The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.



How To Remove CryptoLocker Virus from Windows?

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, I have a computer with its hard drive completely encrypted. Another hard drive attached to the same computer is also encrypted by CryptoLocker. What should I do? ” – Lisa W., USA

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: Its not a good feeling to boot up your computer only to find out that your files have been encrypted and you’re no longer able to go on with your daily tasks. This isn’t just a simple virus. Even when you’re able to get rid of it, the files may not be usable.

Problem

The user is not able to access their data. Windows starts to an error similar to the one below.

CryptoLocker - Cover - Error - WindowsWally

What Is CryptoLocker?

CryptoLock is a ransom trojan virus. It was first found in 5 Sep 2013, and is known to have been stopped on May 2014 in Operation Tovar, but now CryptoLocker clones are infecting computers.

How Does CryptoLocker Infect a Computer?

CryptoLocker clones spread in many different ways, usually through email attachments. The email is made to appear like its from a legitimate company. The attachment may be something like a .PDF file which is actually a .EXE file with a different icon.

Users launch these files without even seeing the .exe extension because it is usually hidden by default. Once launched, it installs itself and edits the registry to launch every time Windows starts. It also encrypts certain types of files in all hard drives connected to the computer, and asks for money.

Should You Pay The Money?

CryptoLocker can be removed easily. However, the encrypted files are not recovered so easily. Most security experts agree that you should never pay these criminals. Some believe that you should pay them if the files are valuable and you don’t have a backup. However, some people have paid the ransom and still didn’t get access to their encrypted data.

How To Remove CryptoLocker from Windows 10?

Restart Windows 10 (or 8) in Safe Mode. Click the Power button and click the Restart button while holding the Shift button on the keyboard.

Click Troubleshoot,

Windows 10 - Fix Windows 10 - Screen 3 - Repair my computer (screen) -- Windows Wally

and then Click Advanced Options as shown below

Windows 10 - Fix Windows 10 - Screen 3 - Troubleshoot (screen) -- Windows Wally

Click Startup Settings, and then click Restart. The computer should restart to a screen with startup options. Click Enable Safe Mode with Networking

Download and install Malwarebytes by using the Chameleon installer. Update Malwarebytes and scan your computer for viruses. As for your data, I hope you had most of your important data backed up.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.