly, you have the choice of reporting the virus warning pop-up to the Apple Support Team. This is critical for two reasons:

  • It will help you in the unfortunate event that your personal information is compromised.
  • This action would allow the support team to block such pop-ups or callers and save other iPhone users from potential fraud.

Read Apple Recognize & Avoid Phishing Scams page here.

How to Prevent Apple Virus Warning Message?

Here are a few easy steps you can implement to prevent the iPhone Virus Warning popup from appearing.

Fix 1: Block Pop-ups on Safari

1. Open the Settings application on your iPhone.

3. Turn on the Block Pop-ups option, as shown.

Turn on the Block Pop-ups option

4. Here, turn on the Fraudulent Website Warning option, as depicted.

Turn on the Fraudulent Website Warning

Fix 2: Keep iOS Updated

Also, it is suggested to upgrade your device software to get rid of bugs and malware. It should be a regular practice for all your devices.

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap on General .

3. Tap Software Update to quickly check for software updates.

Tap on Software Update

4. If an iOS update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to download and install it.

5. Reboot the system and use it as you would.

Also Read: How to Clear Browsing History in Any Browser

How to perform iPhone Virus Scan?

To do an iPhone virus scan or to determine if iPhone Virus Warning Scam or Real? you can check for the following behavioral changes that take place if your phone has been attacked by a virus or malware. 

  • Poor Battery performance
  • Overheating of iPhone
  • Faster battery drain
  • Check if iPhone was jailbroken
  • Crashing or Malfunctioning apps
  • Unknown apps installed
  • Pop-up ads in Safari
  • Unexplained extra charges

Observe and determine if any/all such issues are occurring on your iPhone. If yes, then follow the methods explained in this guide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. Is the virus warning on my iPhone real?

Ans: The answer is NO . These virus warnings are, in fact, attempts to retrieve your personal information by making you tap on a box, click on a link, or call the given number.

Q2. Why did I get a virus warning on my iPhone?

The Apple virus warning message that you got can be due to cookies. When you visit a website, the page asks you to accept or decline cookies. When you tap on Accept , you might catch malware. Thus, to get rid of it, clear the cookies and web data in the web browser settings.

Q3. Can your iPhone be damaged by viruses?

While iPhone viruses are exceedingly rare, they are not unheard of. Though iPhones are usually quite secure, they may become infected with viruses if they are jailbroken.

Note: Jailbreaking of an iPhone is similar to unlocking it but not legally actionable.

Recommended:

  • Remove Fake Virus Warning from Microsoft Edge
  • How to Fix Kindle book not downloading
  • How to Reset Apple ID Security Questions
  • How to Fix iPhone Frozen or Locked Up

We hope you were able to fix Apple Virus Warning Message with our helpful and comprehensive guide. Let us know which method worked for you. If you have any queries or suggestions, drop them in the comment section.

About The Author

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Elon Decker

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How to remove malware from Safari browser

ios safari virus warning

This guide includes comprehensive information on malicious code targeting Safari and provides effective techniques to remove malware from Safari browser.

The design, user-friendliness, speed, energy efficiency and other pros of the Safari browser are out of the question. Apple devices go equipped with this remarkable Internet navigation tool by default, and the overwhelming majority of Mac and iOS users stay dedicated to it as their primary web surfing software. According to a report by the StatCounter firm, this browser’s overall market share as of January 2017 amounted to 14.54%. People in the cybercrime underground, obviously, stay on top of these statistics as well. These sleazeballs know what’s popular and focus on firing their attacks against digital environments used by many. Furthermore, it turns out that installing toxic apps on Safari without admin’s consent isn’t nearly as tough an objective as compromising other components of Mac OS X architecture. With all the pros of Safari in place, it is currently the weakest link in the overall protection setup of the average Mac.

