How to remove spyware from your smartphone

Spyware is software that can be used to spy on smartphones and computers and monitor the victim’s usage activity. It is usually difficult to remove. You can find out how to remove spyware from your smartphone below – but if you want to be on the safe side, you have to reset your smartphone.

It is best to check regularly which apps are running are installed on your smartphone. You can find the corresponding option under Android in the settings. On iOS you can find it in the settings under “General” and “Apps”. If an app catches your eye that doesn’t sound familiar, you can simply enter the name briefly on Google to find out whether it is malware.

Spyware was designed to be to act inconspicuously and is often difficult to detect. But as long as you are thorough and persistent in your search, you will find it sooner or later. If someone is spying on you, spyware removal is just the beginning, but at least a step in the right direction.

How to remove spyware on Android

If you want to find out whether spyware is installed on your Android device, you must first open the settings and then tap the option “Applications”. Now go to “Services running” to see which apps are currently active. Services that you are not familiar with or even suspect can be uninstalled directly here. But don’t forget to clear the cache first. Repeat these steps in the “Manage Applications” menu.

The best way to get rid of spyware, however, is a complete factory reset.

This is how you remove spyware from iPhones

The easiest way to remove spyware from an Apple device is with a software update. If you have jailbroken your device, you will restore the original operating system through this process. Because numerous spywares take advantage of the jailbreak, these iOS devices are much more insecure than devices without jailbreak.

Jailbreaking removes certain restrictions so that third-party apps that have not received approval from Apple , can be installed on the device. The software update removes the jailbreak, rendering any spyware on your device harmless.

On the device:

1. Opens the “Settings”
2. Tap on “General”
3. Then select the “Software update” option

OR

On the computer:
1. Open iTunes on your PC or Mac
2. Connect your iOS device
3. Select your iPhone or iPad in iTunes
4. Click in the overview on “Check for update”

If you want to be on the safe side, you can also perform a factory reset.

A factory reset is the more thorough removal method. However, all of your data on your iOS device will be deleted and the latest version of iOS will be installed. Before you perform a factory reset, you should create a backup of your device using iTunes or iCloud so that you can restore all of your personal data in the end.

1. Start iTunes on your PC or Mac
2. Connect your iOS device
3. Select your iPhone or iPad in iTunes
4. In the overview click on “Restore iPhone” or “Restore iPad”
5. Click again on “Restore”
to confirm. 6. Your device will be restored after the factory reset start anew. The process can take a few minutes.
7. You then have the option of restoring your device from a backup.

There are apps that work similarly to spyware. For example, parental control and monitoring apps. Unlike spyware, these apps are very easy to find. See if someone installed such an app on your device against your will. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also perform a factory reset to remove any monitoring software.

A factory reset may not be enough

The best way to remove spyware is still a factory reset – but even this removal method is not an absolute guarantee. So one of my friends from China simply buys a new smartphone if he finds spyware on his device. Anyone who has to do a lot with sensitive data should perhaps get a second device – for example for private use or for trips to countries with a higher spyware risk.

I am being spied on, how can I Secure evidence?

If you have been the victim of a spyware attack and you know the culprit, it is best to secure some evidence, as spying on or stalking a person using spyware is illegal. However, if you remove the spyware from your device, all evidence will be lost. In such a case, you should report to the police directly, as the officers can help you in this matter. You should also switch your device to flight mode and ensure that the device’s battery is sufficiently charged.


This post is part of a series of articles about abuse and how you can protect yourself from unwanted surveillance. Other articles in the series:

Are you personally affected? Are you dealing with related software or other types of abuse, perhaps related to a stalker or within a domestic violence relationship? Then we have further links for you, here you get information and help:

  • Luisa is here – Luisa is an offer of help for women in the party scene who have come out of an uncomfortable situation want. With the question “Is Luisa here?” Women can turn to the staff and receive immediate and discreet help. A campaign by Frauen-Notruf Münster eV .
  • Polizei-Beratung.de – Information from the criminal police on the subject of “domestic violence”. You will also find definitions and information here for stalking, sexual offenses or child abuse, as well as the addresses of the nearest police information center.
  • Protection against violence – Information for those affected by domestic violence
  • save-me-online.de – Online and chat advice for children and adolescents in the event of sexual violence, cyberbullying, harassment, etc. Those affected are informed here and can also contact themselves Report anonymously via chat or on the help phone if you wish.
  • Federal Association of Women’s Advice Centers and Women’s Emergency Telephones – here there are, among other things, addresses of women’s emergency calls or advice centers, as well as a lot of information on the subject of sexual violence against women / girls.
  • Help phone – free hotline for women who have experienced or are experiencing violence. The advice is not only free, but also available every day of the year and around the clock. Advice is given in 17 different languages ​​and the advice is directed not only explicitly to the victims, so that friends or relatives of those affected can also contact them.
  • Stalking Justice – very extensive information page for Subject stalking.
  • Stop Stalking – Very interesting site, because it not only helps stalking victims, but also the stalkers themselves.
  • Weißer Ring – non-profit and only nationwide active victim support association for victims of crime and violence

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