Remove 4rw5w ransomware / virus (Removal Guide) - Recovery Instructions Included

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

4rw5w virus Removal Guide

What is 4rw5w ransomware virus?

4rw5w virus wants to follow WannaCry’s footsteps

4rw5w virus otherwise known as 4rw5wDecryptor is a new crypto-ransomware [1] designed to encrypt files using strong AES encryption, append them with .4rwcry4w extensions and demand a 30 dollar payment for a special recovery key. This virus looks like malware creators’ attempt to jump on the WannaCry‘s bandwagon in hopes of receiving similar success as this infamous parasite did a few weeks back. Fortunately, 4rw5w is still at very low distribution stage, so there is really no need to panic. At least for now. Nevertheless, if this malware does invade your computer somehow, it is unlikely that you will avoid the destructive consequences it brings. If the system infiltration goes successfully, the virus will then start looking for 22 types of file extensions including .avi, .dll, .DOC, .DOCX, .DOT, .dotm, .exe, .jpg, .lnk, .mp3, .mp4, .NEF, .ODT, .PDF,. pif, .png, _en.png, .rar, .txt, .url, .wav and .zip. To keep these files really safe from decryption, extortionists have programed the virus to encrypt the AES encryption key with DES algorithm [2]. Such double encryption is virtually impossible to crack; thus the ransomware victims either have to pay the criminals or remove 4rw5w from their computer and wait for the experts to come up with some free ransomware decryption tool. We strongly recommend choosing the second option because cooperating with cyber criminals has never benefited anybody other than the hackers themselves. 4rw4w.exe and 4rw5wDecryptor.exe are the main files associated with this virus, so make sure you delete them from your computer. Applying ReimageIntego or similar virus detection software for the elimination is a smart choice if you want to get rid of the malware quicker.

4rw5w virus

.4rwcry4w extension virus is not only as widespread as WannaCry, but it also seems to be quite different in its design. Lockscreen that displays the ransom note is very basic and does not feature additional details such as a timer that counts down the time until data destruction. It only features the language selection option, a fill-in box with a decrypt button next to it and a brief message that goes like this:

we have encrypted your files with 4rw5w crypt virus !
Your important files : photos, videos, documents, etc, were encrypt with our 4rw5w crypt virus.
The only way to get your files back is to pay us 30$ in Bitcoins. Otherwise, your files will be lost.
Caution: Removing of 4rw5w crypt virus will not restore access to your encrypted files.
[+] What happened To my files?
Understanding the issue
[+] How can i Get my files back?
The only way Is To pay For the decryption key !
[+] What should i Do Next?
Buy the decryption Key for 30$ worth in Bitcoins !
Bitcoin Adress to buy the decryption key : [Bitcoin address]

The typos and grammar mistakes suggest that the criminals behind this virus are not really taking this program seriously. Perhaps it’s just a test drive to see if the ransomware works, before starting more widespread distribution. Either way, you should not follow the instructions in this note and head straight to the 4rw5w removal instead.

Image of 4rw5w ransomware virus4rw5w ransomware virus encrypts victim's files and then drops a ransom note you can see displayed above.

The obscure ways of ransomware distribution

Malware investigators have not come across a specific source of 4rw5w distribution yet. This is probably due to the fact that the program’s prevalence in general is very low. What we can presume though is that the extortionists may be distributing the malware themselves and not relying on major botnets such as Necurs to disseminate it like the majority of ransomware viruses. This makes it almost impossible to determine where and how this virus may hit. Nevertheless, we know that typically, ransomware are distributed via email spam, so it would be smart to start paying more attention to what emails you are receiving and especially what attachments you are downloading. Besides, to be completely sure your data is safe, you should create backups of your files and keep them safe.

Professional security software will help with a thorough 4rw5w removal

It goes without saying that ransomware is not the type of malware you can mess around with. This means that you should not even try to remove 4rw5w virus from your computer manually. You should only rely on professional malware-fighting software to carry out this task. After they carry out 4rw5w removal, these tools can be used to protect your device from malware, potentially unwanted programs and viruses. So, make sure you invest in a powerful utility with a strong real-time protection.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of 4rw5w virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Here are the instructions which will ensure easier 4rw5w removal:

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove 4rw5w using System Restore

The tutorial below will guide you through the ransomware decontamination process and help you access your antivirus software in case the malware is blocking it.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of 4rw5w. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with ReimageIntego and make sure that 4rw5w removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove 4rw5w from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by 4rw5w, you can use several methods to restore them:

DataRecoveryPro to the rescue!

Here are some brief instructions how to use DataRecoveryPro tool:

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by 4rw5w ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Restore your files using Windows Previous Versions feature

Follow the steps indicated below to learn how to use Windows Previous Versions feature and recover your files from the previously saved data copies.

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Try to recover your files using Shadow Explorer

Shadow Explorer will only be useful in cases where ransomware do not destroy the Volume Shadow Copies of the encrypted files. If it does, you will have to stick to the remaining recovery options

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

4rw5w Decryptor

Currently, there is no free 4rw5w decryption software.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from 4rw5w and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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