Arrow ransomware (Removal Guide) - May 2018 update

Arrow virus Removal Guide

What is Arrow ransomware?

Arrow ransomware – dangerous crypto-virus which belongs to Dharma family

Arrow ransomware virus

.Arrow ransomware is one of the newest variants of Dharma ransomware. Malware uses AES cryptography[1] and appends .arrow file extension to the targeted data. Its aim is typical to other ransomware viruses – the virus seeks to swindle the money from its victims in exchange for the decryption key which is needed to unlock blocked files. Arrow file virus requires sending bitcoins to the anonymous wallet of its developers that can be contacted Instructions on how to perform this procedure are provided in the ransom note which is saved on the desktop once the virus finishes its encryption procedure.

Name Arrow ransomware
Family Dharma
Extensions used to mark infected files .id-[random-characters].[].arrow, [].arrow,].arrow
Email address
Distribution Spam, infected email attachments, illegal software
Decrypter Dharma Decryptor

Arrow virus usually spreads via malicious spam emails which contain an obfuscated attachment. When a victim opens a document, malware payload is dropped and executed on the system. Malware immediately starts making changes to the system, such as:

  • Gets admin rights to specific Windows processes or system files,
  • Modifies or creates new Registry entries,
  • Deletes Shadow Volume Copies.

All these changes allow malware to settle in the computer and boot with system startup. However, the biggest problem is that it might delete shadow copies which are very important in data recovery.[2] Though, sometimes ransomware fails to delete them and data recovery might be possible with third-party software.

Arrow ransomware targets the most popular file types, including documents, images, audio, video and other files. The crypto-virus adds a complex suffix to targeted files that include a contact email address, victim’s ID and unique file extension. After the encryption, all files are locked with .id-[random-characters].[].arrow, [].arrow or].arrow file extension.

Victims are supposed to contact authors of .Arrow file virus via However, security specialists do not recommend doing it. Communication with cybercriminals and following their instructions might lead to money loss. No one can ensure that they have a decryptor or let you use it after receiving your payment.

Keep in mind that some versions of Dharma are decryptable. Hence, you should remove Arrow ransomware and try its decryptor. It might be updated any minute to help victims to recover lost files. Additionally, you can try third-party tools if you do not have your important files backed up.

But before you proceed with data recovery, you have to clean the computer. For Arrow virus removal, you will need a professional malware removal tool. We highly recommend using FortectIntego, but you can choose any other reliable security tool too.

Image of Arrow ransomwareArrow virus is another version Dharma ransomware.

Do not rush opening email attachments to avoid ransomware attack

Malicious spam email attachments are the main distribution method of the file-encrypting viruses. Ransomware executable typically spreads as obfuscated Word, PDF or ZIP file, so it’s easy to get tricked and open an infected document.

However, if you be attentive and do not open spam or other suspicious emails, you can protect your files from encryption. If you find the content of the email unfamiliar or shady, follow these instructions:

  • Look up for grammar and spelling mistakes. Crooks often leave typos and language errors which can reveal their malicious goals.
  • Double-check the information about the sender. Look up for the information about email address and the sender online, especially if the letter seems to be sent from the bank, governmental institutions or similar company.
  • Check credentials. Phishing emails often lack credentials, such as signature or logos.

Specialists from[3] remind to be careful with freeware downloads, update installation and aggressive pop-ups. They might be used in ransomware distribution too. For full protection, you should also install reputable antivirus and create backups.

Delete Arrow ransomware virus safely

We want to warn that you should not try to remove Arrow ransomware from the computer manually. The file-encrypting virus can inject malicious code into legit system processes and install numerous additional files or applications that perform harmful activities.

Terminate all these entries without security software is nearly impossible, especially if you are not an experienced IT specialist. For this reason, you should opt for automatic Arrow ransomware removal. To clean malware safely, you should choose one of these tools: FortectIntego, Malwarebytes or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. If you have some obstacles, follow the guide below.

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 Arrow virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

If Arrow ransomware prevents from automatic removal, follow these steps:

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 Arrow using System Restore

This method might also help to disable the virus and run security software:

  • 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 Arrow. 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 Arrow removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Restore some of the files with Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro can help to restore some of the missing files. However, it’s not an actual decrypter, so you should not expect to get back all of your files.

  • 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 Arrow ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Use Windows Previous Versions feature to get back the most important files

If System Restore was enabled before ransomware attack, you can follow the steps below and restore individual files you need the most:

  • 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 can be useful if malware failed to delete shadow copies

You can restore files encrypted by Arrow ransomware with ShadowExplorer if it failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies that are needed for this tool.

  • 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.

Try Dharma Decryptor

Some versions of Dharma ransomware are decryptable with this free tool. Maybe it will help you too.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Arrow and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, 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
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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