Phony FBI alert in Safari

It wouldn’t be correct to classify the malware targeting Safari as a top-notch cyber adversary. Most of the time, these are low-impact hijackers that replace the homepage, new tab and search preferences with certain predefined values. Some of these infections engage in phishing and suchlike types of social engineering, so they are manipulative and annoying rather than dangerous. An example is the nefarious FBI virus that impersonates the apropos law enforcement agency and persistently makes victims end up on a deceptive warning page (see screen capture above). These rogue sites are nothing but bluff, stating that the user has violated the Copyright and Related Rights Law or committed some other computer-related felony. The goal of this hoax is to make victims pay a fee for their purported wrongdoings. Obviously, the correct way to go about this type of attack is to get rid of the Safari browser hijacker, which isn’t difficult to do at all.

Tech support scam popup in Safari

Some types of Safari hijackers reach the brainwashing effect in a somewhat different way. They cause recurrent redirecting of web traffic to misleading sites that report critical system errors or spyware. Popups triggered on such pages may instruct victims to call “tech support” for assistance, with the telephone number being indicated there. If an unsuspecting user actually dials the number, an impostor on the other end will do their best to make the victim pay for the spoof troubleshooting services.Whereas the modus operandi of these perpetrating programs may vary, the common denominator is a piece of malware that attacks the browser and wreaks havoc with it.

Safari adware injecting noxious deals into a web page

Adware is another widespread sub-type of Safari threats. These are intrusive plugins that display redundant ads on web pages visited by a victim. Essentially, adware generates an inconspicuous virtual layer over the original content of a site. This layer may contain arbitrary elements, and it’s up to the attackers what those elements will be. The infected user will encounter a slew of deals, coupons, freebies, comparison shopping boxes and banners wherever they go on the Internet. Search engine results will typically also contain ads that shouldn’t be there. To top it off, adware can trigger interstitial advertisements assuming the shape of separate browser windows. In-text ads pose one more side effect of the activity of these PUPs (potentially unwanted programs).

To handle the aftermath of any malware attack on Safari, removing the troublemaking app, plugin or script is a must. The ad injection instances described above are isolated to a specific machine and have nothing to do with visited websites, so the issues won’t vanish until virus cleanup is performed on the Mac. The same applies to browser hijackers. The sections below cover the entirety of tips to get rid of Safari malware for good.

Remove malware from Safari manually

The starting point for eliminating malicious activity in Safari is to uninstall the offending extension or plugin. This route, however, only works for low-impact browser malware that’s displayed on the list of add-ons and isn’t too persistent to be trashed in the regular way. Anyway, try the steps below first.

1. Uninstall malicious extension in Safari

• Go to Safari menu and select Preferences on the drop-down list

Go to Safari Preferences

• Click on the Extensions tab on Safari Preferences screen. Scroll down the installed extensions list in the left-hand section of the interface. Select the one that’s causing trouble and hit the Uninstall button as shown below

Uninstall malicious extension in Safari

• While on the same screen, select the General tab. Choose your preferred search provider and define the right Safari homepage

Configure default search engine and homepage in Safari

• Save the changes and restart Safari. Check whether the issue has been fixed. If so, you’re now good to go. If the problem perseveres, proceed to the next step to handle the malware in a more thoroughgoing way

2. Reset Safari

• Open the browser and go to Safari menu . Select Reset Safari in the drop-down list

• Make sure all the boxes are ticked on the interface and hit Reset

Resrt Safari

Get rid of malware from Safari using Combo Cleaner automatic removal tool

The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove malware virus. This technique has substantial benefits over manual cleanup, because the utility gets hourly virus definition updates and can accurately spot even the newest Mac infections.

Furthermore, the automatic solution will find the core files of the malware deep down the system structure, which might otherwise be a challenge to locate. Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the malware issue using Combo Cleaner:

Download Combo Cleaner

By downloading any applications recommended on this website you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy . The free scanner checks whether your Mac is infected. To get rid of malware, you need to purchase the Premium version of Combo Cleaner.

  • Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run an update of the malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.

