So you're checking your email, and your Android tablet keeps crashing. That's scary. Is your device broken? Or does it have a virus? Can Android™ tablets even get viruses? The answer is yes. Android tablets don't get viruses often, but we'll show you what to do if it happens to your device.
At Asurion, we protect and repair the tech you love. We also help you learn about security, whether you want to keep your phone safe from hackers or create a strong password. Here's our guide on how to detect, remove, and prevent viruses on your Android tablet.
Can Android tablets get viruses?
What's a virus anyway? It's a form of malware designed to infect devices, destroying data or causing them to stop working. Viruses can come from many places—via bad links and attachments, in spam emails, or from malicious ads or pop-ups. But here's the good news: Android operating systems are built with security features to protect your devices from getting a virus. You can also install antivirus software from a trusted source for extra protection. It's unlikely your tablet will get infected, but it can happen and it's important to be aware and take precautions.
How to check for viruses on your Android tablet
Here are some possible signs that your Android tablet may have a virus:
- Slow performance
- Unfamiliar programs or browser extensions
- Changes to your default browser or homepage
- Your browser sending you to unwanted sites or search engines
- Frequent crashes
- Recurring error messages
- Excessive pop-ups
- Problems with tablet security programs
- Missing files
- Spam messages being sent from your email or social media accounts
What to do if your tablet has a virus
If you suspect your Android tablet has a virus, you can remove any potentially malicious apps in Safe mode. Here's what to do:
- Press and hold the Power button on your Android tablet.
- Press and hold the Power Off button on the Android tablet's display.
- When you see the message asking whether you'd like to boot in Safe mode, tap OK.
- After your tablet restarts, open Settings > Apps > See all apps.
- Scroll through the list of apps, tap any you'd like to remove, then tap Uninstall.
- Once you've removed the apps you don't want, restart your tablet.
Remember to back up your tablet first as you will lose all your existing data.
How to protect your tablet from viruses
The best way to keep your data safe and your device up and running is to prevent viruses from infecting your Android tablet in the first place. Here are some helpful tips:
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
- Don't use more than one antivirus program at a time.
- Keep your tablet's operating system, apps, and antivirus software up to date.
- Only install programs and apps from the Google Play™ Store.
- Don't open emails or download attachments from unknown senders.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, like at an airport or coffee shop.
- Be wary of pop-up windows—before clicking, ensure they're from a trusted source. If not, close them immediately.