There are a ton of options when it comes to antivirus apps on your Android phone or tablet — but there are only a handful of truly free ones. Many offer free features, with more robust features available as at a premium or subscription basis. You can get just as many great features from an unrestricted free app however. And in this case we're talking all-the-way free.
So while we still contend that you don't necessarily need a virus scanner on Android, it's still a conversation we're going to have, and we're going to look at some of the apps that are currently available.
All of these apps offer the basics like virus and malware scanning, but a few also have features that go beyond, like app managers, app locks, privacy controls, phone finder, remote wipe and more. So if you're looking for a great free antivirus app for Android, look no further than these apps.
A reminder: Viruses and malware are technically not the same thing, and there actually aren't any true "viruses" for Android. But if you manage to somehow get something bad on your phone, it won't really matter what you call it. So we're using the terms a little interchangeably in this series.
1. Comodo Security & Antivirus
On the base level, Comodo Security & Antivirus keeps you protected from viruses and unsafe apps — but it also offers a set of tweaks to make using your device much safer. The "always on" virus protection scans your phone or tablet and keeps bad software from harming your device. Beyond that, Comodo offers features like Privacy Protection for storing sensitive information, Privacy Advisor for help identifying app permissions, SMS and Call Blocking, Traffic Monitoring, Backup and more.
There is also a set of Anti-Theft codes which allow you to perform actions on your device remotely should it be lost or stolen. These codes — activated by SMS — allow you to do things like locate your device, sound an alarm, take a photo, or even wipe your device.
2. CM Security Antivirus AppLock
CM Security Antivirus Applock Not only sports great antivirus protection for your Android device, but also an AppLock feature for securing your apps, settings, and media files. The app scans both new and system apps in real-time, keeping you safe from any threats to your device. There's also a phone cleaner/booster, anti-theft features like find my phone, and safe browsing to protect you from malicious sites.
AppLock lets you lock apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or just your contacts to prevent unwanted access. You can also lock settings on your device, or protect media files like photos and video.
3. 360 Security - Antivirus Boost
360 Security - Antivirus Boost packs a lot into a small package. It doesn't just offer virus protection, but also cleans and speed up your device to keep it running in tip-top shape. The virus scanner scans apps in real-time — installed apps, new apps and memory card content — to ensure you don't install any harmful software. It also cleans out junk files (large and unused files) and frees up memory with just one tap.
App manager lets you uninstall old apps or APKs that you no longer need, or move them to your SD card as a backup. There are also built-in anti-theft features like find my phone, alarm, remote lock and more, should your device be lost or stolen.
4. Sophos Free Antivirus and Security
Sophos' Free Antivirus and Security offers a full-feature set of tools for free, including everything from antivirus to loss protection. The app scans your software in real-time as you install and alerts you accordingly to anything fishy. On-demand scans can check your whole device and SD card as well.
Also bundled in are theft protection with remote lock, phone finder and alarm features, web protection to keep you safe from malicious sites, spam filter to block SMS and phone calls, application protection to password protect apps, and security advisor that tells you how to improve security settings on your device.
5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
If you aren't too concerned with features like app locks or anti-theft, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware offers a great set of tools for keeping you protected from malware and other infected apps. Scanning via the app will alert you to malware, spyware, trojans, and other malicious code, and alert you so you can act accordingly.
In addition, Malwarebytes offers a privacy manager that shows a breakdown of your installed application's privileges as well as a security audit that shows any vulnerabilities on your device as long as recommendations on how to fix them.
6. Bitdefender Antivirus Free
Bitdefender brings one of the biggest names in antivirus to Android with Bitdefender Antivirus Free. This free app needs zero configuration and will keep your device safe from viruses 24/7. The app uses the same scanning software as Bitdefender Mobile Security — so you know it's doing the job right. It won't bog down your device either, as much of the work is done in the cloud.
This free version does lack some features of other apps like find my phone, browser protection and remote lock, but those can be found in a paid version of the app instead.