Virus Detected On iPhone? Is It Legit? Here’s The Truth!

You just received an alarming pop-up that says something along the lines of, “Virus detected on iPhone. You will lose all your data if you don’t take immediate action!” Don’t fall for this scam! In this article, I’ll explain what to do when you receive a pop-up that says your iPhone has a virus and how you can avoid these pesky scammers.

I’d like to mention that this question came from Payette Forward’s Facebook group, where thousands of people get help with their iPhones from our expert, Heather Jordan.

“Virus Detected On iPhone” — Are Alerts Like This Legit?

The answer, plain and simple, is no. Scammers create pop-ups like these all the time. Their main goal is to get your iCloud account or credit card information by scaring you into thinking something is seriously wrong with your iPhone.

virus_detected_on_iphone_popup_alert

Can An iPhone Even Get A Virus?

This question is a bit more complicated. Technically, iPhones can get infected with malware, a type of software that is created to damage your iPhone or disable its core functionality. Malware can cause your apps to stop working, track you using your iPhone’s GPS, and even gather personal information.

Although rare, iPhones can get malware from bad apps and insecure websites. Your iPhone is especially at-risk if its jailbroken because you have access to Cydia apps, some of which are notorious for infecting your iPhone with malware.

To learn more about iPhone viruses and what you can do to prevent them, check out our article Can An iPhone Get A Virus? Here’s The Truth!

What Should I Do If I Receive A “Virus Detected On iPhone” Pop-up?

Generally, these “virus detected on iPhone” pop-ups appear while you’re browsing the web in the Safari app. The first thing you’ll want to do is close out of the app you were using when you received this pop-up — do not tap OK or interact with the pop-up at all.

How To Close Out Of The App

To close out of the app, double-press the circular Home button, which activates the app switcher. You’ll see a menu that displays all of the apps currently open on your iPhone.

close out of safari in app switcher

Once you’re in the app switcher, swipe up on the app you want to close out of. You’ll know the app is closed when it no longer appears in the app switcher.

Clear Safari Browser History

The next step to take is clearing the history and website data of the Safari app, which will erase any cookies that could’ve been saved when the pop-up appeared on your iPhone. To clear Safari history and website data, open the Settings app and tap Safari -> Clear History and Website Data. When the confirmation alert appears on your iPhone’s display, tap Clear History and Data.

clear safari history and website data screenshot

Report This Scam To Apple

Finally, you have the option to report the pop-up you received to Apple’s support team. This step is important for two reasons:

  1. It will help protect you in case your information did get stolen.
  2. It will help protect other iPhone users from having to deal with the same nefarious pop-up.

Wrapping It Up

It can be quite alarming when you get a pop-up that says “virus detected on iPhone”. It’s important to remember that these alerts are never real, but rather a poor attempt at gathering your personal information. Keep your friends and family informed by sharing this post on social media, or leave us a comment down below if you have any other questions!

All the best,
David L.

About Author

I'm here to help you with your iPhone!

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Wilson
12 days ago

So, I was doing some work stuff on my iPhone, when I got redirected to a porn website, but I knew these websites were packed with viruses so I left immediately. A few minutes later, I get a pop up on Safari that says that I have about 7 viruses from going to that porn website, but I’m pretty sure that amount of time was too short to get a virus, it was only like 3 seconds. And I have the latest iOS, so did I get a virus?

Admin
Liam Shotwell
12 days ago
Reply to  Wilson

The popup is just an advertisement. Your phone didn’t actually download anything, and there are measures in place to prevent your phone from downloading things automatically from Safari without your permission. Your phone is fine 🙂

Shelby Alexander
16 days ago

Hi, so i fell for it and clicked on the link but did not download the app, i cleared my history, and changed my password. am i safe because i didn’t download the app?

Admin
Liam Shotwell
13 days ago

Oh yeah, you’re totally fine 🙂

Zach H
1 month ago

Unfortunately I was scared and fell into their scam resulting in me starting the free trial, but I canceled it minutes after starting it. I also checked my payment options, and the card listed on my phone already expired. Will I be okay!? PLEASE HELP!

