HTC One M9‎

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How do I know if I've installed a malicious third-party app on my phone?

You may encounter some of the issues or symptoms below when there's a malicious app or malware installed on your phone.
  • Fake law enforcement warning requiring you to pay a fine/fee
  • Fake anti-virus messages
  • Unexpected pop-up screens that prevent your phone from performing as expected
  • Redirection to an unintended website or app download
  • Unusual usage and charges on mobile data and phone bill
  • Phone contacts receiving an unintended SMS or email
  • Unintended posts or uploads to social media sites
  • New app suddenly appearing
  • Noticeable reduction in battery life after the installation of a new app

Many malicious third-party apps will automatically start when the phone boots or set themselves as device administrators to make the apps more difficult to uninstall. To prevent these from happening, uninstall or disable any suspicious apps.

  1. Reboot into Safe Mode by pressing and holding the POWER button, then tap and hold Power off until the Reboot to safe mode prompt appears. Tap OK.
  2. Go to Settings, and then tap Apps or App Manager.
  3. Look for any suspicious or unfamiliar apps, and then tap Uninstall or Disable.

    If you don't see any suspicious apps, uninstall any recently downloaded apps that were installed shortly before the symptoms appeared.

  4. If the app doesn't have the uninstall or disable option, go to Settings, tap Security > Device Administrators, and then clear the app to be uninstalled. Go back to Settings > Apps, and then try to uninstall the app again.
  5. Reboot the phone and check if the issue is resolved.

    If this doesn't fix the issue, you may need to factory reset your phone.

Perform a factory reset through Settings

As a last resort, you can reset your phone to factory settings. Before you do so, please be aware of the following:
  • A factory reset will erase all data, media, and files from the phone storage. You'll lose them and won't be able to restore them if you didn't sync or back them up before. Make sure you've backed up all important information and files before you proceed.
  • Make sure the phone is charged to at least 35% before performing the reset, or is connected to an HTC charger and is actively charging.
  • Make sure you know your Google Account name and password. You'll need them to unlock your phone after the factory reset.

    For phones with Android 5 Lollipop or higher, Device Protection may be enabled, which means that after the factory reset, you'll need to sign in using the same Google Account that was logged into your phone. If you forgot your Google Account password, use your computer web browser and go to www.google.com/accounts/recovery to reset your password first.

To perform a factory reset on most HTC devices:

  1. Go to Settings, and then tap Backup & reset.
  2. Tap Reset phone or Factory data reset.

    If you have a security lock on the device, you'll need to enter your security information as well.

  3. Tap Reset or OK.

    The phone will reboot and reset.

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