Does your once-fast Android smartphone or tablet work slower than your dusty, old MS-DOS? There is a good chance that you have downloaded an infected app that has slipped through Google's anti-malware security suite.
If not treated, your infected Android device can steal your data and pose a real threat to your security. Fortunately we have you covered. Follow the steps below to search for and remove malware on your device and make it work like new again.
Shut down until you find out the details
Once you are sure that your phone is being attacked by malware, hold down the power button and turn the phone off completely. It cannot prevent the malware from causing damage, but it can prevent the problem from getting worse and can stop ongoing malware attempts to access nearby networks.
Closing also gives you time to think and investigate. Do you know the specific infected app that brought malware to your device? Do you know what other types of software they have downloaded without your permission? If this is not the case, switch to a different computer and look for your symptoms (as well as new apps that you have tried) to minimize the problem. If you cannot find the app for the cause of the problem, you cannot delete it.
If your research fails, you may want to turn on your phone again and proceed to step five. Anti-malware apps can help identify what is causing your problems and may even remove the infected software for you. However, this also requires restoring telephone access to the internet, which entails some risk.
Switch to safe / emergency mode while you work
When you switch on your device again and dive in isolate the problematic app, first switch to safe mode. This helps to limit the damage that the infected app can cause.
For most Android devices, you can switch to safe mode by holding down the power button for a few seconds when your device is on and then pressing the [1
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Note: If you cannot find out what is causing your malware problem even after it downloading a security app is not the time to tinker. Ask a professional for help and if you need to delete your phone. This is a good strategy as ransomware increasingly takes over your phone and blocks your actions.
Go to Settings and search for the app
Go to Settings on your Android device. Settings usually have a gear-shaped icon, but that depends on your themes and layout: search for them if you're having trouble finding the right place.
Scroll through Settings until you see the section named Apps and enter. Search for a list of all your current apps – you may need to choose App Manager to find the full list. You go there until you find the infected app in the middle of your problems.
Select the app and this should provide options for Uninstall Force Close or Force Stop (often you cannot remove core apps, only disable them, but these apps are unlikely the problem).
Remove the infected app and everything else suspect
Simply choose Remove and your Android device should remove the app concerned. It is also a good idea to view your app list and remove other suspicious downloads – if you have not viewed this list before, you may be surprised at some of the strange things your device has on it.
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Note: In some cases you cannot remove the app and the option is not available yourself – you see disable instead. Some of the smartest malware or ransomware visit your administrator settings and give themselves special protection to prevent this. Fortunately, it is often easy to repair. Go back to the original menu Settings and scroll down to Lock screen and security (or a similar corresponding section). In the Security menu, look for an area with the text " Telephone administrators (device) ". You may have to visit " Other security settings " first, depending on how your security menu was set up. In Telephone administrators you must be able to enable the option to remove Android malware.
Download a malware protection
A vulnerable Android device deserves protection. There are a number of security apps that you can download to protect your phone, scan for viruses, and delete unwanted files and potentially infected software. When you have finished manually removing the tricky app, download a security program to resolve future issues. There are many choices in this area: try software such as 360 Security, Avast Antivirus or AVG Antivirus from the Google Play Store, or view our other Android security recommendations here.
Although it sounds obvious, it is really a good idea to keep your Android device constantly updated. Forgetting to update is one of the most important factors that can attack Android phones.