Best free antivirus for iPhone in 2023
While iPhones and iPads are more secure than devices that run on other OS, they are still not immune from viruses and other online threats. With a reliable iPhone antivirus, you can prevent malware, data leaks, phishing and other online threats. Luckily, you can get an antivirus for free, so you can secure your iPhone without breaking the bank.
However, not all free antivirus providers are secure to trust with protecting your iOS devices. You need to pick a reputable one with a proven track record of protecting against malware and other threats. To help you out, we’ve tested our top-rated antivirus provider and suggest that the best free iPhone antivirus is TotalAV.
If TotalAV doesn’t meet all the criteria you’re looking for, we have alternatives for it. All providers in our list have been tried and tested based on their malware detection rates, features, compatibility with iOS devices, and can be downloaded without paying.
Top 5 best free iPhone antivirus apps
- TotalAV – best free iPhone antivirus in 2023
- Bitdefender – feature-rich free iPhone antivirus
- Norton 360 – free iOS antivirus with excellent real-time protection
- NordVPN Threat Protection – privacy-oriented free iOS antivirus
- Aura – light-weight iPhone antivirus with a free trial
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Is it worth having a free iPhone antivirus?
Having any protection, free or not, is better than having none. Due to iPhone software sandboxing that prevents third-party apps from accessing other app files or system resources, iPhone viruses are uncommon. But all this is gone once you jailbreak your iPhone to modify it however you like. Combine this with the few zero-day vulnerabilities Apple has recently experienced, and you get your answer: having free virus removal for iPhones is a good idea.
Even free antivirus software comes with real-time protection features, device optimization tools, and extra additions like VPNs (even if it's limited) and ad blockers to secure your data while browsing online. That will exponentially enhance your device's security from various malware threats.
However, with a premium subscription, you can get even more than just the basics of security. The paid subscription also offers identity theft protection tools, data monitoring, parental controls, and many other useful tools.
We recommend choosing the TotalAV free version for iPhone security. It will notify you of dangerous data leaks, and the premium upgrade offers outstanding real-time protection!
The best free antivirus for iPhone in 2023
We only included iPhone antivirus apps that provide robust cybersecurity features on their free version or offer a generous free trial. Here's a list of the best free antivirus software for iPhone in 2023.
1. TotalAV – best free iPhone antivirus in 2023
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TotalAV is the best free antivirus for the iPhone. It monitors the web for leaks to secure your personal information and offers features to enhance overall iPhone user comfort, like the WebShield feature to block trackers and malicious websites.
Malware detection. We’ve challenged TotalAV during our in-house testing to see its success in removing malware threats from your device. This antivirus caught 10/10 malware threats and didn’t require many system resources. The independent lab tests also attest to our findings – this antivirus is capable of blocking 100% of malware threats, both known and zero-day. So you can be sure this antivirus offers robust protection for iOS devices.
Features. We’ve tested all the features that come with the free TotalAV subscription. An easy-to-use email and password checker looks for outdated and weak credentials. In addition, this feature can also recommend built-in iPhone security settings to enhance your device protection, which we found very useful for beginner users. More so, there are tools to delete duplicate photos and videos, clear storage space, and improve your iPhone performance.
Pricing. TotalAV has one of the best free versions, but to get the full experience, we recommend picking the premium subscription. This way, you’ll get access to outstanding premium features, like an unlimited VPN tool and a password manager, to secure your sensitive information. The price starts from $19.00/year and covers up to 3 devices. There's also a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service out.
Visit our full TotalAV review to learn more.
2. Bitdefender – excellent free real-time web protection for your iPhone with lots of features
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Bitdefender free version for iOS offers robust security and an easy-to-use mobile application. This antivirus comes with real-time protection, a VPN tool, and many other features to enhance your iPhone protection with the free plan.
Malware detection. We performed a free iPhone virus scan using ten malware examples against Bitdefender's quick and full scans. Like in AV tests, it caught 100% of the threats quickly and efficiently. Bitdefender received high marks from independent lab tests. It caught 100% of already known and zero-day malware threats. In addition, it’s known to be light on your systems, so it doesn’t affect your device negatively.
Features. The free Bitdefender iOS version includes identity theft protection, which scans the web for personal data leaks – we tested this feature, and it found not only leaked emails and passwords but also checks for digital footprint leaks. We also checked the web protection feature, which successfully blocked access to malicious websites and ads. In addition, there’s also a free VPN with a 200MB data cap to browse on public Wi-Fi from time to time safely.
Price. The free Bitdefender version is sufficient for safe online browsing, but if you pay a $29.99 yearly subscription fee for the Antivirus Plus plan, you also get phishing and ransomware protection, a password manager, and unlimited VPN data. Bitdefender also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Our full Bitdefender review has more details.
