Annabelle 2.1 ransomware (Removal Instructions) - Bonus: Decryption Steps

Annabelle 2.1 virus Removal Guide

What is Annabelle 2.1 ransomware?

Annabelle 2.1 ransomware is a wiper-type virus that corrupts all personal data on the computer

Annabelle 2.1 ransomwareAnnabelle 2.1 ransomware is a fake locker, which, instead of using encryption, simply corrupts files by editing their strings

Annabelle 2.1 is malware that made a return after a year's break, although researchers believe that this variant of Annabelle ransomware was not developed by the same authors. This time, instead of encrypting data with AES-256[1] encryption algorithm, the virus either fails to start entirely (researchers noted that the malicious code is full of bugs and often crashes) or appends .AnabelleCreate but does not actually encrypt data. Instead, it modifies the file structure by inserting the word “HACKED!!!!!,” corrupting them and preventing victims from accessing documents, music, videos, pictures, and other data. Annabelle 2.1 ransomware then spawns a pop-up window called “Annabelle” which falsely states that all files are encrypted and no recovery is possible. Annabelle 2.1 virus mainly targets Korean-speaking users, as this language used in the ransom message.

Name Annabelle 2.1
Type Ransomware/Wiper
Dropper Annabelle.exe
File extension .AnabelleCreate
File modification Modifies string in the file structure by adding “HACKED!!!!!” word, consequently corrupting it
Targets Korean users
Removal Use security software to terminate the virus
Recovery Download and install FortectIntego

Annabelle is a character from a famous horror movie, and that is what the original malware was based on. While the previously-distributed ransomware actually induced horror in users due to encrypted files, Annabelle 2.1 virus is a much lesser threat, as data is not encrypted by a key that is usually stored on a remote server.

However, it does not mean that Annabelle 2.1 ransomware infection is harmless, as files still do get corrupted, although the chance of recovery is much higher than that of real crypto-locker. Nevertheless, it does seem that malware authors wanted to simply destroy the data on the device, as they state on the Korean-written ransom note:

Your computer files are all encrypted by Annabelle 2.1. If you try to recover you files, all of the data will be deleted.

  1. There is no possibility to recover files
  2. The software encrypts all files with SHA1 algorithm

In case the Annabelle 2.1 virus fails to detonate properly, it will not append an extension to data, although it might still show the ransom note. Regardless if malware fails to perform its actions correctly or not, users should focus on prompt Annabelle 2.1 ransomware removal.

Best way to accomplish that is by using anti-malware software that can detect the threat as one of the following names:[2]

  • TR/Ransom.cucom FortectIntego
  • Ransom.Annabelle SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner
  • Win32:Trojan-gen
  • a variant of MSIL/Filecoder.RP
  • Trojan-Ransom.Annabelle
  • W32/Encoder.RP!tr.ransom, etc.

Once you remove Annabelle 2.1 ransomware from your device, you can recover your files by using recovery software. Beware that, even though the retrieval should be successful in most cases, it is not guaranteed.

Annabelle 2.1 ransomware virusAnnabelle 2.1 is a virus that does not encrypts data and has multiple bugs

Ransomware can be devastating – do not get infected!

Ransomware is one of the most dangerous malware families in the wild. While other types can be equally as dangerous (for example, the presence of data stealer can result in identity theft), ransomware usually leaves a large trace behind – locked files. What most regular users get wrong, however, is that the virus removal will not retrieve access to data, as its key is stored on a remote server controlled by hackers.

Thus, while ransomware is less likely to steal your sensitive information, it can take your files – forever. Depending on how important your data is, the effects might be minor or devastating. Regular users might lose invaluable files like personal photos or videos, while companies, organizations or even cities might suffer from major financial losses due to ransomware infection. For example, SamSam ransomware infection on one of the network computers cost Atlanta city $2.6 million to recover from the attack.[3]

For that reason, experts[4] recommend being careful when browsing the internet. Such precautionary measures like anti-virus protection, Firewall, software/system patching, file scanning reduce the chance of infection drastically. Also, you should stay away from high-risk websites (torrent, porn, gambling, etc.), be careful with spam email attachments and use strong passwords for each of your accounts. If you take cybersecurity lightly, the infection of malware is inevitable, so stay safe online.

Don't be scared of Annabelle 2.1 – remove it from you system with ease

Initially, Annabelle 2.1 virus infection might seem like the end of the world – seemingly locked files, scary doll picture, and the uncertainty about what's going to happen next. Well, things might be not as bad as they seem, as Annabelle 2.1 ransomware removal should be a relatively simple procedure, as long as adequate tools are used.

Once you remove Annabelle 2.1 ransomware thoroughly, you can proceed with file recovery. If you store backups or use System Restore feature, the recovery should not be hard. You will find all the download links for the software below, along with usage instructions. Additionally, you will find details of how to enter Safe Mode with Networking in case malware is interfering with security software.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 Annabelle 2.1 virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

In case Annabelle 2.1 ransomware is interfering with anti-malware software, enter Safe Mode with Networking:

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 Annabelle 2.1 using System Restore

System Restore can also be used for malware termination:

  • 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 Annabelle 2.1. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that Annabelle 2.1 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Annabelle 2.1 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

Annabelle 2.1 virus does not encrypt files but corrupts them instead. Try recovery tools to restore your data.

If your files are encrypted by Annabelle 2.1, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro is a professional recovery tool

This application is capable of restoring most of the corrupted files. Download, install and pick the data you want to restore.

  • 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 Annabelle 2.1 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Make use of Windows Previous Versions feature

This option might not be optimal, as you will be able to recover files one-by-one.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer might recover all of your data

Scan your device with ShadowExplorer to retrieve data.

  • 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Annabelle 2.1 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

If this free guide helped you and you are satisfied with our service, please consider making a donation to keep this service alive. Even a smallest amount will be appreciated.

Contact Ugnius Kiguolis
About the company Esolutions