Is it a waste to load two anti-virus apps on your mobile? Are two AV apps more effective than one?

  • 5
    Put it into another perspective - running two AV's or more on Windows is counter-productive as clashes are going to occur, one flagging up malware on the other AV during scan etc in a Windows environment. Meanwhile, on Android, not alone that, AV are a con job, they really do not do anything except hog up resources regardless, and chew up battery juice! Its down to common sense, read the permissions, download from playstore only and not going to some dicey website based in China etc, you get the drift.
    – t0mm13b
    Mar 3, 2014 at 13:45

3 Answers 3


A known issue with running 2 AVs is that they'll consider each other as a potential virus.
This has to do with the behaviour of these programs. They scan directories, perform root-operations (if you have installed the AV on a rooted device), and so on.
This is true on any system, not only mobile devices.

You can in most cases run an AV together with an anti-malware product.
I do say in most cases.

As mentioned by Karan, there is no real need for AV software as long as you only run Google Play / Appstore apps and you don't download any rubbish from sites you visit.
Do keep in mind that there are some dangerous apps on Google Play. I'm an Android user myself, definitly no iFanboy, and I must admit not all Play apps are safe.
So always check the permissions and intentions of an app before installing it.

I myself have Avast! Mobile Security on my tablet.
This is because I run some off-the-market apps. MS also allows me to protect some apps with a pincode, such as my email apps.

I don't think running an AV is a waste of resources, but if you handle your device with care, there is no real need for one.

  • Advise @ Ground Zero was super helpful! Thanks!
    – user66264
    Mar 4, 2014 at 2:51

No. I'll even go to the extent of saying using an Antivirus is of no use if you only install apps from Google Play.

But if you install apps from third party sources (i.e APKs, etc.), using an antivirus might actually make sense. But using 2 AVs doesn't make sense in any scenario imho.

  • 4
    I wouldn't say that installing apps from Play only guarantees a lack of malware (always check app permissions, at the very least!), but overall I'd agree with Karan that for the average user AV is totally unnecessary, and that having two different AV products on the same device is extremely undesirable regardless of OS as they will work at cross purposes and hugely slow down a device.
    – Logos
    Mar 3, 2014 at 12:26
  • 2
    @user66264 using two antivirus in any complex machine (PC, smartphone, etc.) is a waste of resources and normally leads to conflicts. Just use the one you trust the more and stick with it.
    – Braiam
    Mar 3, 2014 at 14:56
  • 1
    If you do install third-party APKs, wouldn't it just suffice to upload them to virustotal.com before installing them, rather than running possibly-invasive, battery-draining, etc. AV software in the background on your own device? Mar 4, 2014 at 4:24
  • No, just uploading them to virustotal.com would not be sufficient. Virus scanners can only check for known viruses, and new variants crop up all the time - hence all the updates AV software does. So a one time check on a sideloaded app will only tell you that, as of that date, there are no known viruses associated with that app.
    – Logos
    Mar 6, 2014 at 19:38
  • ^ do you really feel it's feasible to upload every APK file to an online scanner before installing? Sadly I don't and I feel many others will also agree with me on this.
    – wuodland
    Mar 6, 2014 at 19:59

If you don't use much of sharing stuffs from unreliable/unknown sources and you do not visit unknown sites.
Answer is NO, you don't need a AV.

Its a waste of resources.

Q. Is it a waste to load two anti-virus apps on your mobile? Are two AV apps more effective than one?

YES it is a waste. NO two apps are not effective.

Reason is each AV has it its own heuristic engines to scan viruses, which generally detects another AV as a virus.

  • AV app really has access to binary of downloaded apk?
    – tse
    Apr 18, 2015 at 19:35

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