Combo Cleaner Mac scan progress

  • Once you have made doubly sure that the malicious app is uninstalled, the browser-level troubleshooting might still be on your to-do list. If your preferred browser is affected, resort to the previous section of this tutorial to revert to hassle-free web surfing.

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Can An Iphone Get a Virus From Safari? How to Get a Virus Off Your Iphone

Date Published: May 30, 2020 | By: Fifth Geek

Table of Contents

Introduction

Can an iphone get a virus from safari, adware pop-ups in safari, unannounced safari crashes, unfamiliar downloads, bookmarks in safari or installed apps, fast battery drain, overheating, warning virus detected iphone safari…oh no what to do now, restart your iphone, clear browser history and data, restore backup, visit an apple store, factory reset, safe browsing, modify safari settings, auto-update ios updates, use end-to-end encryption, keep your icloud and itunes accounts safe, final thoughts.

ios safari virus warning

When talking about operating systems safety, you will most likely hear experts weighing towards Android than iOS. There are good reasons for it: iOS operates fewer handsets than Android ones combined, Apple does not share its source code to app developers, and Apple does not let its users edit and change the code of their iPhones, unlike Android. This, of course, shields iPhone users from potential malware and virus attacks through apps and browsers.

However, this is not the entire picture.

Many security agencies recently pointed out that the curve for iOS virus problem reports has increased over the period of 2011-2020. The rate almost tripled in the last quarter of 2016, leading up to the start of 2017. This information only fuels the fire Google’s Project Zero blog post started in late 2019. They claimed that there were several deep security flaws existing in Apple’s Safari mobile browser code that enabled hackers to hijack an iPhone if the user has visited the webpage.

This is a valid question that many iOS users are asking. Not only Safari browser code flaw affects users having iOS 10, but they can also affect iOS 12 and even iOS 13 users. The hackers targeted personal data, including photographs and live location of the users in real-time.

In addition to that, some other direct messaging apps were also made vulnerable from access by a third party. The hack was disguised as an ad pop-up from a genuine source with information on the user’s iOS version of the phone and location, making it seem legitimate. Those affected are ones who clicked on those ads, and the virus thus entered their system.

Data breaches like these cause online phishing, blackmail, and huge sales on the Dark Web for miscreants to buy. On top of all this, the hackers can make your handset useless once they scoop out all the data, leaving the device riddled with viruses and Trojans.

So, can your phone get bugged via your mobile browsing tool? The answer is: generally, no, but there is a small portion of iOS users who do get affected everywhere. For all those users, is there a glimmer of hope? Thankfully, yes. Your iPhone and iPads are mostly safe from this malicious data breach violations if your phone is not jailbroken, experts from Apple weigh in.

Or that you have encountered a suspicious pop-up in Safari, and avoided it altogether. In these cases, your phone is safe from viruses, adware, spyware, and malware. Period. You do not need to have other programs or apps installed on your iPhone for alleged “advance protection.” Apple’s excessive efforts to keep iOS safe should be protective enough.

Is My Iphone Infected With A Virus? Here are the 5 Signs:

Safari-based viruses are not as harmful as viruses installed from an unknown app store (i.e., jailbreaking). Following are five tell-tale signs of a virus-infected iPhone from Safari:

While maximum pop-ups are harmless and can easily be blocked by any common ad-blocker, malicious adware pop-ups act a little differently. If you are seeing random ads popping up even when the browser is closed, then there is a great chance your device is virus-infected. It can be malware trying to get your personal data off of your phone. Most adware is integrated on questionable websites and browser extensions and appears in camouflage to deflect the user’s attention.

If you have suddenly started experiencing Safari closures during internet browsing, you might be dealing with a virus. It is totally acceptable for apps and browsers to crash from time to time, but if you notice a sudden and unexplained increase in the frequency of app crashes, you might need to dig deeper to uncover the problem.

If your iPhone is getting random pop-ups, app crashes, and for some reason, you still do not believe your phone is infected, this sign should convince you. Although fake app malware is more often an Android domain problem, iOS is not totally immune to this pandemic.