Admin
Liam Shotwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Zach H

If your card is expired, it should be fine. If you have any concern about this issue, you should reach out to the company that issued the card to check and make sure everything is okay. The App Store is generally safer than the Google Play Store when it comes to this stuff, so it’s likely that you are fine 😊 They just tricked you into downloading their app with those dumb ads is all.

Vivian
2 months ago

I made the mistake of clicking ok to stop the virus and I also downloaded the app even though I was sceptical because I was so freaked out. The app asked me for my fingerprint to get rid of the virus and I luckily decided not give it to them. A few seconds later, a 3 day trial thing from the App Store popped up and needed my fingerprint to pay for it. I think that if I gave them my fingerprint, I would’ve been tricked to pay for a trial. Is my iPad safe even though I interacted with… Read more »

Admin
Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  Vivian

You should be fine 😊 If you are only running iOS 12, you’re probably running an iPhone 6 or one of its variants. Older versions of iOS before iOS 14 are less secure because you aren’t getting regular security updates. The best way to stay protected is to upgrade to a device compatible with the latest version of iOS, iOS 14. My recommendation is to check out the iPhone 12 and the second-generation iPhone SE. These are both great devices with different price ranges and if you care a lot about your security I highly reccomend checking them out.

Zack
3 months ago

I need help. So it said that there was 28 viruses and it said to download the ad virus blocker thing and I did. Does that mean I’m not safe?

Admin
Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Zack

Whoops, the ads tricked you into installing the antivirus software by disguising themselves as virus warnings. You should uninstall the app, but you are definitely safe!

Jasmine
3 months ago

Hi. I was scrolling on fb and I clicked on one of those celebrity gossip sites. The moment I got off the fb app, I received a pop up virus. I’m not sure if I’m okay. But I went ahead and cleared my browser and changed my passwords on the apps that are on my phone.

Admin
Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Yeah, that was just a popup ad, but changing your passwords is always a great idea 😀

L h
4 months ago

Hi, 
Sorry to bother you.
I was on a streaming app and a pop up shows on my safari saying that my iphone was severely damaged by 13 viruses. I panicked and clicked the botton “ok” but then nothing happened. 
Am I fine? Or should I be worried?
Please answer me, I’m really scared.
I’ll appreciate that!

Admin
Liam Shotwell
4 months ago
Reply to  L h

You are fine 🙂 It was just an ad designed to trick you into clicking their link to download an app from the App Store most likely. Sounds like the link didn’t wind up taking you there anyway.

Siew lan ng
4 months ago

I got a pop up even the iPhone safari ‘block pop up’ is green. It says the phone got 2 virus n I got 4 mins to do everything . I panic n clicked the remove button. Then I realize that it was a fake. I off my phone. Then I google n saw these messages. I did as adviced, changed password n cleared history. Is everything gonna b ok?

Admin
Liam Shotwell
4 months ago
Reply to  Siew lan ng

You should be fine! 😊

Sam
5 months ago

Hello. I got this notification last night. I clicked “Ok” and actually started panicking. There wasn’t anything about which app should I install so I just installed google maps. It was also said to open the app to “speed up and fix your browser now” so I just opened it for a few seconds and only then I got suspicious about all of this. (It was also said not to close the window it appeared in. I think I closed the app it appeared in instead but I’m not sure) So, after I googled about this I did exactly what… Read more »

mich
5 months ago

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 🙏😔.

Chris Broderick
5 months ago

LOL That was very informative, but the message on my I-Phone about a virus
was about Covid 19, saying i had been exposed to it. That’s all it said….?

Thomas Shum
6 months ago

Received detected viruses in my I phone, disclosed my Apple ID password, downloaded the app , but did not finish the steps by clicking “ remove the viruses “ . Later deletes the app and changed my Apple password. Am I good or they have got my Apple account information? Please advise .

