Phone Virus That Deletes: How To Send?

Here’s how to send a virus that deletes everything on a phone such as pictures and texts:

There are viruses that can delete pictures, videos, and other content on a phone, but trying to find and send one to another person is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. 

It’s an illegal act, and it will put you at risk of falling victim to the virus yourself. 

The better bet is to ask nicely or pursue legal recourse.

So if you want to learn all about sending a virus that deletes everything to someone’s phone, then this article is for you.

Keep reading!

Deleting Phone Virus: How to Send? (Pics, Videos, Texts)

How Can Someone Send a Virus That Deletes Everything on a Phone? (3 Points)

For liability reasons, I am not going to teach you how to destroy files on someone else’s phone.

That’s a bad idea all around.

But, I can explain how malicious programs work and how they might delete content or destroy a phone. 

So, instead of answering the original question outright, I’ll take you through what some malicious practices involve and what you can do about them.

If you’re in a predicament where you really need to get data off of a phone that you don’t control, I’ll discuss some viable methods for that in a later section.

Before all of that, please take this disclaimer to heart. 

It is not ok to send viruses to other people on purpose. 

Doing so is potentially illegal, and it comes with serious risks. 

do not recommend trying to engage with viruses or illegal activities.

#1 How Software Can Delete Files


Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s talk about how software can delete or incapacitate data on a phone. 

You might have it in your mind that a virus can do this, and that’s technically true, but there are many kinds of software that can eliminate data on a device.

What they all have in common is the need for permission to access files in the first place. 

So, phone security largely entails controlling these permissions to prevent random malicious programs from deleting files or bricking phones.

It’s an important thing.

Any program that is going to delete everything on a phone has to gain permission first. 

In the case of Android phones, this has to do with root access. 

On an iPhone, it would be a superuser. 

Both words describe the same concept. 

Software that can get past security systems on your phone interacts at a base level. 

Essentially, even as the phone’s owner, you don’t have this level of access (unless you jailbreak or root your phone). 

So, this type of malware has to get around the general structure of your phone’s software.

What this ultimately means is that most apps and software can’t delete everything on a phone. 

It has to get permission first, and in most cases, the phone’s owner has to grant that permission (there are definitely exceptions, but the topic gets very complicated very quickly). 

So, if you want to protect your phone from this kind of software, pay attention to permissions. 

Don’t give permission to unknown software, and you can avoid the majority of cases where a virus or other program could delete your files.

#2 What Kinds of Software Delete Files

But, if something does get permission, then all bets are off. 

For the most part, there are a few types of malicious software that can delete or otherwise incapacitate data.

The first includes viruses. 

There are viruses that delete data, and there are even some notorious viruses that have behaved in this very way. 

The CIH and xHelper viruses both deleted files and caused tons of problems for users. 

Ultimately, there are too many such viruses to name them all here. 

Suffice it to say that this type of software exists in abundance.

Outside of viruses, there is also ransomware

Typically, ransomware doesn’t actually delete files. 

Instead, it encrypts them so that they are completely inaccessible to the device’s owner. 

While ransomware targets businesses more often than not, the software absolutely can lock up all of the pictures, recordings, texts, and other files on a phone.

#3 How Malware Can Be Delivered

But, even if there is software that can delete files, it can’t just magically appear on your phone. 

Ultimately, malicious software has to be delivered to a device before it can cause trouble

This is why your devices aren’t constantly under attack. 

Getting the software downloaded or installed onto the phone is one of the primary challenges that malware attacks face.

As mentioned before, malicious programs ultimately need permission before they are installed and given access to files.

There are a few ways that users commonly come into contact with malicious software. 

One is through the app store. 

It’s possible to make a malicious app and get it up on the app store. 

From there, it’s easy for a user to install the program, and problems abound. 

But, unless you are very good at masking your identity, uploading malicious software to an app store is not a good idea. 

If your upload can be traced back to you, then you will be held responsible for any damage caused by that upload.

Outside of app stores, you can share malicious files in many ways. 

Someone can text or email a file to another user. 

The software can be uploaded to a cloud server and shared with a download link. You can even share files with social media.

