iPhone Virus Warning: How to Get Rid of Fake Apple Security Alerts

What to Know

  • Don't tap on fake iPhone virus links or pop-ups; block pop-ups on Safari.
  • To block the link or pop-up, tap the tabs icon, then swipe or tap the X icon to close the window. Toggle on Airplane mode, and clear your cookies & data.
  • Fraudulent virus warnings and phishing sites are common scams.

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

It can be alarming when you're browsing a website, and a pop-up appears warning you of an iPhone virus. Fake Apple virus warnings, messages, and Apple security alerts are scams designed to get you to call or tap on a link. Fake Apple virus warnings are dangerous, so follow the steps below on how to safely stop these scams by turning on pop-up blocker settings.

How to Get Rid of Fake iPhone Virus Warnings

If you get a virus warning in a pop-up that says something like "Apple Security Warning on iPhone, Virus Detected," the first thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a real Apple security alert on an iPhone or iPad. Don't tap on it or call any numbers listed on the fake alert; don't even tap on the pop-up to close it! Some scam alerts seem to have an X or Close option that only resembles a close button but will actually direct you to the phishing site. Instead, follow the steps below:

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  1. Do NOT tap anywhere on the pop-up. Instead, tap the tab icon.

    does my iPhone have a virus
  2. Tap the X button on the tab or swipe up to safely close it. 

    apple security alert on Phone
  3. Open the Settings app.

  4. Toggle on Airplane Mode; this temporarily disconnects your phone from the internet so you can reset Safari while blocking unwanted access to your iPhone.

  5. Scroll down and tap Safari.

  6. Tap Clear History and Website Data.

    clear history and website data
  7. While in Safari settings, toggle on Fraudulent Website Warning.

    turn on fraudulent website warning to improve apple security alert
  8. Toggle on Block Pop-ups as well.

    toggle on block pop to help stop fake virus pop up on iphone
  9. Tap on Settings in the upper-left corner. 

    iPhone virus checks online alerts are scams
  10. Toggle Airplane Mode back off.

Now you can open Safari again; at this point, Apple virus scams shouldn't be appearing anymore. If you didn't click on or interact with the fake virus warning, all should be well with your iPhone. If you're curious to learn more about iPhone security, we've also published other articles about iPhone viruses and security, including Step Up Your Security: 7 Ways to Up Your Game, and How to Block Caller ID on iPhone & Make Private Calls.


  • How do I know if my virus warning is real? Your iPhone and iPad don't perform malware scans, so any pop-up warning you get is fake, every single one of them. 
  • How do I install Apple security updates to make my iPhone and iPad less vulnerable to malware, including viruses? The latest iOS update for your iPhone and the latest iPadOS update will improve your device's security, but you'll still need to follow the steps above to safely get rid of fake Apple virus warnings and security alerts.
  • What is iOS Rapid Security Response; will it protect my iPhone from fake Apple security alerts? According to Apple, Rapid Security Responses "deliver important security improvements between software updates." These updates can't help you if you click on fake Apple security warnings.
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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.