Bri
6 months ago

What if your Iphone 11 says something along the lines of “39 viruses detected, your device was 76% infected. If the 24% is infected your iphone will be locked”, Is that real due to the fact it gives percentages? I have done the steps to take it off like clearing my history, but the “virus count” keeps getting higher. What does that mean? And what will happen if it gets to 100%?

Admin
Liam Shotwell
6 months ago
Reply to  Bri

Yeah, that’s definitely not true lol, you must have stumbled upon one of those ads while browsing the web. It’s a trick to get you to click their link and download their ‘antivirus’ app. Your iPhone is most likely fine! 🙂

sara jose
6 months ago

hey, okay i know i was dumb, please reply to me! so i got the similar alert and i had no idea what to do, so i downloaded the app they told me, and so today i read this and deleted this. Is it possible for my phone to get hacked. Please reply. I’m having a panic attack

Admin
Liam Shotwell
6 months ago
Reply to  sara jose

Just delete the app you downloaded. Your phone is probably fine. The App Store is pretty safe, so chances are they were just trying to trick you into downloading their app. I hope this helps!

Behtash
6 months ago

thank u very much. I received it right now. But I panicked. Then I pressed on ok it sent me to the app store and I downloaded the anti-virus but I deleted it now. Do u think it damaged or is this just to increase their downloads

Admin
Liam Shotwell
6 months ago
Reply to  Behtash

Your phone is probably fine. Downloading something from the App Store shouldn’t do anything to your phone because Apple has strict rules about apps that are published on the App Store. You’re right, it is to increase their downloads. I hope this helps!

Christine
7 months ago

Got pop up that started with ATt rewards to win an iPhone 11 but only gave you a few minutes to fill in info. I was skeptical so didn’t move forward then a chance for 1000 Walmart card. Same thing only a minute to enter email so I started reading terms. Then got pop up that told me iPhone 6 has virus and I should download fix. Went to iPad and entered the message to see if scam. Seems it was. Cleared browser and turned off phone. Waited a bit and restarted phone. Have I done enough? Said it damaged… Read more »

Reagan
7 months ago

Hi so I got one and it said 10 viruses detected how do I know it is fake

Denali
6 months ago
Reply to  Reagan

I got one that said I had 8. Then it took my to a app to download. I costed money so I don’t know if it’s real or not

Jessica R
7 months ago

I got a pop up and pressed ok. But then I went back to safari and exited the tab and the app. Could my phone be hacked?

Admin
Liam Shotwell
7 months ago
Reply to  Jessica R

You’re probably fine. Those messages in Safari are ads trying to trick you into clicking on them.

University student #283829388582
8 months ago

This is nice. I got this pop-up one time and man I shit my pants. But when I downloaded the app, the feature to remove viruses cost 63% more money than my college tuition. Yeah

Bakare Oluwatoyin
8 months ago

Thank you so much for this I am sad before reading this, it is like you just lift off a big burden off me
May GOD bless you
I was scared they even redirected me to a sexual hub I start thinking if I did click something like that but no
I didn’t
I am grateful 🙏
I wanted to download the app they mentioned but I didn’t see it on the app store

Yannie
8 months ago

Hi, I panicked when I got a notification regarding this. I immediately downloaded the app but didn’t send any information because I was pretty suspicious about it. I immediately deleted it, however, I probably clicked on something which reminds to “clean” my phone. They automatically set up a time in my calendar to remind me when I should “clean” it. It’s an “ios cleaner”. I’m afraid they already have an access with my personal informations.

Allyna Teppang
8 months ago

Hi, I also received a pop up on my home screen about having a virus. It said that I needed to protect it immediately and I panicked and clicked okay. I was suspicious about this so I browsed on the internet. I took precautions like clearing my browsing history and deleted the apps that I just downloaded. I am just scared that my phone got a virus from that.

Kristina Gomez
9 months ago

I’ve received multiple text messages saying my iPhone has been infected with malware.

Admin
Liam Shotwell
9 months ago
Reply to  Kristina Gomez

It’s probably spam texts or the webpage ads that are described in this article. There is probably nothing to worry about. Check through our solutions in this article and check to see if there are any suspicious apps that you don’t remember downloading.

