What Is the AppLock Virus, and How Do I Remove It?

Banish this pesky iOS-based irritant

Are you being bombarded with advertisements, redirects, and browser changes while online using your iPhone or iPad? You may have been infected with the AppLock adware virus. Here's a look at what's behind this annoying mobile virus and how to protect yourself against it.

AppLock affects iOS devices, including all variants of iPhones and iPads. It can also cause some issues for a cloud-connected macOS device

A conceptual illustration of the App Lock virus destroying a laptop computer.
Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi 

What Is the AppLock Virus?

The AppLock virus is an annoying form of malware that affects Apple-based devices. It shows users excessive numbers of ads and sometimes causes page redirects to other sites.

On its own, the AppLock virus is just an irritant. Still, it can pave the way for more nefarious online threats to arrive on your system via unsafe advertisements a user unwittingly opens.

How Does AppLock Work?

AppLock is a browser hijacker, so it works by constantly displaying advertisements on your iPhone or iPad. It's not as dangerous as a "true" virus or malware, but it's very annoying and can leave your system less secure. 

AppLock may expose you to ransomware threats and other issues by opening up so many pop-ups and page redirects that you can end up mistakenly clicking on an unsafe ad. AppLock is also quite likely spying on your activities, recording your browsing history and search queries in a bid to figure out what ads are most likely to attract your attention. 

AppLock is easy to spot because it bombards you with copious pop-up banners and advertisements, and it may change the default search engine on your browser. The ads tend to be for unfamiliar, suspicious-sounding websites.

While AppLock won't slow down your system like a computer-based form of adware, it will be very annoying as you try to browse other websites. 

How Did I Get the AppLock Virus?

One of the easiest ways to make your iOS device open to viruses and malware is by jailbreaking it. While there are some advantages, jailbreaking immediately makes your iPhone and iPad less secure. 

It's also possible to acquire the AppLock virus by downloading files from illicit sources and viewing them on your iOS device.

How Do I Get Rid of the AppLock Virus?

It's important to shut down AppLock so the problems it causes don't escalate and get worse. One of the most effective ways of getting rid of the AppLock adware virus is to use iOS-based antivirus software. Here are a few excellent options:

Many of these products are free to download, but you'll need a paid subscription to use their best malware-fighting tools. It can take a while for the removal process to complete, but it's one of the best ways of ensuring all malicious files have been removed. 

Enable Safer Settings in iOS Safari

Because AppLock isn't a particularly malicious form of malware, it's also possible to stop or prevent it by blocking pop-up ads in Safari. Here's how:

  1. Open Settings on your iOS device.

  2. Scroll down and select Safari.

  3. Make sure Block Pop-ups is toggled on.

    Block pop-ups in iOS Safari

To avoid AppLock reinfection, keep an antivirus tool on your iOS device. Also, be careful about where you download apps and files from, especially if your iOS device is jailbroken. Always be careful about the websites you browse and the links you click.