HTRS ransomware / virus (Removal Guide) - Tutorial

HTRS virus Removal Guide

What is HTRS ransomware virus?

HTRS ransomware strikes as a derived version of HiddenTear

HTRS virus, alternatively known as NewHT (new HiddenTear), functions as a file-encrypting threat designed according to the pattern of HiddenTear malware[1]. Due to its accessibility on GitHub, a number of wannabe hackers continue constructing their own file-encrypting threats. The success stories of Cerber, Locky and recently emerged WannaCry continue fueling up such crooks’ ambitions. On the other hand, inexperienced racketeers often make critical mistakes which enable IT, specialists, to develop a decryption tool. Speaking of this malware, it does not stand out with its specifications or abilities. After it hacks into the operating system, it encodes data and marks it with .htrs file extension. Its readme.txt file provides little information about further instructions how to recover files. What is more, it does not have its GUI (graphic user interface). Do not waste time and initiate HTRS removal. FortectIntego or Malwarebytes accelerates the process. The screenshot of HTRS malware

Easy money often fuels crooks and felons of various ilk to engage in illegal activities. The virus seems to be designed likewise. The developers of this ransomware did not spend too much time on elaborating its structure nor design. Most likely HTRS malware uses AES-256 algorithm to encode files. Unfortunately, such technique generates a unique decryption key which is stored on a remote server. Interestingly, that the mentioned ransom note does not include any email address for affected users to contact the felons nor indicates its bitcoin address. However, readme.txt presents user’s ID number. Thus, it suggests that the malware is still under development. On the other hand, if its threat has occupied your computer and encrypted files, there is no need to pay the money. Remitting the payment does not raise the chances to recover files. What is more, you may give a previously released HiddenTear decrypter a try[2]. Though it may not be effective for all versions, there is a high probability that you may succeed. Make a rush to remove HTRS virus.

Spreading the malware

HTRS hijack is delivered with the help of Gen:Heur.Ransom.HiddenTears.1, TR/Ransom.Ryzerlo.wffqo, W32/HTCrypt.BSXW-1499, or similarly named trojan. It might dwell in corrupted websites and torrent sharing websites. Note that spam emails remain the key method for distributing the malware. Its htrs.exe is likely to be placed in a .zip folder. Do not rush to open invoice, tax reports or informative messages about an undelivered content. Inspect it. If it contains altered credentials, grammar mistakes or typos of alarming content, be cautious. Only if you are sure of a sender‘s identity, open the attached documents. The ransom note of HTRS ransomwareIt is unsure whether the developers will launch the improved version of HTRS malware.

Eliminating HTRS ransomware from the computer

Despite whether it is an elaborate threat, start HTRS removal. It is no surprising if you cannot launch an anti-spyware tool or it starts showing unusual error alerts. In that case, read the below guide. Note that malware elimination tools do not decrypt files. For that reason, you will need additional tools. More information is provided at the bottom of this page. In addition, you might cancel and terminate any fishy tasks running in the Task Manager. If you detect htrs.exe file, right-click on it and choose “end task.”

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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 HTRS virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Follow the instructions to regain partial access to the PC. On that mode, you will be able to launch an anti-spyware tool and remove HTRS virus.

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 HTRS using System Restore

  • 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 HTRS. 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 HTRS removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Will Data Recovery Pro decrypt files encoded by NewHT/HTRS ransomware

There is no 100% certainly, but it is promoted as a tool able to recover lost and damaged files. If you do not have backup copies to restore your files from, it might be one of your last chances.

  • 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 HTRS ransomware;
  • Restore them.

ShadowExplorer option

HiddenTear-based malware rarely deletes shadow volume copies. Since this program uses these patterns to restore files, you may succeed in recovering the 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.

HTRS Decrypter

There is no official tool released for this specific version but test this free Hiddentear decryption software.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from HTRS 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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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