How to Remove a Virus from your Android Mobile without a Factory Reset?

Remove a Virus from your Android
How to remove a virus from your Android mobile without a factory reset?

Many a times you get a virus on your Android mobile through an app or any site that you browse with your mobile or click an ad when playing any game. Unfortunately, if you get a virus on your mobile then often experts ask you to factory reset the mobile. But getting your mobile to factory reset you would lose all your data like photos, messages or any other data.  There are apps to remove a virus from your Android mobile without a factory reset.

As you know that with the latest Android mobile phones Google Play Protect is now part of all Android devices. It’s a built-in security measure that scans the apps on your device and checks for harmful ones. No matter where you install apps from, Play Protect looks through them. This means you essentially already have an antivirus built into your phone. If you only install apps from Google Play, the chances of you picking up a phone virus are slim to none. Google scans all apps added to Google Play for malicious behaviour and removes offenders.

Remove a Virus from your Android – Apps that will Do

You will find that Google Play has lots of apps that remove a Virus from your Android. You can download the two wonderful apps if you think your mobile has a virus or you are suspicious about a malware attack.

1. Malwarebytes


This app which has a  free version scans your mobile for malware and removes any threats it finds. It also has an audit feature for app permissions, so you can keep track of what each has access to.

The Premium version of this app cost $12/per year and adds real-time detection and other features. Download the Malwarebytes Security app now.

2. Bitdefender


This is another free virus removal app which uses cloud scanning. Cloud scanning means there’s little impact on your device, and the app doesn’t bog down its core offering with a bunch of annoying extras. You’ll still see ads to upgrade to the full version, but if you can ignore them, this is a fine app for a quick Android virus scan. Click here to download Bitdefender Antivirus free.

Other Antivirus apps that should be downloaded but with concern

The above two are the only Android virus scanning apps, but you can ignore nearly all other ones. Offerings from major companies like Avast, Norton, Avira, and similar are all loaded with features which are not required at all and are heavy on your system. These features always have cleaning tools which do more harm to your mobile

Such antivirus always tries to scare you into downloading their free apps for “safety,” then nag you to upgrade to the paid version with a bunch of features you don’t need. Know that you should never pay for an Android antivirus app!

Remove virus manually in Android Safe Mode

Much like Windows has a safe mode, so does Android. If your system has a virus, you’ll need to utilize it. Safe mode loads the OS without running any third-party apps and disables them. This means that you can find out if an app is causing an issue and remove it safely.

Remove virus manually in Android Safe Mode
Remove virus manually in Android Safe Mode

To enter into safe mode if you can boot your mobile normally:

  • Press and hold the Power button till you see the power menu.
  • Tap and hold Power off until you get a prompt to Reboot to safe mode.
  • Tap OK.
  • Wait for your phone to reboot. In the bottom-left corner, you’ll see a Safe mode watermark.

If your phone won’t boot normally because of the infection, try these steps to boot a powered-off phone into safe mode:

  • Press and hold the Power, Volume Up, and Volume down buttons.
  • Once you see your phone’s logo appear, let go of Power but continue holding the Volume buttons.
  • You’ll see a Safe mode watermark in the bottom-left once your device boots up.
  • Due to hardware manufacturer differences, this may not work for every device. Try a quick Google search for your phone to find its safe mode combination if neither of these does the trick.
  • Once you have entered Safe Mode, go to Settings > Apps > Downloaded. On Android Oreo or newer, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > See all X apps instead.
Remove virus manually in Android Safe Mode

Steps to Uninstall app

Now go through the list of your apps and try to locate the malicious app. It might not stick out but think back to when the problem on your phone started. Remove any apps you installed around that time, and check if an app you didn’t download is on the list.

  • To uninstall an app, tap its name and choose to Uninstall on its info page to remove it. If that gets rid of it, reboot your phone normally (without entering Safe mode), and the phone virus should be gone.
  • If you can’t uninstall an app through this menu, it likely has Device Administrator access. To remove that access, follow these steps:
  • Go to Settings > Security > Device Administrators (Settings > Security & location > Device admin apps on Oreo and newer).
  • Locate the app and tap the checkbox next to it.
  • Tap Deactivate when prompted.
  • Now you can go back to the list of apps and uninstall it as described above


Finally, note that browsers like Chrome already detect and block dangerous websites and you can manage app permissions on your own.

Many times apps downloaded from the third-party app store are a source of malware so avoid that. Avoid tapping on ads in between the apps as they too are harmful. Rest it your own wisdom as to how to keep your mobile safe and secure.

About the author

Kamal Kaur