How to Clean a Virus Off of a Cell Phone

Viruses and spyware are no longer a threat to PCs only. With Internet-enabled cell phones and smart phones, it is now easier than ever for viruses and spyware to find their way into your handset. This is especially true if you have a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or if you download files that were not originally on your cell phone.

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Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Antivirus software


  • Prevent the spread of viruses on your phone by checking files that you download before you download them. Unless you have downloaded the files from your wireless provider's website, run all programs through a virus scanner on your PC before transferring them to your cell phone. If you are downloading the program directly from your cell phone, make sure that it is coming from a secure website.

  • Avoid accepting messages through your Bluetooth from unidentified users. If you are not familiar with the Bluetooth device that's sending the message or file, do not accept it. When you are not using your Bluetooth connection actively, turn it on hidden mode. This will keep other Bluetooth users from picking up your signal or your handset.

  • Do not install software that is not specifically designed for your handset's make and model. Installing incompatible software on your handset may cause your phone to malfunction.

Clearing the Virus

  • Contact your wireless provider. Oftentimes, your wireless provider will be able to perform a scan on your phone to check for errors or viruses from within the call center. You will need to have your account details ready (name, address, phone number and security passcode). You will also need to have your SIM card and IMEI number. The provider will perform a diagnostic test over the phone and determine whether the problem can be fixed over the phone or if your phone will need to be fixed by a technician. If they determine the phone cannot be fixed (the virus cannot be erased), you will be given a replacement handset.

  • Use a virus scanner. To determine what type of virus is infecting your cell phone, you will have to run a full scan on your phone by downloading software to your cell phone and following the prompts in using it. This software has to be downloaded from the Internet, so you may have to download it to your PC and then transfer it to your phone. After running the virus scanner, download and run an antivirus program to remove the virus from your phone.

  • Reformat your cell phone. Reformatting or flashing your cell phone will enable you to restore your cell phone to factory settings. Restoring your cell phone to factory settings will delete all new programs or added files on your phone as well as all of your saved data.


  • Photo Credit cell phone image by Alexey Klementiev from
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