Which device do you want help with?

Viruses & Malware

Learn how to determine if you might have harmful software (malware) on your device and get tips to help fix the issue.


Are you seeing suspicious ads or pop-ups or are you concerned you have a virus or malware on your device? AT&T is not the source of—and cannot control—malware, but we can give you a few tips to troubleshoot and protect against malware in the future.


If you’re experiencing ads or pop-ups in your mobile browser, visit Ads, Pop-ups & Notifications for tips.

Interested in proactive detection and malware and virus protection for your Android and iOS phone? AT&T Mobile Security helps protect your phone from malware, viruses, and system threats. Learn more.



Troubleshoot if you suspect malware on your device

The source of unwanted behaviors is often an app that the user downloaded to the device. Safe Mode can help you confirm the problem is with a third-party app, or you can uninstall recently installed apps, if you suspect one of them is the problem. If all else fails, you can perform a factory reset on your device after backing up your data.


Use Safe Mode to help isolate the problem

Try Safe Mode, which allows your phone to run as normal but restricts third-party apps or services from being used. This will help you determine if the problem is with a third-party app.


After entering Safe Mode, do you still have the problem?

Yes—The problem is related to an app that was preinstalled on your phone.
Note: If you know which app is causing the issue, you can disable the app by going to Settings > Apps. Locate the app and select Disable. Uninstalling preinstalled apps may cause your device to experience problems.

No—You’ve confirmed the problem is with a third-party app.
Note: The app that caused the problem is likely one that was recently installed or has recently received an update.


Remove recently installed apps

Uninstall the apps that were downloaded or updated since the problem began. Uninstall them one at a time and begin with the ones that were installed most recently.


Learn how to manage and remove apps in the App Troubleshooting tutorial.


Perform a factory reset

If you're still seeing the problematic behavior, you can reset your device, but make sure to back up all your important data first.


Tips to avoid malware in the future

1. Here are a few things you can check first:

a. Check the average rating in the Play Store. A low rating could be a red flag.

b. Read the reviews—have other users reported problems with the app?

c. Check the developer name. Is it a company you trust? If not, do your research before installing their app on your phone.

2. Ensure that your phone does not accept apps from "unknown sources." Some apps have the ability to download and install other apps to your phone, but that doesn't mean it’s a good idea to accept them. To prevent this from happening, go to Settings > Security > Install unknown apps. If any of the apps in this list are "allowed," then they could be installing harmful apps on your device. Select the app and uncheck Allow from this source.

3. Install AT&T Mobile Security—a free app from AT&T that can help keep your phone secure from many types of harmful software ("malware"). View AT&T Mobile Security’s website for details.  

4. Keep your mobile operating system up to date.


Get more tips from our community on how to keep your device safe.

Did you get the help you needed?