But once again, tracking is a concern for anyone trying to do this. 

However you share bad software with someone, you leave a trace. 

If you email such a file to someone, they’re going to know that you sent it. 

So, the fallout from participating in this behavior is hard to avoid.

Hackers and malicious actors who send out bad software are often adept at masking their identity. 

They have substantial skills in this area, and it’s why they aren’t constantly caught for their efforts (although malicious software distributors do get caught). 

Without such skills, trying to send out malicious software is really just asking for trouble.

Is It Ok to Send a Virus That Deletes Files? (2 Things)

Now you have an idea of what is involved with sending a virus that deletes everything on a phone. It’s not a small task. 

Hopefully, that knowledge can help you think about how you can protect yourself from viruses.

But, the original question suggests that maybe there is data you would prefer that doesn’t exist on a phone out there somewhere. 

That’s understandable, but using a virus to go after that data is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. 

Even if you were to overcome all of the obstacles in your way, you could face very serious consequences for participating in this kind of behavior. 

There are legal and personal risks, and they probably shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Additionally, the data is likely backed up somewhere anyway such as through iCloud.

#1 Legality

This is probably one of the most compelling reasons why you don’t want to send anyone a virus. 

It’s illegal in most of the world. 

The specific laws governing the distribution of computer viruses will vary from place to place, but there’s a general trend. 

If you knowingly send someone a virus, it’s illegal. 

If the virus you knowingly sent tampers with a computer system without permission, it adds to the nature of the crime.

So, sending a virus that deletes everything on a phone definitely counts. 

Depending on where you live, the consequences of doing this can be pretty severe, and it can open you up to civil claims as well. 

It’s pretty easy to make the argument that deleting everything on a phone can cause a person financial losses, and you can be held liable for that.

Legally, it’s not a good idea.

#2 Collateral Damage

Outside of the legal issues, tampering with viruses is a risky prospect. 

Unless you can make this virus from scratch by yourself, any attempt to carry out this task would probably require you to download a virus made by a stranger. 

How well do you expect to be able to control such a virus?

In your attempt to attack another phone, you could unwittingly destroy everything on your phone. 

Some viruses spread rather quickly, and you could even drag friends and family into the mix. 

There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever be able to target the phone you’re really after, but you can still do a lot of unintended damage.

What About Hiring a Hacker?

If it’s too risky to do yourself, couldn’t you just hire a hacker? 

Well, you’d still be at legal risk in this case. 

The exact terms of the crime will depend on exactly how it all plays out, but the gist is that it’s always illegal to hire someone to commit a crime for you. That’s what conspiracy laws are for.

Also, unless you happen to be friends with an accomplished hacker, hiring a stranger comes with the same set of risks as deploying an unknown virus.

Are There Ways to Get Files Off of a Phone? (3 Ways)

If getting rid of data is your goal, there are ways to go about it that don’t involve viruses, legal risks, and clandestine hacking schemes. 

You can take a simpler approach. 

You minimize risk, and you’re more likely to succeed.

#1 Find My Phone

If your phone is stolen or missing and you want to get files off of it before they fall into the wrong hands, you can use the Find My Phone feature (for iPhones). 

With this feature, you can remotely lock your phone, and you can even wipe out every personal file stored on the device.

The Android equivalent is Find My Device. It offers the same service. 

If your phone is out of your control, you can use the service to remotely wipe all data from the phone.

#2 Ask

If the data in question is not on your phone, then things are trickier. 

If it’s someone you know who has a photo, video, or other files that you don’t like, you can always try asking them to delete it. 

Obviously, the outcome of this conversation will depend on the nature of your relationship, but it’s always worth considering before you pursue some sitcom-level hijinks.

#3 Involve the Authorities

If bad data is in the hands of bad actors, then your best recourse might be to involve the authorities. 

If the pictures, videos, etc. were made without your permission, you can potentially involve the police to try to rein in the data.

If law enforcement can’t help, you can also consider litigation. 

You can try suing the phone’s owner for control of the data to prevent it from spreading in bad ways.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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