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Can you Get a Virus on an iPad?

Can you Get a Virus on an iPad?

There is some confusion about whether you can get a virus on an iPad. Even though there are no known viruses that target iPad devices, this doesn’t mean to say that your device is exempt from any problems. Malware exists for iPads, which can still be just as detrimental to your device as a virus, as they have the intent to trick you into giving up your passwords or other sensitive information to hack into your accounts. Read on to find out how to check your iPad for a virus and get rid of it from your tablet device.

How to check an iPad for virus or malware?

You may well be thinking, “how do I know if my iPad has a virus or malware issue?” Sadly there is no easy way to know for sure, but you can look out for signs, such as the following:

  • Pop-ups appear even though nothing was clicked
  • Apps crashing

How to get rid of a virus on an iPad?

One of the most common iPad scams is phishing, often found in the form of an iOS Crash Report or “Congratulations Amazon User”. In these phishing scams, a website displays a pop-up that tells you that iOS has crashed, or the iPad has a virus, and it instructs you to call a number. As you would guess, the phone number you call is not Apple and their main goal is to trick you out of money or information to hack your account. The same goes for the Amazon scam, which impersonates Amazon and helps to lure users in by promising a free Amazon gift. Despite this, iPad malware is quite rare because criminals must overcome one major obstacle: the App Store, which requires authentication.

When this happens, you may be wondering, “how to remove a virus from my iPad?” The best course of action is to quit the browser and reboot the iPad. If you get this often, the malware may exist in your web cache (the data Safari saves to speed up searches). Therefore, consider clearing your cookies and web data by following the following steps:

  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Select “Safari” on the left-hand side
  3. Tap “Clear History and Website Data” (Note: You will lose passwords, but this will ensure your browser is safe and secure)


Photo credit: thodonal88 / Shutterstock

If you keep asking yourself, “does my iPad have a virus?”, for peace of mind you may decide to run a factory reset. You can do this by following these five steps:

  1. Back-up your device and personal data
  2. Open “Settings” > “General” > “Reset”
  3. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings”
  4. Restart your device and set up your device again
  5. Sign into iCloud and restore your backed-up data from Step 1

If you are unsure whether malware has been removed your device, it is worth speaking to Apple for any help, or taking to your local Apple store. Alternatively, if you decide to upgrade your device instead of getting it fixed, you may want to think about selling your iPad in return for money through recycling technology companies – but whatever you do, you must not dispose of your device in the bin.  


Photo credit: karanik yimpat / Shutterstock

How to protect an iPad from virus or malware?

The first step to protecting your device is thinking about how you can get a virus in the first place. If you ever visit a web-page and see a message pop up saying that your device is infected by a virus, you should immediately exit the website. This message is a scam and tricks some users into installing malware on their device, under the premise that it will help make your device more secure.

In addition, malware can be downloaded onto the tablet device through apps that you download on the App Store. However, this is extremely rare because Apple thoroughly checks every app that is submitted to the App Store, before being a published app – this process often takes several days.

But whilst this is rare on an iPad, it doesn’t mean it is impossible. You should always be vigilant, especially when an app asks for personal or financial information – even if it’s a popular app. Any form of payment should be made through the App Store and not the app itself.

So, do iPads need virus protection? Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to install virus protection on your iPad. Unlike a computer, where running virus protection software is a must, the iPad does not need full-time protection from viruses. However, the best way to protect your iPad is through ensuring you update your device as soon as a new iOS update is available. 


Feature image credit: Bloomicon / Shutterstock