Harsh
9 months ago

I clicked on “ok” button when I received a message saying my iPhone is infected with viruses and it needs to be protected immediately while I was browsing something on safari on private mode
after clicking on ok button I was redirected to download an antivirus app on App Store
I got panicked and immediately closed the App Store and safari immediately
I am tensed did I do something harmful by just clicking on ok button of that pop up

Admin
Liam Shotwell
9 months ago
Reply to  Harsh

You should be fine as long as you didn’t download that app. Plus, Apple is pretty strict about what apps they allow on the App Store. If the app was malicious, it probably wouldn’t have completely bricked your device. That doesn’t mean that it’s safe or great to have, but your phone is probably fine 🙂 Those fake messages can be tricky!

April
9 months ago

Thank You for the information I just started getting the pop up with your iPhone has like 39 viruses and it sends me a site to go to I think have been seeing it several times a day for the past week but I know what to do now greatly appreciate it

Anonymous
9 months ago

Thank you so much I was really afraid and panicked thank you so much

Dills
9 months ago

This article was so helpful. I was searching through the web(mainly because I really love researching on web) when received this message that my iPhone just got a virus or something. It made me jumped. I didn’t have any option but to turn to Internet for help and here I found this. Really helped me.

Redenne Hope
11 months ago

Thank you for this article. Very helpful! I actually emailed apple for this and after reviewing this article, all my questions were answered ❤️More power to everyone 🙏🏻

angie Farruggia
1 year ago

Thank you David, I was panicking !

Anonymous
2 years ago

this is so helpful! thank God!!! thankyouuuu!!!

Anonymous
2 years ago

So pleased and grateful that you have this advice available.

Anonymous
2 years ago

Thank you I have removed this from my husbands phone.

Anonymous
2 years ago

I just received a msg on my iPhone stating that virus is detected on my iPhone.This is a refurbish iPhone that I just received through Apple insurance I never experience this problem with my first iPhone. I googled and followed instruction given by apple to clear safari History and Website Data is that enough in protecting my information and how do I know that my info wasn’t already compromise. please advise.

Anonymous
2 years ago

Thank you so very much!!!!

Anonymous
3 years ago

I just got a nasty bleeping and a pop up message saying my phone was infected, just as outlined above and telling me to click the ok button to start cleaning the phone. I didnt, I just closed the app I was using, well I closed all my apps. I wasnt using safari though I was in a game App I just downloaded. I dont want to clear my history though. It says it will clear the history from all devices logged into my iCloud account which means my history is gone forever. I use my history all the time.… Read more »

Wilson
13 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Actually, you can download a trusted app like Norton, to scan for viruses, and such.

Admin
Liam Shotwell
13 days ago
Reply to  Wilson

Anti-virus apps on iPhones generally aren’t necessary and can be a drain on your battery and memory. If you have a serious concern, it’s probably better to go talk to a security expert or Apple. Other than that, basic preventative measures like only installing apps from sources you trust should be sufficient.

Wilson
12 days ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

That is true, and while Norton says you have to pay for good protection, talking to Apple will alot be cheaper, and better for you and your phone, so you should pick Liam’s way.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Thanks a lot David 🙂

Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Good information. I shared it with other iPhone users. Thank you.

Anonymous
3 years ago

it happen with my iphone 6 today. I clicked ok and its says you must do an action now to protect your phone from virus and suddenly the betternet apps pops out i clicked ok and it goes to my apple store asking for my apple id and password i downloaded the betternet successfully. Then suddenly cant connect to internet. So turned off my phone. Im afraid coz i have important on my mailbox.

Anonymous
3 years ago

What if it pops up repeatedly on Facebook?

Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you. Received my pop-up in Pinterest. Going to Apple now to report.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I click ok at first and then decided I didnt want to go any further, so I tried to close it and it wouldnt close finally I had to just turn the phone off for a while.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Thanks!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you! So helpful!

Anonymous
3 years ago

thank you!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you!!

Anonymous
3 years ago

What if you already clicked it