3. Norton 360 – excellent all-around cybersecurity features for iOS devices
|Free version:||Free trial|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday deal! Get up to 66% OFF Norton Antivirus🔥|
Norton offers an extensive feature package for iOS devices to secure them from various online threats and viruses. While there’s no free version of this antivirus, you can get the full feature package with a free trial or the extra-long 60-day money-back guarantee.
Malware detection. Our in-house tests showed how efficient this antivirus is with protecting from malware threats – it caught all malware threats we’ve challenged it with. However, we noted that a full scan was heavy on our system resources. The independent lab tests confirm our results; Norton can block 100% of online threats. In addition, it identifies zero false positives and has minimal impact on speed.
Features. Norton 360 offers generous free trial access to its premium features. It protects against ransomware, malware, and spyware and secures your online activities with additional VPN encryption. We particularly liked SMS filters that neutralize spam SMS text messages.
Price. You need an annual subscription to use Norton iOS antivirus, but you can use its 60-day money-back guarantee combined with a 14-day free antivirus trial. After using it for free for 74 days, it costs $19.99/year.
Here's our full informative Norton 360 review.
4. NordVPN Threat Protection – privacy-oriented antivirus for iOS devices with a free trial
|Free version:||Free trial|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday deal! Get NordVPN Antivirus – 69% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥|
NordVPN Threat Protection comes for free with the NordVPN subscription. You can get it with a 7-day mobile free trial or the 30-day money-back guarantee available. This tool ensures your real-time protection while browsing online and block trackers and malicious ads.
Malware detection. We tested NordVPN's Threat Protection to inspect incoming malicious downloads, block access to infected websites, and disable fraudulent ads. This VPN antivirus feature performed exceptionally well, neutralizing over 90% of the threats. While not the highest rating on this list, it’s still one of the best antivirus for iOS that you can pick.
Features. Threat Protection monitors web activities in real-time and stops malware before it reaches user devices. Additionally, it disables trackers and ads and applies DNS filtering – we tested this feature out and were even able to block YouTube video ads. Combined with a robust VPN that is one of the best on the market, it's a great choice for online safety. It's worth noting iOS only supports the lightweight feature version, which is more resource-friendly and won’t affect your device.
Price. Threat Protection is a free feature included in all NordVPN subscription plans, starting from barely $2.99/month. You can try this service out with a 7-day mobile free trial or a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To learn more, drop by our full NordVPN Threat Protection review.
5. Aura antivirus – easy-to-use iPhone antivirus with a money-back guarantee
|Free version:||14-day money-back guarantee|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday deal! Get up to 63% OFF Aura Antivirus! 🔥|
Aura is another great antivirus to secure your iPhone from various online threats. While there’s no free trial, you can test this antivirus with a 14-day money-back guarantee to experience the full feature package available.
Malware detection. According to our in-house testing, Aura caught 80% of malware threats during the quick scan. However, the real-time protection test showed that this antivirus could reliably catch only half the threats it encounters. In addition, Aura is very demanding of your system resources.
Features. With a malware scanner and real-time protection, Aura comes with identity theft protection tools, which we have tested to find that it scans for various sensitive data and includes insurance to help victims of identity theft. There’s also a password manager that's very easy to use, a VPN, which, unfortunately, is pretty limited and slows down your connection speed, and other useful tools.
Price. The 14-day money-back guarantee allows you to test the full capabilities of this antivirus software. Afterward, the subscription price starts at $10/month.
Learn more in our detailed Aura antivirus review.
How we tested these free iPhone antivirus apps
Evaluating the best antivirus for iPhone is somewhat tricky as Apple uses different device security protocols. Many users choose a free antivirus for iOS devices because they don't require a full system scan unless the device is jailbroken.
Here’s the top criteria by which we selected the antivirus software for our list:
- Time-tested brand. We selected iOS AV apps that come from reputable cybersecurity companies or have undergone in-depth independent tests with positive results.
- Malware detection score. We checked the antivirus performance based on independent lab tests, like the AV-Test Institute and AV-Comparatives. In addition to that, we ran our in-house tests to see how successful these antiviruses were in protecting iPhones from malware threats.
- iOS app. We selected only those antivirus software that offer intuitive and feature-rich iOS applications for beginners and experts alike.
- Free iOS safety features. Antiviruses can do much more than just scan the device for existing malware. We inspected numerous additional benefits like identity theft protection, device performance optimization, a VPN, and real-time web protection. Having these features on a free version is a significant advantage.
