How to remove spyware from an Android phone


If you’ve been reading any of our recent blog posts, you’ll know that it’s not exactly difficult these days to hack an Android device. Off-the-shelf spyware is now available for as little as $30 – and you don’t need to be a technical genius to use it.

Not only is Android spyware extremely affordable and easy to install – it can exist on your device completely without your knowledge. Once it’s installed, it can potentially access almost anything on your phone. That means images, videos, GPS location, chat messages, call logs, emails, passwords, bank account details, etc. Some spyware can even record your calls.

That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you regularly check for spyware on your device and remove it as soon as possible. In fact, that’s why we built our FREE Certo Mobile Security app for Android – which you can check out here. This app will allow you to automatically check for spyware on your device, along with ensuring critical system settings aren’t making your phone vulnerable to attacks.

But what happens if you find spyware on your device? How do you remove it?

Want the quick fix?

Download our free Certo Mobile Security app, scan your phone and just tap ‘Remove’ if any threats are found.

Alternatively, follow the steps below to manually check your device:

1. Look for unrecognized apps on your device

If you spot any apps that you don’t recognize, there’s a chance that this could be a malicious app installed by a hacker. We recommend uninstalling any apps that you don’t recognize or that seem suspicious. A quick search online can often give you more information about an app if you’re not sure.

2. Check app permissions on your phone

Another way to stop apps taking control of your phone is to check their permissions. This can reveal malicious apps that have been hidden or disguised as real apps. To view and change your app permissions use the following steps (this may differ slightly depending on your device):

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps or Manage Apps.
  3. Tap App Permissions.
  4. Tap each permission (e.g. access to camera, access to location) to check which apps have access.
  5. If you find any apps that look suspicious and have permissions that you did not grant, then go ahead and uninstall these from your phone.

3. Use your phone’s in-built virus scanner

Most phones from major manufacturers come with a basic virus scanner pre-installed. This will help you to monitor for threats on your device, and can also be used to remove many threats found.

If your device doesn’t have a virus scanner pre-installed then at the very least you should ensure that Google Play Protect is activated. This will scan your device to check for any malicious or harmful apps and is included with all recent versions of Android.

Here’s how to activate Google Play Protect:

  1. Go to Settings > Google.
  2. Tap Security.
  3. Tap Google Play Protect. May also be called Verify Apps.
  4. Tap Turn on.
  5. Simply tap ‘refresh’ to scan for threats.

Remove Android spyware the easy way, with Certo

Again, if you want the quick fix and the most comprehensive way to destroy spyware for good, we strongly recommend checking out our free app – Certo Mobile Security. It’s been designed from the ground-up to find and remove Android spyware. At Certo, mobile security is what we do, so you can relax knowing we’ve got your back.