Check your app drawers to see if there is a questionable app that you do not remember downloading. This is a greater likelihood if the source of installing is fishy, or you clicked on an ad that took you to the app. Also, look for unfamiliar bookmarks in Safari. Check the Downloads section to spot any unidentified downloaded program or file that cannot be opened. These are all signs that your iPhone is bugged.

Battery drains are very common, and generally do not stick as virus identifiers alone, you need to take this sign with a grain of salt. Malware and spyware have this tendency to run in the background processes. Your Battery section is your guide to uncovering the problem. Look for the unidentified program/app that is taking up a large chunk of battery juice without you using them. Sudden battery dips, even with minimum or no use, might mean a data breach effort.

With excessive battery drain, overheating is a directly proportional side-effect. If you start noticing overheating on its own, your phone might be having other issues. However, if you notice all these signs along with overheating, then it is definitely a virus or malware attack. In such an eventuality, there is no need to panic. There are many fixes for this issue.

Viruses that affect an iPhone from the Safari browser are generally categorized as browser redirect viruses or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). These PUAs are most commonly hidden beneath ad pop-ups. Pop-up ads like “Virus detected in your iPhone’s Safari browser” commonly spring out of nowhere when you visit certain sites on your Safari browser. Then there are other ads that claim that your phone’s memory is clogged and needs immediate attention.

There is no truth to these gimmicks. Know for a fact that these ads are extremely likely to be nothing but malware spam. Your iPhone does not require a third-party app or program to function optimally. Apple strives for a better and secure iOS experience with each update. Try to keep your phone updated to newer versions at all times. Do not fall for fake ads and scams that are likely to cause damage to you and those around you.

So, by now, you have established that your iPhone is infected. Certain things that you need to be very aware of when such an eventuality occurs are to know where the hackers will target next. Malware has been known to:

  • Snoop in and tape personal conversations via iPhone’s microphones
  • Collect real-time location of the user
  • Lock the user from accessing any files
  • Completely overrun your control over the device, e.g., by rooting
  • Demand ransom for data or blackmail the user to do the hackers’ bidding

Always remember that in situations like these, try to remain calm and focus on the solutions to the problem.

How To Get A Virus Off Your Iphone – 5 Steps to Follow:

These following steps serve as first-aid for your iPhone recovery. Some have lasting effects. Others might lead you to a better solution. They are:

As silly as it sounds, this one little trick can solve many malware related problems. If you feel like you accidentally clicked on an ad banner at the top of a site and the pop-ups have started to pour in, restart your iPhone. It works just as effectively as rebooting computers.

Now, this is the first damage-limitation move you can do. When you start to see numerous pop-ups, immediately go to Settings on your iPhone. Scroll down to Safari , then hit Clear History and Website Data .

It’s never a wrong deed to constantly and periodically backup your phone data over iCloud storage. Generally, the first remedy is enough to help you get out of malicious adware hack. In case it does not work, try this one provided your last data backup is malware-free. Try earlier dates to restore the phone in case of malware-infected backup data on a recent date. Remember that this step can erase all the data added after the backup date. This includes apps, photos, music, etc.

Try accessing Apple’s customer help website or try locating a nearby Apple Store. They can help you get rid of the virus.

If restoring to an earlier backup somehow fails to solve the problem, try factory resetting the iPhone. Be cautious with this step as it erases all the data on the phone from scratch. Go for Set up the phone as a new device next to the backup restore option. Do not automatically restore your apps. This step should be taken as a last resort when nothing else works.

Steps to Prevent from Happening Again

ios safari virus warning

After you successfully get rid of the viruses and malware plaguing your iPhone, the logical next step is to prevent this from happening again.

While surfing the internet, try as much as possible to only open links from a trusted source. Try to gain as much information as possible before opening a new or unknown website. Do not try to open pop-up ads unless it’s from a trusted source or absolutely necessary. Most of them are false advertisements for shady ways to get a new model of iPhone. Do not trust these sources. Do not download off of shady websites.

