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How to remove 'Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged' pop-up scam

If you’re face-to-face with a pop-up on your iPhone that says, ‘Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged,’ don’t panic. You’re looking at a common phishing scam that’s out to trick you into downloading apps and supplying your personal data to third parties. It’s not telling the truth – your iPhone is not severely damaged.

By closing the pop-up immediately, you can avoid most of the scam’s potential damage. The ‘Your iPhone is severely damaged’ scam only succeeds when you proceed to click the link, download harmful apps, and enter personal information.

Let’s take a look at what this scam is, some of its root causes, and what to do if you see it pop up on your iPhone screen.

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What is 'Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged'?

‘Your iPhone is severely damaged’ is a pop-up ad scam that can appear when you visit unsafe websites. The ad is designed to trigger fear and urgency, getting you to act quickly and unknowingly grant scammers access to your device and data.

your phone was severely damaged pop up

Like many phishing scams, scammers need you to take action when you see their ad. With this scam, they want you to click on the link, download an app, enter personal information, and potentially make purchases.

To get people to act fast without thinking, this scam usually imitates legitimate logos, causing it to look like a real warning. Don't be fooled – even if you see the typical Apple font or Google logo. These are just tactics used by scammers. Your phone is not actually infected.

If you close the browser without interacting with the ad, you’ve stopped anyone from stealing your data and using it to make a profit. You’ve also avoided downloading any potentially unwanted apps (PUA) that can weaken the security of your device and cause it to run slowly.

Name‘Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged’ pop-up ad
TypePop-up ad scam, phishing scam, potentially unwanted applications (PUA)
DeviceApple iPhone
SymptomsIncrease in pop-up ads, iPhone is working slower than usual, redirecting to suspicious websites more often
DamagePersonal data or payment information stealing, browsing and online activity tracking, can open your system up to other infections

Why am I seeing 'Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged' pop-up ads?

If you’ve accidentally made your way to an unsafe website, the ‘Your iPhone is severely damaged’ pop-up ad might be waiting for you. Certain websites will promote these ads, meaning if you stumble onto the site, it will trigger the scam to pop up on your phone.

You might not even be aware you’re going to a risky website. If you’ve been infected by the Search Baron virus, this browser hijacker can lead you to countless unsafe sites. If you go to search for something on your phone and see it sends you to searchbaron.com, you’ll know you’ve been infected.

Remember, when you see this scam, your phone is not severely damaged. You’re simply face-to-face with a scamming attempt. Like many phishing scams, this pop-up uses fear and urgency to get you to act quickly and without thinking. Close the ad and browser without downloading anything or entering any information.

How do I know if my iPhone has virus damage?

No matter how careful you are online, one accidental click can let a virus sneak through to your system. If you’re worried about something you clicked on, here are a few signs that you might need to give your iPhone a security deep clean.

  • Redirecting to searchbaron.com. If you open up your default search engine and it redirects to “searchbaron.com,” it’s a sure sign that you’ve got a virus. The Search Baron virus hijacks your browser, sending you to more and more suspicious sites. These sites are usually waiting to show you pop-up ad scams and other phishing attacks.
  • Increase in pop-up ads. If your phone’s system has been compromised, you might be experiencing more pop-up ads than ever before. Every time one appears on your screen, it’s a chance for an accidental click that would allow malware to attack your device.
  • Your phone is running slow. If your phone has been infected, you might notice the system or your browser is running far slower than usual. The virus on your phone will be diverting resources you usually have all to yourself.
  • Unfamiliar apps and downloads. If you spot apps and other things on your phone that you don’t remember downloading, it can be a sign of PUA and bundling. When you download a suspicious app, it can bundle together with other apps you might not even be aware of. As they download together, they can invade your system with malware and other security concerns.

How to get rid of 'Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged' pop-up

If you’re here because you’re facing the ‘Your iPhone is severely damaged’ pop-up right now, don’t worry. We’ll help you get rid of the pop-up and scrub your system clean. Let’s get right into the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Close the ad and browser

Close the ‘Your iPhone is severely damaged’ pop-up ad and browser. In most cases, this will save your phone and your data from any potential damage. The scam succeeds when you download its app and willingly enter your information. If you do not engage with the pop-up’s requests, you’re in the clear so far.

Step 2: Enable the ‘Block Pop-ups’ setting

So you’ve closed the ad and browser, taking care of the immediate threat. Now it’s time to dig into your settings to make sure you’re as protected as possible from future scams.