- Free trial policies. We firmly believe that choosing absolutely free cybersecurity software often comes with weekend protection. Our recommendations come with excellent free trials, money-back guarantees, and sufficient features on a free version.
Best free antivirus apps for iPhone compared
|Dedicated iOS app||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|Free version||✅||✅||Free trial||Free trial||14-day money-back guarantee|
|Paid plan cost||From $19.00/year||From $29.99/year||From $19.99/year||From $2.99/month||From $10.00/month|
|Review||TotalAV review||Bitdefender review||Norton review||NordVPN review||Aura review|
Are all free iPhone antivirus apps safe?
Yes, if they are available on the app store, then the free iPhone antivirus apps are safe. That’s due to Apple being very picky about allowing third-party apps in its app store. However, if you jailbreak your iPhone to allow third-party apps without restrictions, the situation is entirely different.
Free antivirus apps from unknown developers that do not pass the requirements to be placed on Apple's app store can have security issues. For example, they may lack sufficient funds to continuously update their malware database with the latest threats, allowing viruses on their iPhones. Some might even collect and sell user data, undermining your privacy.
On the other hand, free antivirus software from reputable brands is an excellent way to get affordable cyber protection. Remember that you can always utilize the free trial or a money-back guarantee to try out premium features and cancel before the payment is charged.
Risks of using a free antivirus for iPhone
Using unverified antivirus software to perform an iPhone malware scan for free is risky. Here's a list of main disadvantages when downloading free antivirus outside the Apple App Store:
- Outdated malware database. As mentioned earlier, many free antiviruses do not have the latest malware listings and can let a recent virus through, presenting a false sense of security. You can get fake scan results informing you your iPhone is safe when, in reality, it is infected with the latest malware threat.
- No customer support. We occasionally encounter free third-party iOS antiviruses that do not have a dedicated support team to assist you with any issues you may encounter.
- Privacy issues. Some free antiviruses are developed to lure unsuspecting users and then collect their data to sell to third parties. This data can be used to bombard users with personalized ads but can also fuel more damaging phishing campaigns.
- System performance decrease. Do you remember the times when performing a full antivirus system scan meant rendering the device unusable for a couple of hours? That's what you can get nowadays using a free antivirus not optimized for iOS devices.
Free vs. paid iPhone antivirus
Although using a free antivirus for iPhone and iPad protection is certainly possible, you should be aware of the differences between paid and free antivirus. It all depends on your required protection level, so here are the main distinctions to notice:
|Free iPhone antivirus||Paid iPhone antivirus|
|Real-time protection||Limited real-time protection to infectious file downloads and website blocks||Extensive real-time protection feature to prevent all malware and online threats|
|Additional features||Limited feature list to only virus scans||Additional features include VPNs, password managers, identity theft protection tools|
|Simultaneous connections||Limited||Multiple device support with a single subscription|
|Regular updates||Limited||Regular to update your software protection capabilities consistently|
How to get free antivirus on iPhone
Installing a free antivirus on iPhone or iPad is effortless. Cybersecurity developers know well that many will skip such apps if they are tedious to use, so here's how to get one in a few easy steps:
- Go to Apple's App Store and subscribe to a free iOS antivirus. We recommend TotalAV, now 84% OFF!
- Download the app and open it.
- Create an account or sign in with your credentials.
- Set up the antivirus by following provided instructions.
Smartphone-oriented malware appears daily as this technology gradually becomes a primary Internet access tool for many. Although Apple's iPhones are way more secure due to app sandboxing, address space layout randomization and use of entitlements, it is still susceptible to data leaks, public Wi-Fi hacking, and viruses if you jailbreak your iPhone.
Independent and our in-house tests reveal that TotalAV is the best free iPhone antivirus software. Its free version checks for email and password leaks, analyzes in-built iOS security settings, and removes duplicates to clear up storage space and increase performance. But if you decide to upgrade it to premium, you'll also benefit from robust real-time malware detection, unlimited VPN traffic, and QR Code Checker for fraudulent redirects.
Is there a free antivirus for iPhone?
Yes, there are free iPhone antiviruses, like TotalAV, that provide limited yet useful online safety features. Most free iOS antiviruses scan the web for personal data leaks, offer a limited data VPN, and remove photo, and video duplicates to free up storage space.
What is the best free malware detection for iPhone?
The best free malware detection for iPhone is TotalAV which has been independently tested and proven to catch 100% of malware threats without demanding too many system resources.
Do iPhones have built-in security?
Yes, iPhones use app sandboxing to limit third-party data access to other apps or system resources. The passcode and Touch ID features protect user devices from unauthorized access attempts, and you can utilize the Find My iPhone feature in case your device is stolen.