If you go to Apple’s support website and search for ways to protect your iPhone from Safari viruses, you will see a post about how to block pop-ups. On your device, go to Settings , then Safari , and turn on Block Pop-ups and Fraudulent Website Warning .

Keep the option for auto-update on iOS updates on. Similarly, allow all the security patches as soon as they arrive. These updates carry code patches that strengthen your operating systems from unwarranted third-party influence. This protects your device software, and as a consequence, your data too.  

Some messaging apps have this feature built-in, but it is a comforting idea for using end-to-end encryption for all of your private conversations. There are many apps available, trusted by the Apple app store, that can ensure that. Try to use a secure Wi-Fi network for your calls and messages as well to decrease the chances of spyware.

It is always a good habit to keep updating and changing your account passwords from time to time. In case any malware or virus penetrates the protection around your Apple ID, your personal data is at serious risk of getting leaked and distributed in the black. Try to use complex passwords and passcodes for your device and accounts. Change them every six months or so. Enable two-factor authentication wherever available. This adds an additional protective layer.

With a sophisticated operating system such as iOS, the possibility of getting malware or viruses is very low. This does not mean that it is impossible. The best technique is to practice caution. There are easy steps that are required to eliminate the viruses that try to permeate through the Safari browser. Keep your phone updated to the latest iOS versions.

Check on Safari extensions from time to time to see if there is an unknown one. Notice your device if it starts acting weird all of a sudden. Force shut Safari if you accidentally hit a spam adware button. Do not click on the pop-ups even if they say they are from Apple. If your phone gets bugged, try all the remedial steps listed here as soon as possible. Always ask for help whenever needed.

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iPhone Virus Warning, Is It Real? Fix

ios safari virus warning

You see a virus warning message on your iPhone saying your device is infected and requires cleaning. And you are wondering if your iPhone has a virus. Then you are further asking yourself if your device is infected with malware or a malicious app or if your data is safe. Obviously, this warning would cause anyone alarm. This article describes what you can do when you experience this.

See also: How To Prevent Viruses And Other Malware On Your Mac

Almost always, iPhone users only see fake virus warning messages and this always occurs when they’re using the web browser to visit a malicious website.

The message may say something like:

iPhone is infected by viruses.

Or, the message may say:

ios safari virus warning

As you can see, the messages consist of two main elements:

  • Your device is infected with a virus.
  • You are invited to follow instructions (tap OK, run a scan, call a number, etc) to remove it. Some of the messages may also say to call a number to fix this problem.

Likewise, Mac users are similarly targetted:

  • Mac: Your System Is Infected With (3) Viruses, Fix

First of all, it is important to mention that viruses are a type of malware designed to cause harm. However, it is highly likely that the message you see is not real because iOS malware is very rare unless your iPhone has been jailbroken. Jailbroken devices become vulnerable to viruses. Jailbreaking involves removing Apple’s iOS restrictions. Most people do not have jailbroken iPhones.

See also: Why iPhone says Spam Risk .

Almost always these iPhone virus warnings are scams. Scammers often use a lot of tactics to deceive people and this is one of them. This type of scams involves threatening people with a non-existent computer virus. And it is highly likely that you are getting this message because a bad web site you visit opens this pop-up message. And it is really difficult to close this pop-up. Some of them may seem like pop-ups but they are not. They are sometimes web pages that look like pop-ups. You may experience that this message takes over Safari. But do not start panicking.

There are many different types scams:

  • Phishing for Apple ID Accounts: Scam Emails and Texts

Here is how you can resolve this problem. Please follow the steps below in this order:

1 . Do not do the whatever the message is saying:

  • Do not tap any button. Do not tap anywhere. Do not even tap a button saying “Close”. They are fake buttons they are not iOS buttons.
  • Do not call any number. The warning may say “Apple Support” or “Technical Support”. Do not believe it.
  • Never enter personal information.
  • Do not pay anyone or send payment anywhere.

