While not exactly rocket science, dealing with viruses or malware can be a daunting for most people. If your Xiaomi Pocophone F1 appears slow or constantly show pop-ups that you can’t get rid of most of the time, it’s probably high time for you to check if it has a virus. Learn what to do exactly below.
Signs of virus infection
There are a number of things to watch out for if you suspect that you device may have a virus or malware. Below are some of them:
- Phone has become sluggish
- Apps keep crashing
- Device randomly turns itself off
- popup ads won’t go away
- a message or prompt to install an app keeps showing up
- homepage of web browser app keeps changing, or the default search engine is changed without your knowledge
- presence of apps you don’t recognize
- alerts about virus or malware infection and asking you to scan your device
Wipe the phone thru Factory reset (for severe cases). Depending on the severity of the malware presence on your device, you can opt to factory reset right away. This is to ensure that your subsequent steps are focused on preventing malware rather than on addressing the current symptoms. We recommend a factory reset as the first troubleshooting step for you if your phone become totally unusable, or if ads or pop-ups are so frequent to prevent normal use. However, if you only get infrequent pop-ups or signs of malware but the device is usable in general, we suggest that you leave factory reset as a last resort.
There are two ways to wipe your Xiaomi Pocophone F1. We’ll include the exact steps for these two methods here.
Method 1: How to hard reset on Xiaomi Pocophone F1 under Settings menu
If your Xiaomi Pocophone F1 has no problem going to Settings, then this method should be your preferred way to factory reset. It’s simpler and faster to do than the rest of the options below.
- Create a backup of your personal data such as photos, videos, messages, etc.
- Open Settings app.
- Tap Backup and reset.
- Tap Factory data reset.
- Tap Reset device.
- Enter the password if prompted.
- Select Erase everything to confirm.
Method 2: How to hard reset on Xiaomi Pocophone F1 using hardware keys
In case Settings menu is inaccessible, or if your device keeps on rebooting, the next good alternative to resetting your Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is by using the hardware buttons. In other cases, this method may also be the only method that you can use especially if the phone has become unresponsive. It’s also helpful if there’s a problem with the touchscreen due to a firmware fault.
To hard reset on Xiaomi Pocophone F1 using hardware keys:
- If possible, create a backup of irreplaceable data in your internal storage before performing a master reset. If not possible, skip this step and proceed to the next one below.
- Hold down the Power button to turn off the device.. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Recovery Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Recovery Mode.
- Press the Volume Up and Power buttons together.
- When the POCO logo appears, release the Power button.
- Let go of Volume Up button when ‘Recovery Mode’ appears.
- Select “Wipe Data” by using Volume Down to navigate and the Power button to confirm it.
- After that choose “Wipe All Data”. Use Volume Down to navigate and the Power button to confirm.
- Select “Reboot” and “Reboot to system” by using the Power button.
- The last step is to select “OK” by using the Power key.
- Set your phone up again.
Use Safe Mode. If virus infection is not severe and you can still use your device normally from time to time, you should try the Safe Mode route first. Android malware are usually spread by bad apps. Apps that spread adware are prevalent nowadays. Apps of these apps usually want to track your browsing habits and steal data and other information. They can also allow more bad apps to be installed without your knowledge. To check if your phone is infected by such apps, boot the phone to safe mode.
- Your device must be powered on.
- Press the power button on phone.
- When the power off, restart, airplane mode, wifi mode, etc. menu will be displayed, release the power button.
- Now, long press the power off word on screen.
- Keep pressing this word until the Android Safe Mode message is being displayed on your phone.
- Select to reboot into Android Safe Mode.
- When done, a dedicated Safe Mode watermark will be displayed on your smartphone
- Observe the phone and check for signs of malware.
If there are no pop-ups or ads while on safe mode, it means that we are right. One of your apps must be causing these pop-ups. You’ll need to identify what that app to fix the problem. If you can remember that the pop-ups started showing after installing a particular app, try to delete that app first and see if there’s a difference. If pop-ups continue to show, use the process of elimination to narrow down your suspects. Here’s what you need to do exactly:
- Boot to safe mode.
- Check for the problem.
- Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
- After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
- If your Xiaomi Pocophone F1 still has the same problem, repeat steps 1-4.
Use Play Protect. To minimize the chances of bad apps in your system, make sure that you enable Play Protect. This is a security feature in your Google Play Store app that scans your device for unwanted or bad apps or other security threats. Here’s how to turn Play Protect on:
- Open your Android device’s Google Play Store app.
- Tap Menu icon (three horizontal lines)
- Tap Play Protect.
- Turn on Scan device for security threats.
Antivirus apps. Once you’ve cleaned the phone after a factory reset or after identifying the culprit in safe mode, be sure not to install similar malicious apps again. Don’t forget that viruses are usually spread by apps so there’s a chance that the phone may get infected again if you’re not careful with what to add. To help in keeping the system free of potential malware, try to use a security app or antivirus. There are many good and free antivirus apps in the Play Store.Antivirus apps can be free or not so it’s up to you to decide which one to get. Be sure to use only known or official security app. Some bad apps may be disguised as an antivirus app so be careful with your choice.
Also, make sure that you only have one antivirus app installed. Having more than one can cause severe performance problems. Pick one and stick with it.
Turn off app permission. If you keep getting popup ads that won’t go away when using a browser like Chrome, you can stop the notifications from a website. Here are the steps to do that:
- Open the Chrome app.
- Go to a webpage.
- To the right of the address bar, tap More icon (three dots).
- Tap Information icon (circle with an i).
- Tap Site settings.
- Under “Permissions,” tap Notifications.
- If you don’t see “Permissions” or “Notifications,” the site doesn’t have notifications turned on.
- Turn the setting off.
How to avoid viruses and malware on Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Preventing viruses on a device requires effort from a user. We like to keep repeating this but you are actually the first line of defense of your phone. Antivirus apps and other Android security features are not 100% foolproof. There’s a constant cat-and-mouse battle between good and bad guys. Once a bad guy figures out a workaround, they’ll then develop another way to allow their bad products to sneak in to a device. And you play a big role in that. You must ensure that you make it difficult for viruses to infect your phone at all times. That requires discipline when picking apps. Below are the concrete things that you can start practicing to avoid malware:
- Always do due diligence when installing an app. You want to check the reviews from other users or browse the internet for feedback for the app if you’re not sure whether it’s safe or not.
- Stick with official apps.
- Don’t click on links that shows you how to install an app. Use Play Store to install apps only.
- Avoid visiting known booby-trapped websites. Porn sites are notorious sources of viruses but so are innocent-looking ones.
- Avoid clever popups that warn you that your device is infected or has a virus. Majority of the time, popups of such types will run a code after you tap or click on it. Your phone will eventually be forced to download apps or other unwanted software.
- Minimize apps as much as possible. Truth be told, there’s no “free” app at all. Developing any app is expensive so developers will try to moneytize their products one way or another. One common way for bad developers to profit from their apps is by infecting a device so it constantly displays ads.