By enabling your iPhone to block pop-ups, your phone should keep you from even seeing pop-up ad scams. If you can’t see the ads, you can’t accidentally click on their hazardous links. Plus, enabling this feature is easy to do. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to your iPhone’s Settings and scroll down ‘till you find the Safari app Click-Settings
  2. Click ‘Safari’, scroll down to ‘General’ settings, and click the toggle to enable ‘Block Pop-ups’ Enable-Block-Pop-ups
  3. When the toggle is green, ‘Block Pop-ups’ is active

Step 3: Clear history and website data

Once you’ve enabled the ‘Block Pop-up Setting,’ you’ll want to clear all the stored website data and browsing history on your phone. If you accidentally visited malicious websites that cause pop-up attacks, you’ll want to clear out any lingering connection to those sites.

  1. Remain in the Safari settings and scroll down to the ‘Clear History and Website Data’ button Clear-History-and-Website-Data
  2. Click on it and confirm the desired action Confirm-clearing-data

Step 4: Manually block web content

Finally, if you have the URL where the pop-up attack originated, you can manually block this site on your phone. This will make sure that you can’t accidentally navigate to that site again and be exposed to any of their future pop-up scams.

  1. Navigate to the main iPhone Settings and click on Screen Time Click-on-Screen-Time
  2. Scroll down to ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’, click on it and enable the first available option if it isn’t currently enabled
  3. Next, go to ‘Content Restrictions’, click on ‘Web Content’ and select ‘Limit Adult Websites’ Choose-Limit-Adult-Websites
  4. Where it says ‘Never Allow,’ enter the URL where you saw the pop-up scam

Step 5: Consider root causes

Once you’ve dealt with the pop-up ad attack, it might be time to take a closer look at the health of your iPhone. These kinds of pop-up scams are much more likely to appear if you’ve been infected with the Search Baron virus. If this is the case, you’ll want to remove it from your device completely to keep yourself and your data safe.

Step 6: Use antivirus software for full protection

With a great antivirus, like TotalAV, you can give your device a deep scan to check for browser hijackers, PUA, and other signs of malware. Antivirus software is a quick and comprehensive way to make sure your iPhone has been completely cleared of any lingering infections.

  1. Choose the right antivirus software for you. We recommend TotalAV as a reliable solution
  2. Purchase your plan and download the installer
  3. Install the software on your iPhone
  4. Open the application and run a scan of your device
  5. If the scan detects any malware, follow the steps to remove it

How can I protect my iPhone against viruses?

Want to stay safe from future pop-up ad scams and sneaky browser hijackers? We’ve got a few simple things you can do to prevent malware attacks and keep your iPhone safe from viruses.

  • Close pop-up ads immediately. Pop-up ad scams usually need you to click their link before any damage is done. If you come across one of these ads, close the ad and the browser immediately. Don’t click on any buttons, download any apps, or enter any of your personal information.
  • Be aware of common phishing tactics. Phishing scams rely on fear and urgency to get you to click. Remember that scammers will use official-looking logos, fonts, and sites to try to trick you. Remind yourself not to panic so you can better avoid their traps.
  • Stay away from suspicious links and downloads. Pop-up ads aren’t the only way for malware to impact your iPhone. Emails and websites can contain infected links and downloads. Use caution anytime you encounter an unknown source online.
  • Always update your iPhone. Make sure to install software updates as soon as they’re released. These will keep your system protected from new known security risks.
  • Check your settings. Even if you haven’t experienced a pop-up ad attack yet, you can follow the guide above to make sure your pop-up blocker is enabled in Safari. Taking advantage of this feature can keep you safe and protected from lurking pop-up ad attacks.
  • Install antivirus software. Using antivirus software is a great way to make sure you don’t compromise your iPhone security with an accidental click. A great antivirus software, like TotalAV, can scan your system for threats and show you how to remove them. It can also keep you away from dangerous pop-ups and other ways that malware gets ahold of your device.


There are a few reasons why you might be seeing the ‘Your iPhone is severely damaged’ scam. Either you simply stumbled across a malicious website, or it could be a browser hijacker you’re dealing with. Regardless, if you come across the ‘Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged’ pop-up ad, don’t panic!

This scam doesn’t have to be dangerous and is certainly not telling the truth. It’s an attempt to get you to download infected apps and hand over personal information. Closing the ad and browser should avoid any potential harm to your system. To strengthen your iPhone's security, even more, we recommend using reliable antivirus software like TotalAV.

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