2 . Force close Safari. Here is how:

  • If you are using an iPhone X or later: Go to your Home screen and swipe up from the bottom of the screen. This will open the app switcher. Find Safari (you can swipe left or right) then swipe up on Safari to close it.
  • If you are using an iPhone 8 or earlier: Double press the Home button to open the app switcher. Swipe up on Safari to close it.

3 . Turn on Airplane Mode on your iPhone (Settings > Airplane Mode). Doing so will allow you to fully reset Safari. This may be required.

4 . Open Safari and tap and hold the tabs icon from the toolbar. Then select Close All Tabs.

Safari Tabs

5 . Now on your iPhone, go to Settings > Safari. Scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data.

Clear History and Website Data

6 . Now turn off Airplane Mode. Now open Safari and test.

How to prevent

There are simple tips you can implement to stop it from happening again:

  • Go to Settings Safari and then turn on Block Pop-ups.
  • Go to Settings Safari and now turn on Fraudulent Website Warning.
  • Keep your phone updated. You can easily check for updates by going to Settings > General > Software Update. And if there is an update available, follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the update.

See also: Amazon Winner, Free Gift Card, Congratulations Scams & How To Stop Them

ios safari virus warning

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director specializing in Apple solutions for small and medium-sized educational institutions. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. He is a former faculty member. Here is his LinkedIn profile and Google Scholar profile . Email Serhat Kurt .

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14 Comments

what do i do if i called and let the person do a scan on my apple computer

What do I do if I clicked the download app

I saw when I needed VPN i downloaded and I needed money and thought it was a scam so I deleted the app and i feel smart for doing that. Tysm 🙂

Hi. Just wanted to say thank you. That was easy to follow and effective. Thanks again.

I was on a wallpaper site where I was about to download a wallpaper, and when i clicked it said “A hacker has tracked you” and stuff like that. So I got a panic attack and iI visited “F-secure” and searched if that Anti-virus program is safe and it was. I downloadet it and then I visited this site. Now I am updating the Software on the phone and emptyed the Safari history.

What if I’ve already clicked on the scan button? 🥺

Thanks for the help information. Very easy

this gave me a friggin panic attack i hate this so i downloaded the app and it wanted me to pay so i looked it up on youtube its fish for money got rid of the app closed safari reset my phone and changed my password its so stupid because i used to play that app all the time left a 1 star

Excellent information. Got a “Trojan” message and what looked like an “Apple” warning directing me to the App Store. Followed your instructions and problem solved.

That’s kind of what happened to me. I let my daughter use my phone to look stuff up for school and the found a thing saying that there are 8 viruses and it’s 76% effected and if it gets worse something will happen to the phone in like 1-2 minutes and it’s been freaking us out for the past three months but when I look it up nobody has had the same problem and they all say it’s “real”

i got this notification about 30 mins ago. i pressed the ‘OK’ pop up notification, but unlike others, as far as i can remember it didn’t redirect me to app store. it left me with thhe ‘install & remove malware’ button. after i read this, i restarted my phone and then delete all apps that i’ve been using since 2 days ago ( cause i thought that’s the reason why my phone got viruses ) and then i went to settings and clear my safari history, cleared all background apps and restarted it again. am i good? please reply 🙏😔.

Thanks so much for your advice- this came up on my iphone and I did not know what to do so I followed your instructions and the scary situation was resolved! Erica

what do you do if you followed the instructions and download the virus program?

Thanks. Very straightforward and easy to follow.

