Can Spyware Transfer To A New Phone?

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Are you planning to buy a new smartphone? That’s great but beware before transferring your data from your old phone to the new one. If your old phone is infected with spyware or malware then it may get transferred to the new one. But can spyware transfer to a new phone, is that even possible?

If you have installed a spy app on someone’s old phone and they have recently switched to a new phone, then you must also have the same question. Keep reading the article as I am going to shed some light on the same.

Quick Summary
There is a possibility that a spy app may get transferred to your new phone if you are transferring data from a spyware-affected phone. However, the chances of this happening are still very low. And that’s because a spy app may get transferred from phone to phone but it cannot get installed on its own. Unless a spy app is installed on the target device it’s of no use. However, you need to be careful because there are some malware that can steal your private information. They can even monitor your activities without being installed on your device. But there’s no need to worry because you can detect and get rid of spyware or malware by using the right anti-spy apps.

Can Spyware Or Malware Be Transferred To A New Phone?

can spyware transfer to a new phone

Yes, it is possible that spyware may get transferred to a new phone from an old phone. It is most likely to happen when you transfer your old phone data to the new one through a USB cable or wirelessly through Bluetooth or WiFi.

However, the chances of that happening are really low. The reason is that when you sync your old phone to your new one, only the apps you have downloaded from the Play Store get installed on the new phone. This means the APK file of the spyware may be transferred from your old phone to the new one along with other data but it’s highly unlikely that it will get installed on it. A spyware APK file is good for nothing until it gets installed on your device so you don’t have to worry.

However, you must check your new phone after you have successfully transferred all the data to it. Keep an anti-spyware app installed on your new device and keep scanning your phone for spyware at regular intervals with it. This will ensure that no spyware gets through to your new phone from your old one.

Note: In case you have installed a spy app on someone’s old phone and now they have switched to a new one then you have to again install the app on their new phone. You have to get physical access to their new device for once because the app file may get transferred from their old phone but it won’t install on its own.

Unlike spyware, malware does not necessarily need to be installed on the target phone. Hence, your new phone may get infected by the virus that was previously affecting the old phone when you transfer data from it. So can malware transfer to a new phone? The answer is yes it is possible. Therefore before transferring the data, you must thoroughly scan your old device with an antivirus app.

How To Detect Spyware On A Phone? Will Factory Reset Remove It?

In the following section of the article, I am going to share with you different ways to detect spyware. So that even if somehow spyware is transferred from the old phone to the new one, you can detect and get rid of it.

1. You See Some Unusual Behavior On Your Device

If your phone suddenly starts to behave strangely then it means that there’s something wrong with it. Look for signs such as unusual battery drain, increased data consumption, noise during a phone call, etc.

2. There Are Apps On Your Phone Which You Don’t Remember Installing Yourself

unknown app

If there are some unfamiliar apps installed on your phone then beware they can be spyware. Although spyware cannot be installed remotely, it is possible that someone has installed it on your phone when you were not around.

3. Scan Your Phone With Anti Spyware App

The best method to detect spyware on your phone is to run a scan on it with the help of an anti-spy app like Avast. If there’s a spy app on your device then this method will most probably detect it for you.

If you see any of the signs of spyware on your device, or you detect it with the help of anti-spyware then you must get rid of it as soon as possible.

Most people straight away go and buy a new phone when they get to know that their smartphone has spyware. This happens because those people think that they can’t get rid of the spyware. However, that’s not the case as you can actually remove spyware from your device with the help of a good antivirus program.

Moreover, if nothing works for you then you can simply reset your phone. It is proven that a factory reset will remove a spy app. However, if your phone is rooted then the spy app will not be deleted even if you reset your device.


It’s possible that a spy app may get transferred from an old phone to a new phone. But the chances of it happening are very less. However, you should take all precautions and check your old phone for viruses or spyware before transferring the data. Also, you should install an anti-virus app on your new phone. This will ensure that even if somehow a spy app or malware is transferred to your new cell phone, you can detect and get rid of it in no time.

About the Author

Shivam Yadav is a cybersecurity enthusiast dedicated to clarifying the complexities of cyber threats and making online safety accessible to all. With a background in Computer Science and Engineering, Shivam’s passion for keeping people safe online has been the driving force behind his journey with SpyDrill. He specializes in simplifying concepts related to web protection and guiding parents on the effective use of monitoring applications to ensure their children’s online privacy & safety.

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