So you think someone has installed spy software on your cell phone, now you want to know how to remove it. It is quite easy in most cases, when you follow a few simple steps. This is part of my series of articles looking at How to Spot Spy Software, How to Secure Your Cell Phone and now How to Remove Spy Software.
There are usually two groups of people who want to find out about removing cell phone monitoring or spying apps: those who installed the software and those who have someone spying on them! Which one are you?
When You Have Installed the Software
If you’re the person who installed the spy software in the first place, you will have access to the programs Control Panel and the website. Most of the main companies have detailed information on their websites guiding you through the process of uninstalling the software.
With some programs you can even do this remotely. This is usually done by sending a coded text message to the target phone which will automatically uninstall the software. You will find the text codes for uninstalling the software in the program members control panel – they are different for each software provider. Of course, if you have been the target of cell phone spy software, and have discovered it on your phone you will not have access to this information.
You Don’t Have Access to the Spy Software
If you have discovered any kind of covert, monitoring or tracking software on your smart phone but don’t have access to that software, you can still remove it completely. There are a couple of methods depending on your technical confidence.
If you really do not want to start tinkering with the phone yourself you can take your phone to your local cell phone shop and ask them to restore the phone to its factory settings. Most will do this for free or at least a small charge and they should be able to backup and restore any of your saved data on the phone such as contacts and e-mails. You could also contact your service provider and they will be able to instruct you how to do a factory reset.
Restoring the phone to factory settings will remove any spy software. It basically wipes your phone clean so it is important to backup anything you need to keep. You can do this yourself and in most phones is as easy as hitting a couple of buttons.
The process is different for each type of phone but you will find information about doing a factory reset on your phone makers support website – or do a simple Google search. The procedure will be slightly different for each type of phone so you will need to do a little research. Normally you go to settings – privacy – restore factory settings.
Just remember not to automatically restore your apps as this could reinstall the software. Just reinstall any apps you need manually and you will be safe. Contacts and emails etc can be safely restored from your backup.
The process is very easy and anyone can do it. It is a sure way to remove any spy software program from your cell phone.
Updating the Operating System to Remove Spy Software
Another method, which is a little easier for most people, is to update the phones Operating System (firmware). This will have the same effect as a factory reset and will remove any spy software from your phone. Again it is very important to backup all of your data before doing this. This process is usually very simple. If your cell phone is already running the latest OS you can first of all rollback to the previous version, and then reinstall the latest OS version.
Remove Spy Apps Manually
It is possible to remove cell phone spy software manually by going into the phones file system and deleting the software program files. This can be a little more difficult as most people will not recognize the correct files and there is the possibility of removing files needed for the phone to operate correctly. With this method you may miss something and not remove the spy software totally so I always recommend either the factory reset or upgrading the OS – to be sure that the software is totally removed.
How to Remove Spy Software from an iPhone
There is an easy way to remove spy software from the iPhone. For any external (not from Apple) software to work on an iPhone, the phone must be Jailbroken – check my article about Jailbreaking an iPhone to find out what this is all about. If the Jailbreak is removed the software will be removed. You can remove the Jailbreak by updating the operating system – IOS 5.1.1, 4.1. etc. The good thing is that Apple have made this really easy for the iPhone. You can easily backup your phone and update your IOS through iTunes and remove the Jailbreak in the process.
Remember that any non Apple apps or software will be removed when you update the IOS and remove the Jailbreak. You can of course re-apply the Jailbreak if you want to run other non Apple apps again – safe in the knowledge that the spy phone software has been removed.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Removing spy phone software is easy enough and the above methods are effective and will totally rid your cell phone of any hidden tracking or monitoring apps. Although the process is easy, it will be a hassle. You will need to backup and restore any important saved data and software apps that you need and it will take some time. It is much better to take a few simple steps to Secure Your Cell Phone in the first place. When you have removed the software what is going to stop it happening again? You have been a victim once – don’t make the same mistake again.
Make sure you are aware of what can be done with this type of software and read some of their reviews on this site:
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