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LTC671

Virus warning shows up when on safari

When on safari a virus warning shows up on screen saying phone is infected

iPhone 6, iOS 12

Posted on Dec 10, 2020 3:16 AM

LD150

Posted on Dec 10, 2020 3:41 AM

  • it isnt. it is a scam . there are no iphone viruses.
  • Go to settings, safari and erase all history and data

Never tap on any links

Never install antivirus which is what they often are selling

Come back if you still get messages as there can be spam in your calendar

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Dec 10, 2020 3:41 AM in response to LTC671

IMAGES

  1. Remove Safari virus warning from Mac/iPhone

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  2. Warning Virus/Malware/Adware Removal on Safari iPhone/iPad/iOS

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  3. Fixing Safari Virus Warnings

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  4. iPhone Virus Warning: How to Get Rid of Fake Security Alerts on Your iPhone

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  5. Fixing Safari Virus Warnings

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  6. Remove Safari virus warning from Mac/iPhone

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Get Rid of Fake iPhone Virus Warnings

    Tap Clear History and Website Data. While in Safari settings, toggle on Fraudulent Website Warning. Toggle on Block Pop-ups as well. Tap on Settings in the upper-left corner. Toggle Airplane Mode back off. Now you can open Safari again; at this point, Apple virus scams shouldn't be appearing anymore.

  2. pop up message that safari is infected

    Open Safari's preferences. Click on the Websites tab and then scroll down to Notifications. Clear any entries in the right hand window. You might find something similar in the Pop-up Windows heading below that. Block any you don't recognize. Then if you want, uncheck the box below as shown here.

  3. Remove Safari virus warning from Mac/iPhone

    The overview of the steps for completing this procedure is as follows: Remove Safari virus warning (Mac) Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list. Once the Preferences screen appears, click on the Advanced tab and enable the option saying " Show Develop menu in menu bar ".

  4. iPhone Virus Warning: How to Remove Fake Apple Security Alerts

    Safely Get Rid of Fake Security Alerts on iOS and iPadOS. 1. Close the Malicious Tabs Right Away. When you get a security warning, make sure to not tap on the alert, not even try to tap the close button in the popup. The safer way to take on such malicious popups is to immediately close the browser tab. Bring up the control center (swipe down ...

  5. Dealing with Safari popups that won't go …

    There have been a rash of popups that appear to take over Safari on iOS devices. These can be announcements that you have won an Amazon gift card, or an iPhone, or a warning that your device is infected with a virus. If you could just dismiss them they would be only an annoyance, but many cannot be dismissed and keep recurring every time you go ...

  6. Can iPhones get viruses? Yes, here's what to do

    This will make the scam virus alert disappear. Next, open your iPhone's Settings app. Tap the Safari option. Click on the "Clear history and website data" button. Check to make sure the "Block pop-ups" and "Fraudulent website warning" options are also turned on.

  7. Get rid of iPhone virus warning popup scam

    iPhone virus popups manual removal in iOS. As per the anatomy of this hijack, settings of the web browser that may have gotten hit by the virus should be restored to their default values. The steps for performing this procedure are as follows: 1. Safari troubleshooting on iPhone • Go to Settings and select Safari on the menu

  8. Block pop-up ads and windows in Safari

    On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Safari. Turn on Block Pop-ups. Turn on Fraudulent Website Warning. On your Mac, open Safari and choose Safari > Settings (or Preferences) from the menu bar. In the Websites tab, you can configure options to allow or block some or all pop-ups. In the Security tab, turn on the setting to warn when visiting ...

  9. Answered: Can iPhones Get Viruses?

    While you can't scan your iPhone for malware, here's how to know if your phone has a virus: iPhone Malware: Pop-Ups. If you're experiencing lots of pop-ups when browsing Safari on your iPhone, that's not necessarily a symptom of malware. Make sure you've turned on block pop-ups in your Settings, then see if the problem diminishes. If pop-ups ...

  10. How to Remove a Virus from Your iPhone : HelloTech How

    Restart your iPhone. One of the easiest ways to get rid of a virus is by restarting your device. You can restart your iPhone by holding down the power button until a "Slide to Power Off" knob appears (it should take around three to four seconds to appear).Touch the white button and slide the knob to the right to make the device turn off.

  11. "Your Apple iPhone is infected" virus popups removal from iPhone, iPad

    Safari troubleshooting on iPhone / iPad. Go to Settings and select Safari on the menu. Tap the Clear History and Website Data option. Confirm by tapping Clear History and Data. Check if the problem with Safari has been fixed. In the event the iPhone / iPad virus popups are still there, proceed to next step.

  12. How to Remove Apple Security Alert Scam From iOS and macOS

    For Safari, open the app. Navigate to Safari > Settings from the menu bar. Select the Extensions tab. In the sidebar, click any extension that looks suspicious. Click Uninstall. For Google Chrome ...

  13. Can Your iPhone Get A Virus From Safari? Here's What We Know

    It may seem like the iPhone's main browser, Safari, has no risk of giving your phone a virus. However, no matter the method of browsing the internet, there's always a chance it could happen ...

  14. iPhone Virus Warning 2024: Scam or Real?

    That's an easy one: No, Apple does not have an iPhone virus scan. "Virus scanning requires access to system files which iOS does not allow users or apps to interact with," Lloyd says. "The ...

  15. How To Remove A Virus From An iPhone Or iPad

    Wipe your iPhone by going to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Contents and Settings, then enter your passcode and confirm the process. Wait for the erasure to complete ...

  16. How to remove Apple Security Alert Pop-up Scam (Mac or iOS)

    Remove the Apple Security Alert virus with an iOS antivirus: Go to the App Store and find a reliable iOS antivirus. Our top choice is TotalAV, now 80% OFF. Click the Get button and confirm your Apple ID. Open the app and run a full system scan. Remove virus with TotalAV.

  17. How to Fix Apple Virus Warning Message

    These Apple Virus Warning Message or N Viruses Detected on iPhone pop-ups mostly occur when you are surfing the internet using Safari web browser. Read the methods detailed below to learn how to fix iPhone Virus Warning popup. Method 1: Close the Web Browser. The very first thing to do is exit the browser where this pop-up appeared. 1.

  18. How to remove malware from Safari browser

    2. Reset Safari • Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Reset Safari in the drop-down list • Make sure all the boxes are ticked on the interface and hit Reset . Get rid of malware from Safari using Combo Cleaner automatic removal tool. The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove ...

  19. Can An Iphone Get a Virus From Safari? How to Get a Virus ...

    Thankfully, yes. Your iPhone and iPads are mostly safe from this malicious data breach violations if your phone is not jailbroken, experts from Apple weigh in. Or that you have encountered a suspicious pop-up in Safari, and avoided it altogether. In these cases, your phone is safe from viruses, adware, spyware, and malware. Period.

  20. New iPhone says it has 5 viruses

    1Blocker is highly configurable - and crucially does not rely upon an external proxy-service of dubious provenance, often utilised by so-called AntiVirus products intended for iOS/iPadOS. Instead, all processing by 1Blocker takes place on your device - and contrary to expectations, Safari will run faster and more efficiently.

  21. iPhone Virus Warning, Is It Real? Fix • macReports

    Find Safari (you can swipe left or right) then swipe up on Safari to close it. If you are using an iPhone 8 or earlier: Double press the Home button to open the app switcher. Swipe up on Safari to close it. 3. Turn on Airplane Mode on your iPhone (Settings > Airplane Mode). Doing so will allow you to fully reset Safari.

  22. iOS Safari Repeatedly Opens "Virus Detected" Emails

    This is a known vulnerability in iOS, fixed in iOS 10.2. To fix the issue without updating your software, go to Settings -> Safari -> Clear Website and History Data. Alternatively, on an iPhone 6S (or newer) with 3D Touch, you can force-press on the Safari icon, open a New Tab, then immediately press down and hold the tab switcher icon, and hit ...

  23. Virus warning shows up when on safari

    Why While iam using safari suddenly appears a message and it says there is a virus on my phone and something dammaged 78% What happen if a virus message appears while iam using safari 248 2 Iphone 7 Safari app virus I get a virus warning and can't go anywhere else on the safari app, can close it, but opens back to the same virus page with a ...